The Fall Season: A Time for Organizing
After a hectic summer of sports, vacations, vegetable gardening, camps, and cookouts, most homes are in need of reorganizing and deep cleaning. The fall season is the perfect time for reclaiming the home before another chaotic season begins, the holidays.
Cooler weather brings the “nesting” syndrome out in most of us. We want to ready our homes for festive dinners, family gatherings, and quiet moments around a nice fire. The holidays are crazy enough without having to worry about your mother-in-law opening an overstuffed closet or having a last minute house guest sleeping in a room filled with overflow. A little investment in preparing during the fall can help make the holidays more relaxed and enjoyable for everyone involved.
September is the time when regular schedules come back into our lives. It is also an opportune time to start decluttering your home in order to make the time spent indoors during the holidays and colder weather more pleasurable. It is also the beginning of a new season of clothing, which makes it the right time to clean out the closets.
As with every decluttering project, make a pile for donation items, a pile for items that need to be thrown away or recycled, and a pile that does not belong in that particular area and can be moved to its proper place.
Entryway Closet-Summer has taken a toll on the entryway closet that most families use for umbrellas, rain boots, dirty garden sandals, and sporting equipment. Now is the time to get everything out of the closet, thoroughly clean the interior, and perform an analysis of what can be kept and what can be thrown away. When these steps are completed, return items back into the closet that will only be needed during the fall and winter seasons such as winter boots, one coat per family member, and hats, scarves and gloves. If this step is completed a couple of months before needed, it makes life for all family members much easier that first frosty morning.
Bedroom Closets-At the beginning of each season, every member of the family should take time to go through their closets, remove the items not worn in a year, and give the pieces to charity. In these economic times, food and clothing banks are suffering; donations are extremely needed and can be written off on tax returns. When choosing clothing items to donate, make decisions based on if the items are outdated, if they fit any longer, or if they are in need of repair. If items are beyond repair, do not donate them. Make the clothing worth the charity’s time and expense.
An organized and tidy closet can make active mornings run smooth when choosing clothing for the day. By putting all like items together such as skirts, pants, and tops, helps the matching process be completed in seconds, not minutes.
Purses and Shoes-Do not forget to purge purses and shoes along with clothing. Purses are a hot seller for charity thrift shops and provide much needed funds to help the poor. If you have a large collection of purses, you may want to decide to limit the number to 12. Limiting to this number allows for rotating to a new pocketbook monthly. Of course, special occassion purses are not included in the 12, but, you will need to limit those as well to four or five.
October is a glorious month full of football games and trips to the country to see the colorful leaves. This is the best time to put away gardening tools, purge holiday decorations, and organize the linen closet.
Gardening Tools-Unless you live in a climate which allows you to garden year round, October is the time to clean and store garden tools for the winter. Throw out any broken items that are simply taking up space. Clean and oil all tools that require such care, and store in a shelter or garage away from the brutal winter weather.
Holiday Decorations-Fall is the perfect time to look over holiday decorations used throughout the year. Throw out any torn or faded items, and donate all others that you no longer want. Again, only donate quality items that will benefit the charity of your choice.
Folding a Fitted Sheet
Linen Closet-After a heat filled summer, it is time to bring the comfy blankets and quilts out of storage. Stock the linen closet with freshly laundered flannel sheets and warm comforters. This is also the time to check the condition of your bath towels. When having family and quests over for the holidays, you need to make sure the bath linens are not worn, faded, stained, or torn.
November is the beginning of the hectic, chaotic holiday season. If you have made efforts in the previous months to prepare, then festive events should not take a stressful toll on you. The only rooms left to declutter in preparation for parties and celebrations are the kitchen and dinning room.
Kitchen-The kitchen will be the center of everything for the next two months. To feel confident in preparing meals, you will want to start with a clean, sanitized workspace. Take a day, and enlist the help of family members, to thoroughly clean cabinets, refrigerator, stove, countertops, and of course the floor. Throw out all broken appliances, dishes, or flatware. Donate old dishes that are still in useable condition. Wash curtains, clean windows, and dust blinds. Look over the expiration date of food items and throw away anything out of date. Make a list of staples that you will need, and purchase enough, if you are financially able, to last throughout the entire holiday season. This is the time of the year that baking items go on sale, and it is a good idea to stockpile what you will need.
Dinning Room-Besides the kitchen, this room will be the most used area during celebrations. Make sure the baseboards are dusted, the chairs vacuumed, and linens are clean and ironed. If you like formal settings with china and silver, this is the time to wash the dishes and polish the flatware. Decorate for each celebration before the day of the event. Don’t try to clean, decorate, and cook all in the same day. That is why preparation is so vital for this busy time of year. You want to enjoy the event you have worked so hard to make special.
Do Good with Your Donations
- Working to Reduce Poverty in America - Catholic Charities USA
- Goodwill Industries International, Inc.
We help people earn a living, improve their lives, and strengthen their families and their communities.
- The Salvation Army: Home
About the Author
Catherine Dean is a freelance writer, gardener, quilter, and blogger. Her professional background includes nonprofit program development, grant writing, and volunteer management. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Georgia College & State University.
Her blog, Sowing A Simple Harvest, chronicles a modern couple trying to live a simplistic, sustainable life. To explore her professional credentials, visit her website. She can also be followed on Google+.