(StatePoint) With the changing seasons, there are many things you can do to keep your home running smoothly and prepare for cooler months.
It takes only a weekend to get your house ready for the coming months and a few tips can keep things well-maintained:
Stay Warm and Bright
Before the weather turns, check windows and doors to make sure they seal properly. If not, re-caulk any openings and install weather-stripping. Doing so will save money on heating and costly future repairs.
During the winter months we get less daylight and keep lights on more often. To compensate, install energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs, which come in a variety of colors ranging from warmer tones that are like incandescent bulbs to cool blue "daylight" colors. They also last up to ten times longer than regular bulbs.
Deodorize Your Home
Baking soda goes a long way in removing odors from kitchen appliances. Place two or three tablespoons in the bottom of your dishwasher and let it sit overnight. When you next run it, odors wash away. Or you can invest in a self-cleaning dishwasher, which will save you time all year round.
In order to ensure your beds are snuggly in the cooler months, air out winter bedding, such as flannel sheets and down comforters. It's also a good time to flip mattresses and wash pillows.
Spring isn't the only season for cleaning! When it's time for warmer clothing, it's also time to de-clutter your closets. Pull out everything and sort items into three piles: keep, toss, or donate. If you haven't worn clothing this season, decide how to get rid of it.
Make sure you have enough lighting in closets to maintain good organization. The right light bulbs make a big difference, especially when you're reaching into your closet and don't want to confuse those brown and purple sweaters. Choose bulbs that reduce dull yellow rays and make colors pop using a special phosphor blend to provide pure, clean light.
You can also use lighting to spotlight parts of a room, drawing attention away from less tidy areas.
Clean Those Rugs
After a long summer with the family traipsing in and out of the house, your rugs and carpets have seen lots of wear and tear. Muddy footprints, sports equipment and wet swimsuits can take their toll. Now is the time to steam clean rugs and carpets before the holiday entertaining season.
You can do-it-yourself by renting a commercial steam cleaner or hiring a cleaning service. Consider steam cleaning drapes, sofas, chairs and other upholstery at the same time.
A little preparation now can help you save money, stay cozy during winter and spend less time cleaning when spring returns.
Make sure closets and pantries have enough lighting for good organization.