How To Have An Organized Home For Winter
We all seem to settle in for the fall and winter months.
As a culture, we hibernate.
Our homes become decorated with pine and cedar.
We often have something tasty in the oven and family members swarm our guest bedrooms.
Moving from the hot, long summer months into the cold, short winter ones is quite a change.
Re-arranging furniture during winter months to accommodate trees and decorations and people.
Others store all of their summer clothing and bring out multiple jackets to hang in the hall closet.
Maybe you have a favorite convertible or boat that needs to be stored soon in preparation for rain and snow.
Whatever the season, and wherever you live, organizing your home is sometimes a daunting task.
From a business perspective you may need to increase your homeowners insurance.
From a maternal stand point, maybe your children need new winter boots and hats.
There is a lot of responsibility when raising a family and living your life.
Let’s find out how to best organize our homes this winter.
First Things First
You probably don’t want to think about money this holiday season.
Did you know that more Americans spend money on Christmas than any other holiday?
Thanksgiving is a time for family, which also means a time for travel. Travel costs can get expensive.
But, most importantly, your own home needs coverage.
To attain the cheap homeowners insurance you need, you should do your homework.
If you live in a place where it constantly snows or pelts your roof with rain, a good homeowners policy that includes roof protection may be a good idea.
Windstorm protection policy could be useful as well.
First things first, call your insurance agent and talk about what you can do to be better prepared for winter.
To best prepare for winter, your home should be squared away.
Here are a list of things you should check on your home:
- Clean out gutters and make sure they are working properly.
- Disconnect all hoses and sources of water that you will not be using in the winter months.
- Check the weather stripping on your doors. If you see that there are gaps, fill them.
- Check you insulation. This means under your roof and in your attic. You may have holes, rips and animals may have gotten to them.
- Cut away all branches that are touching your roof. If your roof seems like it may be in danger of a falling lim, cut it and save yourself the hassle.
- If you see any leaks in your roof or have suspicion of leaks, fill and repair them. You can easily purchase the items and do this yourself.
- Check all fencing around the exterior of your property. If your fence is adjoining with a neighbors, ask them to help fix broken wood and make it sturdy for winter. One winter storm could knock out a whole fence-line.
- Wrap and insulate any pipes you have. This helps them from freezing.
- You can get an insulated blanket for your water heater as well.
- Keep the flue to your fireplace closed. Before using your fireplace in the winter months, clean it thoroughly.
- Move all furniture away from heating vents. You do not want to obstruct the heat or cause a fire.
- Make sure that your heating system is working properly. You can have it inspected by a technician.
Have a maintenance technician come out to check your water heater.
For around $100 you could have them tune it up and tell you if it needs to be replaced.
Call a contractor to take a look at your roof for you. Depending on how old it is it may need to be resealed.
Adding ventilation to your home is always a smart idea. It may not always be cheap bit it will cut down on your heating costs.
If the gaps in between your windows and doors are wider than the width of a nickel, get your caulking gun out and seal them again.
Divert water from your drains. Your water drains should drain at least 4 feet away from your foundation.
You can even divert water into barrels. Use this water in the summer dryer months to water your garden.
Taking a second look at your home before winter starts could save you a lot of hassle and money.
Organizing and Rearranging
Most of the time we procrastinate. We file things away or throw them into a pile and that pile just grows bigger and bigger.
This holiday season try organizing before the holiday rush starts.
November is a great time to clean out closets, throw out receipts and file those papers.
You may need a trash can too! Most of the time, the things we think we need to keep, we really don’t.
Have your children help you with this organizing process. You might be surprised how much they like it.
Out with the old in with the new.
When your summer bikinis are no longer in need, try storing them. Winter jackets and sweaters are bulky.
To make room for your winter clothes, try bagging up your summer ones and storing them.
You can also choose to donate some summer clothing that your children will not longer fit into.
Rubbermaid containers are a great and safe way to store extra clothes and shoes not being used.
Every 6 months try and go through your extra paper work. The Holidays are a busy time. After the holidays comes tax season.
Get a jump on it and organize that office.
This is a great time to weed through your home and throw out those unwanted papers. It may be more than papers.
Your child may have 20 markers that don’t even work!
Your husband may have 200 magazines he will never read again. Show your family how less is more and declutter.
This will clear your mind and help you have a less stressful winter.
You will probably spend about 50% more time indoors during the winter months. You want your home to be a sanctuary for your family.
Check your smoke detectors.
We cook a lot over the winter months. We use the oven most of the time. Make sure you check your smoke detectors and change the batteries.
You should also check your carbon monoxide detector while your at it.
Consider how your kitchen ventilates when cooking. Do you have a properly working fan on your oven. Do you have a window to help ventilate.
If you are having people over the last thing you want is a stinky, smoking kitchen.
Try upgrading some of your kitchen features this season.
Stock the essentials in your home.
If you haven’t been a huge fan of Costco, maybe now is the time.
It’s always nice to have an abundance of food in the house come winter.
