September is all about getting back into the swing of things – it’s back to school, back to a routine and back to cooler weather. It’s also National Self-Improvement Month and maybe this can be a time you commit to restoring aspects of your life. Anything that improves you is what self-improvement is and a happy life starts with an organized home. It’s an excellent opportunity to see what can be improved, replaced, or repaired while the weather is still nice. Taking the time to do some home maintenance projects, reduce clutter, and get some cleaning done can have a positive impact on your overall lifestyle. Begin the journey of self-improvement with these helpful activities.
Making organized changes can ultimately help in every area of your life. A cluttered house can lead to a cluttered mind. So, if your head feels a bit busy and disorganized, chances are your space is too! Don’t panic, you don’t have to organize everything all at once, but every little bit counts. Start off in an area where you tend to over-store. To get and keep things in order, use these guiding principles in each room of your home:
12-12-12 Method – This easy and quick method will help you organize 36 items in a short amount of time. First, find 12 items that need to be thrown out. Then pick 12 items that you will give away; finally, choose 12 items that need to be put away. This is a quick way to help your kids clean their rooms too.
Wash Your Windows
- Only clean windows when they are in the shade or on a cloudy day. When the sun is out, it dries the window and cleaner too fast and will leave streaks.
- Remove all the window screens so that once you turn on the hose, you can move easily from window to window as you clean them without having to stop.
- Do the upper floor windows first so no dripping water or suds get on a clean lower window.
- Wear old clothes since your arms may get wet.
- When rinsing with the hose, work from the top of each window down, then repeat.
- Clean only when the temp is 50 or above.
Winterize Your Outdoor Furniture
As sad as it is to move indoors after enjoying your outdoor furniture all summer, taking a little extra time to care for your patio set now will keep everything pristine for spring’s return. While most patio and lawn products are manufactured to remain outside for the winter, some precautions may still be required for harsher weather conditions. Plastic, vinyl, and synthetic wicker can all be easily maintained with some soapy water and a garden hose. But metal, wood, and natural wicker will have more specific maintenance requirements.
Power-Wash the Exterior
It’s not just the inside of a house that gets dirty. Exterior areas of your home can accumulate a lot of dust and grime, even mildew. Over time, dirt builds up on your exterior surfaces. But power washing can brighten and clean the outside of your home. From siding, gutters, driveways, sidewalks, patios and decks, power washing will help your home exterior look its best. Make sure to do some home work if you decide to do it yourself and smaller jobs can be manageable. However, it’s usually best to let a professional tackle big jobs. They have the right equipment for hard-to-reach areas and the experience to do so without falling. They also know how to clean specific areas, such as the roof, without causing damage.
Cleanout the Garage
Right now, you’ve probably got bicycles, lawn tools and the beach umbrella taking up the space your car could occupy, if only you could get everything back where it belongs. A lot of people can’t get their car inside the garage because it’s overflowing with stuff. There are so many great organizing systems like shelving, hooks that allow you to hang bikes from the ceiling – that you can get everything into a place and find room for your car. And it’s easier to get junk to the dump on a nice fall weekend than a cold, wet, winter day. And while you are in the garage, check the snowblower, shovels, and snow brushes to make sure everything is in working order. It’s easier to buy replacements in the fall, before the first snow sends everyone to the hardware store.
Get a jump start on air leaks by winterizing your doors and windows. Caulking around windows, doors, and siding is a simple, inexpensive way to save some money. Unless you keep warm air in and cold air out, money is going out the smokestack. One way to test where you need to caulk is to walk around the interior of your home with a lighted incense stick. If the smoke starts blowing, that quickly tells the story. Use silicone caulk because it’s flexible, waterproof, and crackproof. You do it on the outside of your home, so make sure you do it before it gets too cold. If the temperature drops below 40, you shouldn’t caulk because the caulk won’t take as well. warns.
Clean Baseboard Heaters, Returns and Grates
Your heat is not turned on but it will be soon. Give your heating system a dry run and clean all the baseboards, radiators and returns of dust and dirt. Get a professional in to inspect and maintain the furnace. And don’t forget to replace the furnace filter.
Have an End-Of-Summer Yard Sale
Looking to clear the clutter? Make the most of the mild weather to host an end-of-summer yard sale. While it may not put a lot of change in your pocket, it will certainly free up some storage capacity and put your unused goods back into useful circulation. Fall is a great time because there’s less competition compared to the summer sales.
Speaking of improvement, if your house needs restoration or remodeling work done, contact Xtreme Home Improvement anytime to find out what we can do for you. And good luck on the road to self-improvement!