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Autumn Recharge Quest


Autumn Recharge Quest title graphic

The kids are back in school, so it’s time to reclaim and restore your house before colder weather settles in for the long haul. We’re here to give you ideas to help in every area of your home. The quest for tidy doesn’t have to be mighty if you take it one space at a time. Grab a sweater and a cup of tea, and let’s go!


{Disclosure: Links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.}

 

Outdoors

Is your pool or boat closed up for the season? Make sure that your pool toys, floats, and life jackets have a place to live for the winter in your shed, garage, or basement. You won’t be needing them for a year, so utilize upper shelves or high wall space. We like bins for toys and wall hooks for floats and life jackets. Be sure to label the bins so your items are easy to find once it gets warm again.

bins for storing summer items

Your days of caring for the lawn are numbered!


You’ll hopefully get a bit of a break before you need to start worrying about snow removal. Disconnect your hose so the spigot doesn’t freeze over the winter, and put it in its proper home in your garage or shed. Empty the gas from your lawnmower and weed-wacker. Clean your grill, and get it under cover!

hose home

You’ll find me on the porch- I mean, couch.


Do you have patio or porch furniture that needs to be brought in? Protect it with furniture covers to keep it in good shape. Unless you have hardy plants like mums or zinnias, it’s time for the porch plants to come inside.

patio furniture covers

Back to school = back to systems!


Do your kids’ backpacks, school papers, pictures, and artwork have a home? If your family doesn’t have a designated drop zone and a designated homework zone, your life will feel a lot less chaotic if you establish them. Tailor these spaces to the size of your kids. Preschoolers need reachable hooks and cubbies, while older kids can utilize taller closets and cabinets. Make sure that each child has their own space to put their things and do their work. We like installing metal racks on the wall for paper storage.


file bins for wall storage

If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening.


Do your family members need an at-a-glance visual of everyone’s activities? Consider creating a command center in your kitchen, pantry, or mudroom that contains the family calendar. We like whiteboards because they’re so easy to personalize. Use different colored markers and give each member of the family their own color. This command center can also house a list for needed groceries and supplies, a chore list, and a place to keep permission slips and coupons.

dry erase calendar

Clothes make the person, and the person is about to be cold.


Are your winter layers still in storage? It’s time to bring them to the forefront of your closet! But please don’t do this without going through them first. Ask yourself three questions when determining whether a piece of clothing is a keep or a let-go:

  1. Does it fit well?

  2. Does it make you feel good?

  3. Is it still in style?

If any of these questions merit a “no,” it’s time to pass the item along to someone else. (Now, not in three months!) You need to go through this process with your kids and their winter gear as well. Track down that heavy coat, the snow pants, the hats, the gloves, and both boots for each child! There’s nothing worse than being that parent when the first snow hits whose kid’s feet are jammed into boots two sizes too small and they’re wearing high-water snow pants with both knees ripped out and one glove.

winter accessories hanger

Speaking of the colder weather...


Now is the time to get your furnace checked to make sure it’s in good working order. And prepare yourself for the germ brigade! If your offspring haven’t already brought home every virus known to man, they soon will. You need to stock up on sick supplies! If you have a bag of cough drops from 2009, this is us giving you permission to toss those and buy new ones. Check the expiration dates of all of your OTC meds and update if necessary. Depending on your space, you can also use a lazy susan or a tiered riser.


tips for medicine storage

Speaking of expiration dates...


Have you been paying attention to how old your makeup is? This is some gross food for thought: it doesn’t really matter if you cleanse your face if you’re just going to rub bacteria-ridden makeup all over it! Here is the shelf life for certain products:

  • mascara- three months

  • eye shadow- three to six months

  • foundation, liquid highlighter, concealer- six months to one year

  • brow pencil, eyeliner, lipstick, lip liner, lip gloss- one year

  • nail polish- one to two years

  • blush, powder- two years.

Do you know what this means? If you’ve been married for 15 years, it’s time to throw your wedding makeup away! (How did we get inside your head?!) Something else to consider: your skin tone is about to fade from sun-kissed to hibernation. You may need to switch to a lighter color of foundation.

makeup storage

And, finally... let’s not neglect the heart of the home.


The kitchen needs to switch over into winter mode, too. That stuff that’s been sitting on the top of your fridge? Clean it off! That’s nothing compared to what’s IN your fridge. No one is going to eat those last few leftover kalamata olives from Uncle Dave’s birthday celebration. We promise nothing bad will happen if you toss them. Check the freezer, too. If you can’t identify it, you’re not going to eat it! The pantry is also begging for your attention. Cans of seven year old black beans, be gone! You know what else needs to go? Tupperware lids that have no matching containers. Go on, get! That problem can go right in the trash.

tupperware lid storage

You made it! Your Autumn Recharge Quest is complete!


OK, we know you haven’t really done most of this stuff. But at least we got you thinking about it. Some of these tasks may feel really overwhelming, and that’s why professional organizers exist. Don’t be afraid to give us a call if you need to bring in the experts. The life of our company is to make your life easier!


To help make things easier for you, we've created a handy-dandy checklist! Print this out and complete your Autumn Recharge Quest today!

Autumn Recharge Quest
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