Is your home ready for the upcoming season? If the answers no, then take a look at our Winter Home Checklist. This guide will help you conquer the most important preventative maintenance tasks just in time for the cold weather.
KEEP, DONATE, TOSS :: It’s been said that we wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. If you have too many items that you’re not wearing, have a mini-fashion show with your trusted friends. Create 3 piles - one to keep, one to donate and one to toss. Count on your loved ones to tell you the truth about how you look in each outfit. Once you've determined the items that you’re keeping, rearrange the closet so that your summer clothes are in the corners and your winter clothes are in the center.
STOCK UP ON ESSENTIALS :: Winter requires a different selection of supplies, including moisturizer, chapstick, tissues and cough drops. Make space in your utility closet for neatly organized wicker baskets filled with these essentials. Remember to save some space for storing extra pillows and heavy blankets. Also, keep in mind that winter storms can knock out your electricity. As you organize your utility closet, be sure to include some candles, flashlights and batteries, just in case a nasty storm strikes.
PREPARE THE MUDROOM :: The winter season brings an influx of bomber jackets, waterproof boots, and blanket scarves. Don’t let your entryway become a chaotic pileup of all your winter essentials. Instead, your mudroom should act as a barrier between the calm indoors and great outdoors. With a little TLC, your mudroom can be decluttered, organized and refreshed for the entire season. Coat hooks are a great addition because they provide an instant spot to hang your jacket, backpack or purse. You can even mount a series of hooks at a kid-friendly height to eliminate an unsightly pile of clutter. Wicker baskets are also handy in the winter as they allow you to quickly grab hats, scarves and gloves as you walk out the door.
ORGANIZE THE OFFICE :: Start by decluttering your space. Create a paperless desk by using online sites and apps like Google Docs to write down your ideas. Next develop a file system for important documents. Put items such as checkbooks, passports, travel documents and credit cards in a designated drawer. Use drawer dividers to keep items like pencils, pens and staplers and notepads organized and easily accessible. Finally, add LED rechargeable lights with sensor switches to your desk and drawers - the added brightness makes things easier to locate.
CLEAN THE PANTRY :: Take the time to do a thorough cleaning of your pantry. Once that’s done, look at expiration dates on perishable goods. If the item is close to expiring, place it towards the front and vice versa. It’s also helpful to group other similar items together. Designate specific areas for baking ingredients, paper goods, and condiments so they are easier to find. Frequently used items should be kept at an arm's length while boxed items like pasta, cereal and dried goods can be placed in containers to maximize space.
SET UP THE GARAGE :: People mistakenly neglect their garages, especially in the winter time. Instead of getting rid of stuff, we stash our boxes in this out-of-the-way spot, where they end up being ignored. Then when you need to bring the car in for winter, our procrastination catches up with us and we are left with the enormous job of cleaning it out. Try to avoid this chaotic mess by keeping your garage organized all year round. There are also a number of things that you absolutely need in your garage during the winter. These items include, a snow blower, shovel, a scraper and salt. Consider adjustable overhead shelving and wire baskets to keep these items off the floor and in turn, protect them from dampness.
STORE HOLIDAY DECOR :: Keep gift wrapping and craft supplies tucked away when not in use. Include a useful combination of drawers and cabinets as well as poles for ribbons and tissue paper. Drawers can come fully equipped with dividers and accessories to keep holiday supplies visible and organized.
BE READY TO ENTERTAIN :: Between the unpredictable weather and holiday celebrations, we find ourselves spending a lot more time indoors. Mixing drinks or popping a bottle of bubbly can be a great way to add a festive atmosphere to any gathering. Conveniently craft cocktails by adding a custom dry bar to your kitchen or living room area. This can serve as a functional location for storing glassware and accouterments. From simple shelves and bookcases to something as complex as a dry bar or entertainment center, a custom wall unit can enhance the way you enjoy and experience your home.
THINK ABOUT NEW PROJECTS :: As the New Year approaches, it’s time for us to start thinking about new projects. Naturally, the winter weather makes the building process and timeline harder to predict. However, winter is the perfect time to start planning. Make a list and do some research that way you’ll be ready to begin the project when spring arrives.
MAKE THE SEASON COUNT :: Once you’ve organized everything, from your mudroom to your closet, it’s time to relax. Between the large formal meals and extra guests to prepare for, we lose sight of why we celebrate these events in the first place. Taking steps to get things in order ahead of time can help reduce seasonal stress.