The Season of Autumn – Time to get organized for the long winter ahead
October can be such a beautiful month; it’s the season of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. The trees are beautiful with the leaves turning, mornings are brisk and make it so much more pleasant when going for an early walk.
October means the end of the baseball post season and hockey is ramping up. The kids are well back into their school routine and you may be planning for Thanksgiving and Halloween. Animals are preparing for the long winter ahead and plants are going dormant for the winter.
As we prepare for the winter ahead there are a number of things that we need to do to get ready:
Lawn & Garden care:
Prepare your yard for winter by mulching the leaves that fall and leaving them on the grass; they provide nutrients and help retain moisture. Apparently, they help with choking out the weeds but you would not know that from my lawn! Extra mulch can be spread on your garden 2 to 3 inches deep, or around shrubs and trees and if you have too much you can bring it the organic drop off free of charge. I prefer to cut back my perennial plants in the spring, however I know that a lot of people do it in the fall.
Take the time to put your lawn furniture and ornaments away for the winter to keep them looking great for next season and protect them from damage. If you don’t have a shed or garage, make sure it’s in a fairly sheltered location, off the ground and wrapped tightly with a tarp, make sure the weight of the snow won’t damage the tarp or furniture. If you take care of the furniture and equipment it will last for years and that includes your barbeque if you don’t use it in the winter. Plus, when it comes time to donate or sell, it will be in good shape.
Garage/shed clean out:
The fall is a great time to review what you need and what you can get rid off. Dispose of those old paint cans, aerosol cans and donate items as you can, especially outgrown sports equipment. We have so many kids in need in our local community. Put the lawn furniture away, hang the bicycles and make sure you can reach the Christmas decorations and don’t forget to give the garage or shed a good sweep, you will appreciate it come spring. If stored away, the majority of your tools may not be accessible come winter, so be sure to locate the necessary ones within reach for the winter, otherwise you might be trying to shovel your way to the shed or perhaps more likely buying another one from the local hardware store.
Fall, like the spring for a lot of people, is the time to switch out your fall/winter wardrobe for your summer wardrobe. Now is the time to purge those summer clothes you have not touched this season and also eliminate the fall/winter clothes that either don’t fit or are no longer your style. Pay them forward, someone else will enjoy them, its OK to let go. As written by Marie Kondo in “the life-changing magic of tidying up”, the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing, she describes in great detail how you should fold your clothes and store them in your closets and chests of drawers…only keep items that spark joy in your life!
While on the subject of closets, how is your front closet looking? The one that houses your winter coats boots, hats and mitts…I bet maybe it’s also overdue for a good clear out. How about bringing those items to a local consignment shop or donating those no longer used items to families in need?
Thanksgiving with family is a great Canadian tradition. Whether your family is large or small, it is a wonderful time for reflection on how lucky we are to be living in a peaceful land with such amazing diversity. If you are the cook, start planning your menu early. Don’t wait until the weekend of your celebration to try and pull everything together. Write things down, delegate to family members to help with shopping or to bring an appetizer or dessert, clean the house, decorate the house and yard and set the table before your party day. Prepare as much as you can ahead of time so that you can enjoy the day with family. Take your partner, children or grandchildren on a walk with you to pick leaves, acorns or pine cones to decorate your dinner table on party day while your turkey, ham or roast is in the oven.
Enjoy the day!
Halloween is another great evening…so few children go door to door anymore, it makes me sad. I remember making an outfit out of what we could find at home and we always carried a UNICEF box, but I understand that times are different now and new traditions are rolling out. Keep your eye on sales for candy – they can range dramatically!
Well, another month is gone and I wish everyone a wonderful fall and stress-free Thanksgiving with your families. I look forward to seeing all of the children out on All Hallows’ Eve.
I thank you for taking the time to read my article and would love to hear from you. Please contact me directly if you have any questions or queries!
BTW – If you are interested in reading “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo it is available from the North Bay Public Library according to their website, I also have a copy in my lending library that I would be happy to lend.