09/30/2010 05:00PM ● Published by Style
Spring cleaning? That’s so six months ago.
While it’s always a treat to store away the sweaters and unpack the lake gear as summer approaches, it’s just as important to put your home in order for the winter months. With cooler temperatures and plenty of holiday gatherings scheduled on the calendar, chances are you and your brood will be spending more time in the cozy indoors. Making a handful of valuable preparations this month will keep you and your family safe, sound and organized until spring rolls around again. Gloves on? Let’s get to work.
As the leaves start collecting in a once bustling swimming pool, it’s best to start prepping your backyard area for the hibernation period ahead. Start by folding the “sunbrellas,” covering the patio furniture and getting that barbeque area nice and clean. A pool cover is a great investment as it keeps the pool clear of debris that might clog the drain. For better closet storage, use the plastic airtight packing bags available at your local department store for wrapping big items like beach towels and outdoor tablecloths. Keep the gutters and downspouts around the roof clear of leaves and store away any gardening tools or equipment you might not need until next year.
With closet storage a big issue for many homeowners, keeping warm and cold weather apparel separate proves a useful trick. Pack up all the items you won’t need for the next few months and fold or roll them into storage containers for safe, clean keeping. Again, those airtight packing bags make great space savers. Move these items to the shelves or back of the closet and bring your sweaters, jackets and winter wear front and center for easy access. The same goes for shoes and other accessories that will be getting more use in the winter months. While we’re in the bedroom, don’t forget to change out all the light summer linens with cozy winter flannels and blankets.
There’s nothing like a tidy and operational kitchen for holiday cooking, so fall is an ideal time to attack those kitchen chores you’ve been putting off for a while. Start with the cupboards and check all your important spices and baking items for expiration dates and replace where necessary. Next, attack the refrigerator, giving it a good scrub down and tossing any unwanted items. Finally, give the oven a little TLC so it’s nice and fresh for holiday baking.
THE HEAT IS ON
Chances are you’ll be looking to turn up the heat this winter, so there’s no time like now to make sure your equipment is up for the task. Check all the vents in the house and make sure they are clear of dust and debris. If a furnace heats your home, schedule an inspection and make sure you are stocked with the necessary filters. And if you like the natural warmth of a crackling fireplace, get that chimney cleaned and inspected before you make that first spark.