Summer has slipped away and the holidays are just around the corner. Use the lull of fall to tackle some cleaning around the house. Completing these cleaning projects now will save you time and money later on.
Pantry Clean-Out and Reorganization
The fall is a great time to clean out your pantry. With the busy holiday season around the corner, taking the time to simplify your pantry will pay off when you can easily find everything while cooking your holiday meals. It will also prevent you from rebuying items you already have but can't find in the clutter.
Start by throwing out or composting any expired food and donating any unexpired and unopened food that your family will not use. If you are removing a lot of one item, make a mental note to buy less of it on future shopping trips. Then remove all of the remaining food so that you can vacuum and clean the shelves and establish a system when you put the food back in.
When putting the things back in the pantry, group like things together such as breakfast items, baking goods, etc. To keep food fresh longer, make sure it is stored in an airtight container. Boxed cereal comes in a bag without a zipper, and closing it with a bag clip will not result in an airtight seal so the cereal will go stale sooner. Moving it into a container like the Ultra•Seal™ 16 Cup
or 24 Cup Dry Food Container
will keep the air out and the cereal fresh. Be sure to put the items you use most often on the most accessible shelves. The items that you use more infrequently can be put in harder to reach places like high shelves. If you have deep shelves consider putting items in baskets or bins
so that you can easily reach items in the back of the shelf by removing the container. To keep young children from making a mess of your newly organized pantry, put a basket of healthy snacks where they can reach so that they can easily grab a snack without moving everything around. Keep a notepad and pen in the pantry to take note of when you (or someone else) take the last of an ingredient so it will not be forgotten on the next shopping trip.
Vents and Heating Cleanup
Giving your heating system a checkup in the fall before the cold weather rolls in will benefit you all winter long. It's a good idea to call in a professional to care for the furnace, however, you can easily take a look at your vents and intake yourself. A clean furnace and vent system can lengthen the life of your furnace and increase efficiency, resulting in lower heating bills.
Before you begin cleaning your vents, be sure the heat and AC are turned off. Start by dusting the exterior of the vent cover. Then take off the cover and carefully remove any large items in the vent such as pet toys or other things that may have fallen in. Vacuum the vent with a dust brush or crevice attachment or use a duster. If using a vacuum with an attachment you might want to tape the attachment on to prevent it from falling into the duct. Inspect the vent cover and if it is in good condition, reattach it and move onto the next vent. Loading your duster, screwdriver, paper towels and other cleaning supplies into a caddy
will allow you to move about the house with ease. Leave one compartment empty so you have a safe place to keep your screws while you clean the vents.
After you wrap up your indoor cleaning, don't forget to spend some time tidying up outside. Be sure to take in any hoses or sprinklers. If you have a hammock, take it inside to protect the fibers from the impending cold and snow. Clean and store any beach or pool toys and deflate any water floats. Put them on the side in a shed, garage or attic for next summer. The ID Box line is perfect for storing seasonal items because they come with a write on label so that you can note the contents and find your summer toys in a flash next year. With five different sizes, there is definitely a box for any item you need to store. The 25 Quart ID Box
is the perfect size for deflated pool floats. As an added bonus, the labels are compatible with dry erase markers so you can erase and re-label to store winter or spring items over the summer.
Cleaning is no fun, but taking the time now to tidy up and establish storage systems will pay off in the future when you can find things with ease. Listening to music or a podcast is a great way to distract yourself while cleaning so throw on your headphones and get cracking!