Fall is a magical time of year: the leaves turn fiery yellows and reds, the air smells like cinnamon and baked apples, and everyone is looking forward to the upcoming holiday season. Yet, if your home isn’t properly prepared, fall can also be a new kind of nightmare: Coughs and colds, muddy footprints, piles of cold-weather clothing, and more can transform any living space into a disaster zone.
If this is your first autumn in your new home, you might need to make some updates to survive the season. Here are a few genius ideas to keep your home looking beautiful throughout the cold months.
Find Storage Space to Hide Summer Away
A few weeks after the weather turns, you might desperately wish for spring and summer to return, but if you are smart, you will hide the warm season stuff away at the beginning of fall and keep it in storage until April. Fall and winter require quite a bit of paraphernalia, and if your home is already cluttered by the accoutrements of spring and summer, your space will be messy and unmanageable for months.
Though your closets might seem like prime real estate for summer storage, the truth is you will need all the closet space you can get for your bulky winter coats, heavy boots, and other cold-weather necessities. A far better storage spot is your garage ― but if you are like most American families, your garage might already be packed tight with other things. The beginning of fall is the perfect time to sift through your garage and get rid of stuff you don’t need or haven’t actually used in years.
Almost everything you have can be donated to a good cause; even unused and old vehicles like cars and boats can go to certain charities, freeing up much-needed storage space. Maybe even enough to fit a car normally relegated to the driveway inside and out of the elements. You only need to clear out enough space for your summer gear, but if you get on a roll, you might as well clean up everything.
Use Ceiling Hooks to Prevent Piles
It’s human nature to dump coats, scarves, bags, and more at the door after a particularly blustery fall day. However, piles of clothing and accessories aren’t the most attractive home décor. Ceiling hooks are incredibly easy to install, and they fit beautifully below wall-mounted shelves, bannisters, and other easy-to-reach entryway spaces. Soon enough, your family will get in the habit of hanging rather than dumping into piles, which will keep their stuff (and your home) fresh throughout fall.
Build Personal Cubbies to Cut Clutter
If hooks won’t work in your home, you can try another simple clutter-buster perfect for fall: cubbies. You can assign each family member a personal cubby where he or she can stash any and all gear that would otherwise end up on the floor. Cubbies are an excellent solution because you can make almost anything into an entryway storage space. For example, old school lockers can be repainted and fashioned into cold-weather cubbies, as can bookshelves or even simple baskets or buckets slid beneath a hallway bench. The cubby possibilities are endless and adaptable for your fall feelings.
Keep Warm Stuff Close to Fend off Illness
It’s no secret that fall begins the cold and flu season. Though science has shown that temperature alone isn’t the cause of disease, being cold certainly doesn’t help you fend off seasonal bugs. Throughout fall, as the days get shorter and the thermostat drops, you should consider placing warm, fuzzy items around the house in convenient baskets. Slippers by the bed, blankets by the couch, and mittens by the garage are all excellent ideas.
Organize Your Garden for Quick Clean-Up
It’s crucial that you devote time to cleaning and protecting your yard during the fall because without proper preparation, your beautiful outdoor space could wither and die during the harsh winter months. You should bring your seeds inside your home and store them in an airtight container. You should be diligent about raking your leaves so they don’t compact and suffocate your grass later in the season. Finally, you should collect and organize your gardening tools; you can use a carpenter’s nail pouch to keep shovels and sheers neat and tidy.
Know Your Home’s Wiring and Piping to Act Fast in Emergencies
An emergency is the last thing you want during the fall and winter, when the outdoors is unbearably wet and cold, but unfortunately, emergencies are more likely to happen in inclement weather. To avoid becoming cold and wet, you should have a handy guide to your home’s wiring, pipes, and ductwork, so you can fix problems before they become catastrophes.
Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication.