Use End of Daylight-Saving Time to Organize for Winter

Shorter days are ahead as daylight-saving time ends on Sunday, November 2. This transition from fall to winter means less time outside during the coming months. Before daylight hours become more limited, get your yard, home and office organized so you can enjoy your indoor surroundings and quality time with friends and family. Follow these tips to help you get organized for winter:

Make Garage Functional
Get your garage in order to provide shelter for your car. Give your garage a thorough cleaning and sweep or vacuum away the cobwebs that have been gathering over the summer months. Stow away your gardening supplies, beach items, camping gear and other things that will not be used much in the winter. Keep sleds, shovels and other cold-weather gear accessible. Plan to host a garage sale to sell garage and home items no longer needed. Use the money to donate to charity or for your holiday gift fund.

Beautify the Yard
Prune back any perennials and remove any summer annual plants. Plant winter-friendly flowers and bulbs, aerate and reseed your lawn, fertilize trees and shrubs, and add mulch to your plant beds. Wash and store flower pots, hanging baskets and other gardening tools that you will not be using in the winter months.

Get Wardrobe Ready for Winter
Pack away your warm weather garments and plan what you need for cooler weather. Donate any unwanted clothes to charity or sell them in a garage sale. Make a list of clothing and shoe essentials and sizes needed for you and your family to make shopping simpler, less time consuming and easy on the budget.

Organized Supplies for Indoor Fun
Cold and rainy days should not be relegated to just chores. There is sometimes nothing better than playing board games, doing puzzles, reading a good book, enjoying a movie or taking a snooze on a chilly winter day. Be sure your indoor recreational supplies such as board games, movies and books are organized and easy to access. Organize your books and donate what you no longer want to charity. Consider giving any gently used books that your children have outgrown to a school. Designate a space to easily store board games, puzzles and movies.

Put Office in Order
Not sure where to start with organizing your office? Begin with your desk by removing everything. Group together items, such as a phone, computer monitor and Rolodex, that will remain on top of your desk. Then sort items by logistical zones and store them in their new place. Designate a storage area, such as a closet or a tall cabinet with doors for extra supplies. Tackle those files by deciding what you’ll keep and toss. Then, organize loose papers by subject (e.g. specific work projects, business expenses, healthcare, etc.); create folders for each pile; and file the contents in a file drawer. Keep the hanging file tabs well marked so you can easily find the file and put away future documents.

Prepare for the Holidays
Look through your wrapping supplies and make a list of what you will need, such as gift tags and bows. This will save you time from running out in the middle of wrapping to purchase needed supplies, and will also save you money from making any impulse purchases of things you don’t really need or already have. If you are planning on using a photographer for a family holiday card photo, get your family photo taken as soon as possible. Start making your holiday card list so that you can anticipate the number of cards and/or pictures you will need before buying them. If you are planning a holiday party, set a date and plan to send the invitations out by early November.

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