Fall has officially arrived! This is my very favorite time of the year. Especially for decorating! It's time to get the pumpkins, hay bales and scarecrows for the yard. Time to hang the autumn wreath on the door. While it's not nearly as fun as decorating, fall is also time to take care of some maintenance and organization around the house. Here are a few suggestions;
· Sort through the family's warm weather clothing. Throw out worn or torn items. Donate any outgrown clothing. Didn't wear it at all this season? Pass it on. Move the keepers to out-of-season storage or to the back of the closet. Beat the end-of-the-year rush and donate now to the charity of your choice; don't forget to tuck the receipt in your tax file.
· Retire the summer recreation gear: pool floats, beach towels and sand toys, outdoor dinnerware and sports equipment. Clean it up, pack it away and make a list of what you need to pick up of clearance now or replace next season.
· Clean and check the indoor elements of the heating system. For forced air heating systems, vacuum the registers and air intake grill; for electric heating systems, vacuum down the baseboard units, change filters.
· Pull out the refrigerator. Vacuum the condenser coils, wipe down the top sides and back of the unit and clean the floor and wall behind it.
· Change the batteries in the smoke detector. Test to insure they are operating properly.
· Clean out the garage. Get the whole family to help give the garage a good scrub down. Wash the floor, wipe down the walls and clear out the cobwebs.
· Clean out the pantry. Throw out any old or unused food items. Wipe off shelves and make room for those items we like to stock for holiday baking and drop-in guests.
· Ready the windows. Wash the windows inside and out and get ready to enjoy the fall breezes. Send the drapes to the dry cleaner. Consider adding a heavier or more colorful window treatment to cozy your home for the fall and winter seasons.
· Shine the chandeliers. Clean all the ceiling mounted light fixtures throughout your home and get your home ready for guests.
· Call the carpet cleaner. Schedule to have your carpets and any upholstered furniture dry cleaned. Beat the last minute rush to get ready for the holidays.• Prepare your holiday table settings. Get ready now for those holiday dinners and parties. Pull out the good china and hand wash all your dishes. Polish the silverware, serving utensils, trays and candlesticks. When you're busy making last-minute preparations, you'll be glad to have this task already out of the way.