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Here is the expanded article as promised!
Organize your car for the winter months: Winter is the most important time to keep your car clutter free, when bulky coats make cars seem cramped. Empty trash from your car on a regular basis. Keeping your car free from clutter ensures that your passengers have as much space as possible.
· Cold weather brings snow, ice and freezing conditions which can mean emergencies. If you have a cell phone charger in your car, be sure that's it's accessible at all times, so you'll be able to call for help if you get stuck.
· Cold weather supplies. There are several items you should keep in your car during the winter months. These include:
o Salt or de-icer,
o Gravel for traction,
o Small shovel,
o Window scraper.
o Spare pair of gloves
o Chemical hand warmers
o Small first aid kit
o Water Bottles
o Energy or Granola Bars
o Sleeping Bag or warm blanket
· Remember to Service Your Car for Winter: Be sure to get oil change, engine check, tire check, and radiator fill up. If your car is running smoothly, you'll be much more likely to get where you need to go.
In the winter, a properly organized, well-running car is more important than ever. Make sure your car is clean, properly supplied, and serviced before the cold weather gets here, and you won't have to worry. Breakdowns in the winter can ruin your day and slow you down. Avoiding them and being able to deal with them if they happen is just one more part of having an organized life.
Organize the Garage: After the busy warmer months, your garage is ready to be geared up for the winter months. During the summer weather, your garage becomes a dumping ground for many things. Garden tools and supplies, sports equipment and bikes are left laying around taking up room. Consider the following:
· Your garage should be considered as a utility area, not storage.
· Keep only what you need for the winter months out in the garage
· Map it out. If you have sports equipment for kids, try to keep all the seasonal sports equipment in one area, etc.
· Create as much floor space as possible. Garage floors get wet more from snow, ice and rain than any other season. Water on top of oil stains creates slippery floors.
· Make sure the snow shovels, chains, rock salt, and battery cables are easily assessable.
· Create zones for items like windshield wash, motor oil and ice spray. As cold as it is, you’ll want to be able to get to these items in a hurry.
Clear out summer items from the Mudroom: Of any place that gets the most abuse in the winter it’s the Mudroom and Laundry room. Clear out the area from the summer months of sandy flip flops, sandals and such and make way for muddy snow and rain boots, coats and other winter gear. Stay organized in less time with storage ideas for everything, scarves, hats & gloves.
A high functioning mudroom or mudroom areahas bins, baskets, cubbies, hooks, and a reachable area for each person of your family. And everything, I mean everything is LABELED!
Some essentials for the winter in a mud room are:
· A Boot Tray: Got muddy boots? The easiest way to contain the wet, muddy mess from winter boots is with a boot tray. You can find them in stainless steel, copper or plastic. Make sure to place the boot tray close to the door to prevent too much tracking of mud into the room.
· A bin or bins (depending on your space): gloves, mittens, hats & scarves.
Create a place for everything by using storage bins with open tops that are easy to access. A bin for each family member works well for some families, or you can store items by category — mittens and gloves in one, hats and scarves in another.
Super Tip! Choose bins that are easy to clean, or you can use traditional baskets with washable liners
- A sturdy rug or two in a darker color: Choose a rug (or rugs) that are intended to stand up to water and dirt, not just a pretty indoor rug from the discount store.
- Hooks: With all of the coats your family and friends will be shedding as they enter your home, make sure you have enough hooks for everyone. Hang coat hooks over an area that will drain well, since wet coats will drip as they dry.
Establish a Fall Routine: Fall is the second busiest season and one of the most common problems standing between you and an organized home is the ability to establish a routine. Think about your daily routine and then plan out ways to maximize your time and accomplish your chores efficiently.
There’s a good chance your fall schedule will be busier than your summer schedule, so start off on the right foot by finding a good family calendar or personal planner to record all those important events, meeting, and activities. It could be an electronic calendar that you access via your phone or a simple wall calendar in your kitchen. The important thing is that you keep ALL the information in one place.
Re-organize your Closets: Fall is a great time to de-clutter closets – From clothing to medicine cabinets; you’ll want to discard items that no longer fit and switch things out from summer clothing. With the change of seasons, you may also need to change out your wardrobe and your children will most likely need a few new items for school that you missed during the back-to-school shopping rush. Plus, with the holiday season right around the corner, now is a great time to purge some of your old things to make room for new holiday outfits and gifts.
By planning ahead beforehand and organizing a few important areas of your home and life, you can make a smooth transition into the hectic fall months.