Melissa Schmalenberger, Published October 06 2013
Ms.Simplicity: It’s time to take care of some fall choresFall really is my favorite time of year. I love the crisp air. I love the colors that Mother Nature has on display and I love getting
organized. Maybe it is because I live in the Upper Midwest where we often have to hunker down for winter. It is like a nesting urge takes over.
I have been making apple crisp with the apples that we are receiving from friends and neighbors. I have already made homemade soup three times in the last two weeks – sure signs for me that fall is here. Snow will be here before we know it. These are a few of the things that I like to get done and taken care of before the snow flies.
E Flip the mattresses: A great way to extend the life of a mattress is to make sure that it gets even wear and tear by flipping it. Doing so ensures that your bed doesn’t all of a sudden become one where you have an outline of your body when you roll out in the morning.
E Change or clean your furnace filter: Some filters need to be replaced monthly and some less frequently. Save money on your heating and cooling costs by making sure you have a clean filter as your furnace and air conditioner will run more efficiently.
E Schedule the carpets to be cleaned: Carpet will last much longer if you schedule regular cleanings. Did you know that a majority of household dust comes in from the bottom of your shoes. So if you want to cut down on dust in your home, have everyone leave their shoes out of the house.
E Check the smoke detectors: A reminder is often given that the changing of the time in the spring and fall is also a good time to check those smoke detectors batteries. Grab a step stool and make your rounds around the house. Grab a kid with a stick – just get them checked.
E Disconnect hoses: Make sure that all watering hoses are disconnected from the house and water drained from then. With temperatures getting below freezing soon you don’t want a burst pipe caused by a hose that wasn’t disconnected. Also check for leaks and either decide to repair or get rid of the hoses with leaks. Get a jump on spring!
E Winterize the lawn mower and wash and clean it for winter storage. By keeping your mower nice and clean – and its blade sharp – you’ll help extend the life of the mower. Better check that snow blower out at the same time while you are at it. We will be needing that way too soon.
E Wash the inside and outside windows of the house. Two easy tips: find a cloudy day to complete your task and use newspapers to dry the windows. They don’t leave lint behind and tend to result in streak-free windows. Also hose off the screens and store them for winter. E Get your lawn ready for winter. For me that means putting down the last round of fertilizer, getting the yard aerated and mowing the lawn short. I have found that if my lawn is short, it tends to discourage winter rodent guests from taking refuge in my grass. Get those leaves raked and put in with the compost. If you have a sprinkler system you need to get it blown out and winterized.
E Give the grill a good cleaning and make sure it is stored in a proper place for winter. That may mean disconnecting the propane tank, or it may mean disposing of the old charcoal in a safe manner. I love using Soft Scrub to clean my grill as it cuts through the grease with minimal effort.
E Check the gutters. Sadly I live in a part of Fargo where our trees don’t grow tall enough to have our gutters filled with leaves. I pray that day will come soon, but we have been in our house for 12 years now and I am still waiting.
Now that you have all of the yard and house work done for the fall, pack a picnic and go on a bike ride or go for a drive to enjoy the brilliant display that Mother Nature has on display for us.
Ms. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger, operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.mssimplicity.com. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.