Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall Cleaning and De-Cluttering

With the fall season upon us, now is the time to do some seasonal cleaning. For me, fall is the time of year when I like to clean out the closets, organize the little areas that I may have overlooked over the summer season. I like to think of fall as a "Back to ... Organizing, Cleaning, Sorting, De-Cluttering" - you fill in the blank.

Below you will find some ideas to help get you started. These ideas are for the beginning organizer or even the seasoned organizer.

1. Now is the perfect time to clean out your closets. Out of the closet should come all those summer/spring clothes that you did NOT wear. Also, sort through your fall/winter selection - KDRT: Keep, Donate, Recycle (into rags or if you are crafty, make something new), or Toss.

2. Winterize Your Wardrobe. Take inventory of your winter coats. What needs to be repaired (zippers, hems, etc), cleaned, etc? Do the coats, snowpants, etc even fit? Again use the KDRT method. This is a great way to donate those winter coats to a local "winter coat drive". Also, hats, mittens, gloves, scarves: do you have a pair? Are they in good shape? Do they need to be replaced?

3. Clean your windows. Fall is a beautiful time of the year, especially if you live in an area where the leaves are changing colors. Don't you want to see the beautiful colors through nice clean shiny windows? Are you going to be hanging fall decorations or decorating for the holiday season, this is a great way to allow others to really see your decorations too.

4. Old Toys. This is a great way to go through all the toys that your children no longer play with or they have outgrown. Donate toys that are in good condition to an organization that accepts "gently used" toys - maybe a local daycare or church. Missing pieces or parts? Perfect time to toss it. Another reason why is because the Holiday buying season will be here before you know it and it's nice to have ideas on what they will want and what toys/games that they do play. If your child is younger, you may want to allow him or her to choose another toy for their generosity.

5. Outside Cleaning. This includes storing away the bikes, lawn mower, gardening tools or other items that will no longer be needed once the snow starts falling down. Put away the kids swimming pool and other outdoor toys. Hose down your garbage cans and recycling bin too. Store the patio furniture. Make a day out of this with hubby and the kids with the promise of a fall walk in the woods or a matinee movie.

6. Organize and Take Stock of your Food Pantry. How many bottles of ketchup or mustard do you really need? Do you need to refresh your supply of tomato sauce - soup season is upon us. Make a list of items that you need for holiday baking or cooking and when the item or items go on sale, you will be ready to make your purchases.

7. Start a List. You will want a list of items to purchase for the holiday season including gift giving. Having a list that is handy, you can shop for items that you find on sale. This will also eliminate impulsive (expensive) buying.

8. Start Decorating. Do you love Halloween? Maybe you host the Thanksgiving dinner? Start decorating your house. You do not have to have elaborate (again expensive) decorations. A few candles with fall accents, hang pumpkins that your children have colored or decorated in the windows, add a few fall colored inexpensive items like placemats or coasters will all add to the ambience of Fall or Halloween.

Have other ideas for fall cleaning, organizing and de-cluttering, please leave me a comment. Tomorrow, you will get the chance to view our Halloween tree.

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