With the cold weather quickly approaching, it's time to think about hunkering down for those winter months! While we often talk about spring cleaning, the fall is also a good time to declutter and prepare your home for the coming season. Plus, it's better to tackle a deep clean while the weather is still somewhat decent.
Chances are, you had a least one summer road trip. If you haven't already, get rid of wrappers, bottles and other garbage. Vacuum up the sand, wipe down the interior and give the outside a good wash with an eco-friendly cleaner. Organize your glove box for easy access to your license and insurance papers if needed. Stock your car has items you might need during the next few months, like an ice scraper, umbrella, blanket and warm outerwear. If you frequently travel, especially outside of urban areas, it's also a good idea to invest in a roadside safety kit. Now is also a great time to get your car serviced and to have winter tires installed. No one wants to break down at the side of the road, especially during the winter!
Now that your vehicle is nice and clean, it's time to tackle its home. Or you know, the place where everything else other than the car is stored! If you haven't cleaned out your garage for a while, this could seem like a rather daunting task. Start by making a list of things you have in storage, then organize that list into items you'd like to keep and items you'd like to toss or donate. Once you know what things you're keeping, draft a map of where you plan on storing them. Making a plan will also help you decide if you need storage options like shelving or overhead containers for better accessibility. Items that are seasonal, such as camping equipment or Christmas lights, should be stored at the back of the garage. Products that are used regularly, such as cleaning supplies or tools, should be easily accessible.
Once you have made your map, pull everything from the garage and sort through it. Before bringing anything back in, sweep or vacuum the floors and check for any openings that need to be repaired. Label all storage containers and keep your map handy. Next time you need to find something, you'll know exactly where it is.
Whether you have a massive backyard or a small balcony, there are some things you need to think about when preparing your home for the winter. Start by cleaning your outside furniture, including cushions and mats. Depending on the sizes and materials, you can use the washing machine or wipe them down with an eco-friendly cleaner. Once they are dry, either store them or cover them with a tarp. If you have a house, you'll also want to clean your eavestrough, or hire a professional.
There a lot of debate over how much you should clean up your leaves and gardens. Many critters use these spaces to take shelter during the winter months, and leaves can also provide nutrients to your grass. If you do rake your leaves, consider composting or checking if your area has a yard waste program.
While it seems like a lot of work, your future self will thank you! After all, you'll want to spend the little daylight you have during the winter doing funner activities!
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