You won’t want to make a hundred trips to the store.
Here are some essentials to keep stalked this winter:
- toilet paper
- paper towels
- paper plates
- bread (freeze the extra loafs and pull out when needed)
- medications and vitamins
- shampoo, conditioner and soap
- peanut butter and jelly
- rice, grains, barley
- canned soup
- coffee and tea
- salt, pepper, and cinnamon
- candy and dried fruit
- bottled water and sparkling water
- matches and lighters
- candles and insence
- dog and cat food
- Pancake baking mix
- a bag of cane sugar
- extra towels for guests
Here are some other items to stock up on during the winter months:
- Gasoline is always a good idea. Having an extra gallon or two in your garage in case of an emergency can’t hurt.
- Propane. If you like to barbecue in the winter, buy a couple tanks to last you through those winter months.
- Have a shovel handy. Maybe in the garage. You never know!
- A few bags of sand. Sometimes there is flooding, sometimes not, but you may want to be prepared.
- A flashlight and extra batteries. There is bound to be an outage at some point during the winter. Have your flashlights handy. Get small, cute, colorful ones for the kids. Fun games can be played with them during storms.
- Make sure you have copies of important documents in your home. You should copy your social security cards, drivers license and marriage certificates.
- Keep some extra board games and blankets accessible in case of an outage.
- Make copies of your house and car keys. Keep them together in a drawer in case someone loses theirs. Have you ever spent hours looking for your keys while trying to get to work?
Whistle While You Work
Now, some of hate cleaning, while others enjoy a thorough scrub.
Like it or not, a “not so spring” cleaning will help you jump start your holiday season.
Have your family and yourself do a whole house cleaning. Make lists of which rooms need to be done. Be specific.
Your 16 year old is far less likely to do as good of a job as you would.
Your significant other may have other plans for the day and something else on their mind. Hold them accountable and make it a family affair.
You will all appreciate a sparkling countertop when all is said and done.
Here are some examples:
Bathroom needs- toilet scrubbed (with Clorox), counter cleaned off with Mr.Clean eraser, floor mopped (with Swiffer).
Living room needs- carpet vacuumed (and under the couch), coffee table cleaned (with Windex), book shelf dusted (with Pledge).
Kitchen needs- floor cleaned (with Murphy’s Oil Soap), countertop cleaned (with Granite Cleaner), dishwasher emptied and dishes put away.
Bedrooms all need- to be vacuumed and dusted. Beds need to be made.
Garage needs- to be blown out (with leaf blower), tools organized.
Dining room needs- the table cleaned (with Murphy’s Oil Soap), the floors wiped down (with the Swiffer), and the plates taken out of the hutch and rinsed off.
Best Ways to Organize Your Closet
So we may not think of a closet as an important showcase to a home. However, during the winter months, we tend to use our closets more.
Whether it’s to hide gifts and stuff in muddy boots, closets are an underrated thing in most homes.
The best way to organize your hall closet is by labeling things. This will help your family.
You may want to add extra hangers to the inside door of your closet as well. This will add more storage.
A shoe rack or tray in the bottom will be helpful.
Adding a closet organizer or hanging shelf will add extra storage for hats and gloves.
You can also opt for a basket in the bottom to store these items.
The shelving above where your coats hang makes for a great place to put backpacks and bags.
For bedroom closets, having a professional closet organizing system is a great idea.
For a couple hundred dollars you can purchase one of these from Ikea. They help to separate clothes, shoes, ties and other accessories.
The Garage During Winter Months
The garage during winter months can be used for so many things.
Pull out the car and put in a ping pong table.
But before that, make sure you have an area available for muddy and wet boots and clothes.
How many times do you want to hang up an umbrella that is wet?
Apply a little rack in your garage for this. It will help to keep your house cleaner in the wetter months.
You may also want to purchase some outdoor/indoor rugs for the garage. Wiping off your feet or throwing off those gross boots in the garage will help with a mess.
Keep a drawer full of extra flashlights, lighters and matches int eh garage as well.
Our garages sort of turn into an extra room for the winter months.
So why not start organizing that now?
Many choose to acquire an extra small freezer or fridge to keep in the garage as well. This may come in handy for parties.
To sum it all up, you have a couple days of organizing on your hands.
But it will make your winter months run much more smoothly.
Maybe you are planning for a large gathering at Christmas.
Maybe it will just be you and the dog. Either way, take this time to prepare for erratic weather and neighbors stopping by.
From purchasing cheap homeowners insurance to bracing for a storm, you can never be too prepared.
For some of us winter is foggy beach weather. For others it is heavy snow storms. Either way, the reality is, mother nature will have her way.
You may be one who invites over the whole family for parties. Or, perhaps you like your quiet time, reading a good book with some wine.
These small steps to organizing your life this coming winter works in all facets.
From the grand entryways of a Colonial-style home, to the quaint farmhouse in the country, every house is a home to someone.
Make it feel special this season!