When we think about fall, it may evoke back to school, changing leaves, and the onset of holidays and cold weather. Whether or not you’ve got littles heading back to class, there are seasonal requirements to address in your home. Now that fall is around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about those tasks that need doing in preparation for winter.
Straighten out the garage & storage
When it comes to the space where you store your off-season gear, tools, and other items, spring and summer may have wreaked havoc on your storage. Time to sort through, get rid of what you haven’t been using, and make space for summer items that need to be put away.
Clean up your outdoor gear
If you’re like us, you may be tempted to leave this one until the last possible minute, enjoying every chance to enjoy nice weather and outdoors. Whether or not this task is first on your list, consider your schedule for the next couple months and plan when you’ll address each group of items:
- Kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, beach and fishing gear, camping equipment: cleaned, sorted out and put into winter storage
- Patio furniture: pull off cushions, bag and store for winter; take down umbrellas, hammocks and/or awnings to clean and store; cover furniture or move to garage
- Bikes: fall tune-up and rotated out of the way any bikes not ridden in winter
- Summer gear racks: time to take off the car, oil up, and stash until spring
- Grills: so long, tasty barbecue, it’s time to clean up the grill, safely stow any consumables, give her a nice polish, and fasten on the cover for winter.
Prep garden and plants
If you maintain grass, fall is the time to reseed bare patches and add winter fertilizer. You’ll want to get shrubs and plants trimmed back and add mulch to garden beds. Plant bulbs for early spring flowers. Winterize ponds and water features, and plan for protecting potted plants that are less tolerant of freezing temperatures, such as succulents and cacti.
For most homeowners, we also need to plan for leaf cleanup. Check your supply of rakes, gloves, bags, and any other tools. Contact your city or country for updates about leaf or yard waste disposal. Schedule any special services if you need assistance with yard care.
Sort through your clothes, shoes, and activewear to start pulling summer items that will soon be too chilly for fall and winter wear. Evaluate your wardrobe for items that are ill-fitting or otherwise going unworn, and start a pile for donating or selling.
Move kept items to winter storage (whether it’s the back of your closet or other storage area) to get them out of the way, and bring in last season’s fall and winter apparel. This is a great chance to see what still fits or flatters, double-check for wear, make any minor repairs that may have been missed in the spring, wash or dry clean items that will need to be freshened up, or continue building that culling pile. Consider donating unwanted items to one of the many shelters and non-profit organizations that benefit disadvantaged populations. Additionally, there are now many online services and apps available for selling items in good condition, should you have items in good condition you prefer to resale.
Clean out pantry & food storage
With colder weather approaching, you may find your meals incorporate more soups, stews, baked goods, and other hearty, warm foods. It’s a good time to review the “use by” dates on items in your pantry, such as dry beans and rice, canned goods, spices, box baking mixes or side dishes, nuts, or anything else that may have been lurking since last winter. If you have frozen food storage, sort through and remove anything older than six months (such as the remnants of that last winter batch of pea soup in the back of the bottom shelf). Keep an inventory of items that need replacing. You may also choose to make a box of items you don’t think you’ll be able to use before their expiration date to take to the nearest food pantry.
Organize craft supplies
If the chill in the wind makes you long for skeins of yarn or some pinking scissors, you may be of the tribe who looks forward to the rainy season to retreat to arts and crafts. Time to dig out your sheets of felt, test out all the paint pens, glue sticks and magic markers, organize your beading supplies, pull out the project you put away in spring, and analyze what supplies you’re missing to create that open weave shawl or Fair Isle sweater you’ve been dreaming of.
We hope this list has given some inspiration for your fall organization! Of course, if you need help with any cleaning or organizing needs, we’re here to help. Contact us here at Maid for Portland to set up a regular cleaning schedule or get an estimate for your special project.