I love autumn. I love the cool breezes, the crispness in the air, the colors of the landscape, the spectacular sunsets, the evenings closing in and all the wonderful comfort food which is such a big part of this season. It all contrives to make me very happy.
What makes me even happier is to experience all this coziness in a clean and well maintained home. To hunker down for winter there are some fall tasks to be handled and I find fall cleaning to be as cathartic as spring cleaning. Even more so because it involves making room for sweaters, boots blankets, and pumpkins. Throw in a wood fire and I am just blissful.
I have devloped a few categories and some chores within each to be accomplised over the next several weekends and free moments to ensure that as we approach winter and it's busy holiday season that the Bonny Blue House is as cozy and comfortable as we can make it, let me share it with you.
- Vaccuum, add chemicals and close the pool.
- Wash down the patio furniture with a bleach water solution and cover.
- Scrub the gas grill and cover.
- Scrub the kettle grill and store in the shed.
- Bring the wood rack on the deck and stack with wood, order another two cords.
- Bring the generator on to the deck and secure (people steal them).
- Power wash and seal the deck.
- Pull the dead plants and veggie plants and toss them in the compost.
- Pull out/purchase some fall decorations for the front yard.
- Rake, rake, rake, rake.
- Wash all of the windows inside and out.
- Clean the carpets and area rugs.
- Change the curtains from the lighter to the heavier.
- Bring out and wash the heavier blankets and flannel sheets.
- Put cozy throws on the chairs and sofas.
- Check to see if we need any new sheets, blankets or pillows.
- Stock up on candles and batteries for the flashlights.
- Buy oil for the hurricane lamps.
- Clean out the extra freezer to prep for delivery of our half cow.
- Pull out the fall decorations and spruce up the house.
- Check the smoke alarm batteries.
- Store the summer table linens and bring out and wash the fall/winter ones.
- Vaccuum behind the fridge, dryer and oven.
- Stock up on school and art supplies.
- Dust and thoroughly clean the ceiling fans and light fixtures.
- Pack up any summer clothes that are in good condition but will not fit anyone here. Donate to Project Haiti.
- Pack up any clothes we will use again and store.
- Bring out all the winter clothes, sort by size and donate what won't be used.
- Check on the snow boot situation, do necessary shopping.
- Check out the winter coat situation, do necessary shopping.
- Same with mittens, gloves, hats and pajamas.
- Check Dave's work wardrobe, he usually needs some new things by now.
- Clean out the pantry closet, wipe shelves and restock. Toss anything gross or expired.
- Dust on top of the cabinets, change decor to reflect the season.
- Thoroughly clean fridge and freezer.
- Wash down and beeswax cabinets.
- Change filters in the oven fans.
- Stock pantry with bulk items for baking.
- Restock bulk spices.
- Plan a trip to pick apples and pumpkins.
- Make a batch (or two) of Irish cream.
- Start making stock with all the bones in the freezer.
- Change menu plans to reflect seasons. Ask everyone for their favorites.
- Buy some brandy, it goes well with a fire :).
- Review hand washing procedures with the children. Emphasize the importance of being clean.
- Same with coughing and sneezing procedures.
- Check multivitamin situation, stock up as needed.
- Replenish elderberry syrup, vitamin C, zinc and eucalyptus.
- Check that the heating pads are in good order.
- Same for the humidifiers. Replace as needed.
- Stock up on medicinal teas.
- Toss all the toothbrushes and buy new ones. Keep a few extra to replace when someone is ill.
This list is by no means exhaustive and is particular to my family and my part of the country. For example, the storm supplies are because we seem so apt to get hurricanes around here the last few years as well a many nor'easters and blizzards. It's as well to be prepared.
Not everything gets accomplished but I find that having a list helps keep us on track and lets us plan for what we can accomplish.
Do you have a seasonal clean-up list?