Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fall Cleaning Chores

It's been a mild, temperate, fall, but I'm not fooled. I'm a lifelong New England girl and I know how quickly things can turn. You get lulled into a sense of needing nothing more than jeans and a light sweatshirt, needing neither the heat nor the A/C, and being comfortable inside and out. Yet, in just a few hours, you can suddenly find yourself shivering and grabbing extra blankets, and finding that you're searching for boots and gloves while running out the door.

One day you're watching kids ride bikes in shorts and t-shirts, the next you're bundling up and hoping that's not sleet falling from the gray sky. Welcome to fall in New England. It's mostly beautiful, but it can be infuriating too.

So because I've been burned so many times, climbing up to the attic to retrieve mittens at 6:30 in the morning or digging for an ice scraper, I make it an effort to get all my ducks in a row and mittens in the basket by Columbus Day weekend. This means:

 1. Switching out everyone's summer to winter clothes. I leave out a few warm weather outfits, and everyone has a few year round transitional pieces, but generally speaking, all the shorts go away and the sweaters come out. This means that the girls get to do some fashion shows while they try things on and we make a donation pile and a consignment pile.

2. Doing a toy purge. Some outdoor toys are weather beaten and need to be retired, some are simply outgrown. As long as I'm purging clothes, it's a good time to purge clothes.

3. A "spring cleaning" level clean. This means I do the pantry, the laundry closet, the coat closet, the linen closet, the trunk of my car, and any other nooks and crannies that get occasional attention. I have a regular cleaning schedule, both for the house and the car, but this is more in depth than that.

4. Pulling out our "seasonal sundries". In the spring and summer, our entry hall chest contains beach towels, goggles, tennis racquets, golf shoes, and the like. In the winter, this box holds boots, mittens, snow clothes, and things we'll need once the winter bears down on us.

The every day stuff may bog me down, but spring and fall are my "fresh start" cleans and always leave me with a sense of great satisfaction!

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