Who the heck feels like doing SPRING cleaning? Come Spring, we are all ready to jump outside into that long lost warmth of sun and enjoy ourselves. NOW is the time to do those tedious tasks – Autumn cleaning! The weather is still pleasant and cooperative enough, and, with the threat of (gulp) winter approaching sooner than any of us might like to think, it’s a time to run down the checklist and prepare our homes for the inevitable. And here IS that checklist . . . .
Inside the house, do a thorough cleaning. Wipe down trim, baseboards, in corners, everything. Clean windows, inside and out. Wash upholstery, carpets, and window treatments. If you have a mattress that requires occasional turning – do it. While you’re at it, wash all of the mattress covers and pillows, too.
Why do all of this cleaning and “nesting?” Don’t most of us spend more time indoors in the winter? Looking OUT of the windows? If you are going to be, quite literally, nesting in the coming months, you might as well make it an enjoyable and healthy place to be.
There’s also a lot of family-gathering holidays coming up, and that undoubtedly means a lot of cooking. And eating. So take some time to clean out the refrigerator, clean out the pantry, (check those freshness dates!), and organize a bit. For safety’s sake, vacuum out behind the refrigerator, clean out the oven, toaster oven, coffee makers, dryer vents, and appliances. Clean all of those baking pans now, so they’ll be at the ready for holiday baking. And don’t forget to clean off light fixtures. The lack of light during the short, cooler days ahead can be depressing enough. Clean light fixtures can at least provide some pleasant indoor lighting. And, of course, there’s the obvious – have your furnace or heater, and fireplace, serviced NOW . . . . not when the first frosty day hits and it’s too late.
Turning focus to outside, try to do all of these things before the weather becomes too uncooperative. Decide what is staying outside, and use tarps or covers to protect it. Decide what is going into storage, and, even if you’re not ready to bring it in just yet, make a place for it in the garage or wherever it is going to be. If you have wooden swing sets, patio furniture, swings, etc. that need to be painted/sealed for the weather, do it now in the pleasant weather. Check seals around windows and doors so that you won’t get caught unawares by the first gusty drafts of cold. Check, and, if need be, replace weather stripping on doors for the same reason. Bring in hose, clean gutters, and, obviously, clean yard of debris. Easier said than done, true . . . . but better now than later, when the mounds of leaves have become soggy and mushy from hiding beneath snow all winter.
Then . . . . relax. You can’t stop winter from coming. Many have tried. But if you use the next few weeks of Autumn to prepare, winter might not seem quite so mincing. And home will seem a lot more comforting a place to be. Just don’t tell the relatives. Otherwise, when they come out for the holidays, they might not want to leave. And “the nest” can only peacefully accommodate so many.