Summer is slowly winding down and the stores are starting to fill up with back-to-school displays of notebooks, backpacks, and pencils. While you’re gathering up all the school supplies you need for your family and preparing your schedule for the daily routine of school and extracurricular activities, you can also take the time to prep your home for fall. Here are some easy ways to make sure your home is comfortable, inviting, and functional for the school year.
1. Create a Filing System for Paperwork
Do your kitchen counters quickly fill up with mail, school forms, homework, and other documents? The beginning of school is the perfect time to establish a filing system that prevents paper clutter while making it easy to find documents you need. Maybe you want to have an “inbox” for each member of the family or a special folder for school-related paperwork. The key is finding a system that works for you and your family, and encouraging everyone to stick to it.
2. Stock Up on Easy Snacks
Between school, sports, music lessons, and everything else your family does during the week, it can be difficult to find time for a family meal every night. Make sure your kids always have access to snacks when they need them by stocking your pantry with healthy grab-and-go items. You can encourage your kids to make healthy eating choices and cut down on fast food and pizza delivery. Consider adding granola, dried fruit and veggie chips, and nuts in the pantry. You can stock the fridge with yogurt, cut vegetables, and hummus.
3. Winterize Your Home’s Exterior
Before it gets too cold, take the time to get your home set for winter. Remove window screens, cover patio furniture, drain your sprinkler system, and clean and store your yard maintenance equipment. Don’t forget your car! Stock up on de-icing material, washer fluid, anti-freeze, ice scrapers, and flashlights.
4. Simplify Your Meal Planning
Most families don’t have as much time during the school year for leisurely dinners. Make sure your list of go-to recipes includes several slow-cooker options, and consider adding a pressure cooker to your kitchen. Modern versions are much safer than previous models and they can help you get dinner on the table quickly.
5. Unpack and Sort Through Outerwear
Even if you don’t live in a place that gets heavy snow during the winter, chances are you at least have coats, jackets, umbrellas, or boots to wear in the cold. Fall is a great time to get all these items out of storage and check to make sure they still fit and function properly. Once you have everything for each member of the family, designate a specific place to store hats, coats, and gloves so they’re easy to find. Add a heavy-duty mat near the door to make it easy to clean mud and snow off boots.
6. Switch Out the Clothes in Your Closet
Along with getting your outerwear ready to go, you can make sure everyone has the right clothing front and center in their closet. Go through and pack away warm-weather outfits and replace them with easy-to-layer items for the transition to cooler weather. Don’t forget to make sure everyone has enough socks and winter shoes. This is also a great opportunity to find clothing that isn’t worn often and give it to charity.
7. Tune Up Your HVAC System
It’s important to winterize the interior of your home just as you did the exterior. Make sure your furnace is ready to work well throughout the cooler months by scheduling a tune up from your local HVAC experts. You can call a Philadelphia hvac service expert to inspect your furnace and make sure it’s optimized for reliable performance during the winter.
As you’re shopping for school supplies, signing up for extra-curricular activities, and planning out the carpool schedule, remember to get your home ready for the school year as well. Make sure every member of your family has cool-weather clothing in the closet and coats, hats, and boots in an easily accessible location. You can also simplify your meal planning with slow-cooker recipes and stock up on easy snacks for everyone. Fall is the perfect time to get your home ready for the cold weather by removing screens and tuning up your furnace for daily use.
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