Like it or not, the pre-holiday season is here. Time to make a list and check it twice of all things that need to get done this fall to avoid stress as the holiday season approaches!
Sort through and weed out your collection of Halloween costumes. This time of year may typically be the only time you open up those bins. If you’re still saving little Johnny’s Spiderman costume that has been outgrown for years — it’s time to pass it on to a friend or relative with a small child. Many nursery schools and day-care centers also accept old costume donations.
Reorganize just those costumes you still use (like basic black capes or witches hats) or those costumes you can still pass down to a younger child in your home. October is the month to pick up Halloween color coded bins. Black and orange containers are available everywhere, but only this month. Label a large bin “Costumes” and organize the costumes inside by using jumbo size zip-close bags, with either a picture of the costume from the original packaging, a photo of you or someone wearing the costume, or a descriptive label of what’s inside. You can use basic office file folders as labeled dividers between all the costumes.
Containerize all other Halloween accessories and decor now, since chances are, you won’t be looking at your Halloween stuff after this month. Put like items together (such as pumpkin carving tools, stage make-up, decorative tabletop scarecrows, etc.) in appropriate sized bins and label.
Lighten up your winter closets by re-organizing your sweaters. Keep them out on open shelving within your closet so you can see and select them with ease. Remember the one-in one-out rule of organizing: If you buy a new sweater, you must toss an old one.
Break out the ol’ crockpot! Winter is on its way. Days are getting shorter. Time to wrap your family around the dinner table with warm comfort foods. By keeping the crockpot on your counter throughout the fall and winter season, you are more apt to use it, and save time. Even frozen meats can be thrown in with veggies in the morning and slow cook to give you a homemade meal when you get home from work. Easy peasy! Or pick one day a week (whatever is your busiest) and make that your weekly crockpot day.
Create a family meal plan. Meal planning doesn’t have to be a chore. Simply choose 10 meals you enjoy making and your family enjoys eating and just rotate them. Or post a list on the fridge and break down your meal planning by the days of the week: Monday is Chicken day, Tuesday is Crockpot meal day, Wednesday is Pasta day, Thursday is beef, Friday is fish, and maybe make Saturday or Sunday a day for takeout, eat out or a day to try a new recipe. Be creative. Put your recipes on cards, with the shopping list for ingredients listed on the reverse side to simplify trips to the market.
Plant your spring garden bulbs NOW. Try to get them in before Halloween if you want to see those daffodils and tulips come springtime!
Check smoke detectors. Remember, when we change our clocks back in couple of weeks (Nov. 3), also change the batteries in your home smoke detectors.
Get a jump on the December holiday season. Make the photo studio appointment for your family card photo now. Double up on meal recipes, to freeze some for extra meals you might need in a pinch come busy December. Most meals, even cookies, freeze well for up to three months. And start putting together your holiday gift list now. A productive and well-organized fall will lead you into a less stressful winter!