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October Harvest Moon

Welcome to the top 5 organizing ideas for October presented by Groom Your Room

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Did you know that the entire first week of October is dedicated to getting organized? What a coo for all of us who are ready to tackle the chores of fall!! Be on the lookout for sales in your local home shops for organizing items and seasonal items to help you enjoy getting organized.

Jumping right in, here is the first item idea:

Item #1: Windows, again. We did this at winter’s end last year to help usher in the spring and all it’s sunshiny glory. Now that the summer has come to an end, if you went through some rain storms or worse you probably can see how dirty the windows have become. While the weather isn’t too cold yet, open the windows, let in all that fall fresh air and let’s get to cleaning. A fresh snowfall allows light into the house and that light makes any dreary snow day feel more hopeful. Most of the days of late fall and winter where I live are very gray. When snow falls, having clean windows allows that sunshine reflected light to pour into the house and that “extra” light is very therapeutic for me. Click here for tips on the best ways to clean windows without attracting more dirt.

Item 2: Blanket washing day. Whatever day you choose, bring out those winter blankets that get used while reading a great book, or wrapped around us while sitting by a fire, or just watching a great movie on TV. Turn over the summer light weights of covers, quilts, blankets and comforters and bring in the heavy hitters. Click here for tips on how to clean any kind of blanket. I’ll be losing a few of my blankets this fall when my daughter moves out on her own for the first time. (It’s a great time to go shopping for some new blankets and throws).

Item 3: This is a big item on our top 5 list. October 9th is Fire Prevention Day so let’s talk about what we can do to not only prevent fires in and around our homes but also how to prepare for the fires we will need to keep us warm during the cold winter months. To help get fires started for warmth and protection, click here for great tips, tricks and how-to’s.

In the meantime, chopping small logs of wood is a great idea for October. Working up a sweat on a crisp fall day while at the same time preparing your wood piles for the fire pit, fireplace or wood burning stove. Make sure your axe blades are sharp and ready to go as well as a safe, off the ground area for storing the wood you worked so hard to chop. And don’t forget kindling wood to help get those fires started. Some people like to use fire starter logs and that’s fine, just make sure what you buy doesn’t have harmful chemicals in them. For storage of your firewood whether indoors or out, click here to get the most up to date tips.

When it comes to fire safety let’s talk about the smoke alarms in your house. October is a superior month for installing and/or checking those alarms. According to the Red Cross we should be testing our smoke alarms every single month but sadly not all of us do that. So, while the idea of keeping warm on a cold day is upon us, check the batteries in all your smoke alarms this month. Now would be a great time to check on anything that runs on battery power such as flashlights, alarm clocks, cell phones, lanterns, radios, etc. in case of power outages and check to make sure you have enough candles around the house and candle holders in case of an emergency. Also, part of fire safety is to talk to your family and create an escape route that can be drawn out on paper and hung up in each bedroom and strategically throughout the house to help everyone get out safely and unharmed in case of a fire. If possible, create a fire proof bin that holds items for such an emergency that can be easily taken with you on your way out of the house. Never go back inside of a burning house. The National Fire Protection Association has these PDF sheets that you can print out with safety tips and checklists. For helping children better understand fire safety click here.

Item 4: Inspection time. Things to inspect before the winter comes: Lawn mower and blades, BBQ grates and connections, furnaces, hot water heaters, oil tanks, air conditioners before you close them for the long winter, dryer exhaust vents, chimney flues and wood stoves, humidifiers, vent filters, vacuum bags, refrigerator water lines and/or filters, stove vents, screens on windows and doors. These are just a few items that will all help to keep the closed air clean and purified and help keep good air flow throughout the house. Click here for tips on how to do a proper inspection. And before any big snowfall hits, check your snow throwers and gears as well as your shovels and salt/sand storage.

Item 5: While house doors were open letting in that great summer breeze and warm air lots of our light fixture covers collected dust, dirt and bugs, including the lights on the outside of the house. Now is a great time to clean all of those covers to allow for clean, bright light to help illuminate the darker days of winter. The brighter the light the happier the household. Click here for tips on the best ways to clean light fixtures and bulbs.

Need just one more activity before you move on to winter?

**Don’t forget to take great care of your outdoor plants, shrubs, flowers and garden. This article might help you to prepare your outdoor greenery for the long, cold winter.

“After the keen still days of September, the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth...The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the color shouted and sang around her...In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.” ― Elizabeth George Speare, The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Call to Action

What excites you about the fall?

In what ways is October the best month of the year?

How do you prepare for winter?

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