Winter is Coming
Ahhhhh Fall. The wondrous time of year that signifies the transition from hot to cold weather, from stressed out and tired parents to back-to-school freedom, from shorts and sandals to leggings, boots, and sweaters. Some of you are probably digging your heels in, cursing that the very best time of year is almost over mumble grumble while others are merrily skipping toward ski season and snowball fights. Whichever one you may be, there’s no denying winter’s arrival (i.e. fall cleanup) requires a bit of work.
As the summer comes to a close, many of you are probably tallying a fall cleanup task list in the back of your mind. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably trying to figure out exactly how long you can put this list off. Tires don’t have to be changed until November-ish… Wardrobe can be switched sometime in late September/early October… Endlessly raking leaves starts sometime in mid-September… All of it comes AFTER the kids are back to school and settled (if this applies to you of course), which is in itself a hefty task list.
I’m going to help you out here. One of my all time favourite rules when it comes to organizing is to ‘start small’. Those two little words are so profound, I suggest you get them tattooed on your bicep or something. Think about it: losing weight, starting a new hobby, drinking tequila… Starting small keeps us from getting completely overwhelmed and throwing in the towel. It also applies to prepping for colder weather.
If you’ve got a memory like I do (or lack thereof if we’re being honest), you’ll find setting reminders for yourself to be very helpful. Lucky for us, there’s an app for that! Most smartphones have the ability to schedule reminders, even if it’s just in your calendar app. I like to set reminders for household/lawn/domestic chores on Saturdays or Sundays because I know I’ll have at least a bit of spare time for them.
Fall Cleanup Calendar
Here is an easy to manage guide to fall cleanup, including (roughly) recommended reminder times to set in your phone:
- September 23
- Clean off, dry out and put away/cover patio furniture
- Inspect furnace
- September 30
- Switch out summer clothes for winter clothes
- Drain and store outdoor hoses and turn off outdoor water supply
- October 7
- Cover air conditioning unit
- Prune shrubs and bushes
- BONUS: eat pumpkin pie. LOTS of pumpkin pie.
- October 14
- Switch out summer mats in vehicle(s) for winter mats
- Empty out soil from any outdoor clay/ceramic pots
- October 21
- Clear out gutters (tip: use a plastic spatula!)
- Cover and store BBQ/grill
- October 28
- Put winter tires on vehicle(s)
- Fill up windshield washer fluid with low temperature fluid
Remember, the dates provided are just rough estimates based on previous seasons. They can be shifted depending on how warm/cold the current season is, but the idea is to split these tasks up. When you only have a couple items to take care of in a week, winterizing your home/vehicle(s) seems far less daunting.
Give these tips a shot. You may miss a week or two, but just recognize and respect that life happens and that’s okay! Just pick up where you left off. If you’re still feeling like there’s a bit too much going on, give us a shout.
Enjoy the last weeks of summer and warmth! Oh, and this relevant cat humour, as always: