It’s hard to believe that it is already mid-October. Is anybody else wondering where the year has gone?
Happily there is so much to love about the return of crisp, cool days: pumpkin lattes, football and supercharged productivity. Yes, it is true: Many people enjoy a real burst of productivity before the holiday season settles in and overwhelms normal routines. If you’re hoping to be one of them but haven’t started yet, have no fear. We have put together five easy autumn-ready ideas that will help you get organized and stay that way through the new year.
1. Swap out your wardrobe. Shorts, swimwear and sandals take up valuable closet and bureau space. Make room for your family’s cool weather staples by gathering up summer clothes, labeling the bins or boxes and relegating them to the attic or storage area until temperatures rise again. As you swap out summer and fall clothes, you’ll probably notice outfits that your kids have outgrown, or clothes that you or your spouse never wear anymore. Reduce clutter by donating these clothes to a local charity. Take them to Goodwill, a local church or drop box on the same day you do the cleaning; don’t let them linger around the house.
2. Get your foyer ready. Cooler weather requires lots of accessories. To avoid having jackets and muddy boots strewn around your home, clear out your entryway or foyer and set up some ground rules with your family about keeping their accessories in one area. Installing coat hooks or a shoe rack adds extra organization.
3. Tidy up your home office. Cooler weather means spending more time indoors. Get your business and personal paperwork under control by going through your files and shredding anything you no longer need. Scan older documents to create a digital archive on your hard drive, which takes up much less space than bulky papers. If you’re not sure which papers to keep and which ones to toss, use the free “How Long to Keep Financial Records Checklist” available on GetButtonedUp.com/Tools.
4. Engage in some productive outdoor cardio. The beautiful colors of fall soon turn into a mess on your lawn. Fortunately, raking leaves is a great way to fit in some meaningful cardio exercise and enjoy the cooler weather. When you rake, remember that the leaves can go into a compost bin and become mineral-rich mulch for your springtime gardening plans. If you haven’t raked in awhile, don’t forget to wear gloves to avoid blisters.
5. Turn chores into fun outings. Despite the busyness of the season, fall is also a great time to bond with your family and friends. Decorate for Halloween by heading to the pumpkin patch with your kids. Prepare for holiday cooking by taking a trip to the apple orchard with your girlfriends. Organization does not have to come at the cost of fun and friendships.
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The writers are co-founders of Buttoned Up, a company dedicated to helping stressed women get organized. Send ideas and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more columns, go to shns.com.