As Daylight Savings Time comes to an end and there’s a definite snap in the air, busy moms everywhere breeze through their homes fighting back the urge to be overwhelmed by what lies ahead. Aahhh, the holidays: Gifts. Holiday shopping. Menu planning. There’s so much to be done around the home to go confidently into fall and winter after packing up the lazy days of summer. Here are some tips that’ll help you clean out, straighten up, swap out, and gear up.
- The first thing to remember is to work in one room at a time, so you’ll be able to finish the work, check something off the list, and feel a sense of accomplishment.
- Start with the pantry. Review packaged items on each shelf. Check the date on canned goods. Canned foods beyond a year old tend to lose quality as well as nutrient value. Check the dates on baking products, as well, particularly baking powder and soda. If they’re past the expiration date, toss them or save them for cleaning. Sniff or taste all the oils stored in your pantry. Get rid of any bottles that have a rancid odor or unpleasant taste.
- Check dried herbs and spices for freshness. Try storing dried herbs and spices in the freezer, not in racks near the oven or cooktop, where heat and light can cause them to deteriorate. Most dried spices stay fresh up to 1 year if stored properly. Test for freshness by sprinkling a small amount of the seasoning in your hand. If you don’t smell an immediate aroma, it’s time to replace it.
- Clean out the freezer. Unload the freezer to start with. Pitch anything that has expired or has freezer burn and is covered in ice crystals. Bring older packages to the front and use them before using newly purchased items. Do the same with the refrigerator. Organize your spices in the freezer by sweet and savory. This will save you time, especially when you’re baking.
- Refresh bedding and pillows. If you crave a cozy bed, change from light cotton sheets to flannel. Swap out decorative summer-patterned pillows for winter pillows with heavier texture. The easiest way to update a room in your home from season to season is to swap out pillows or pillow coverings.
- A wall manager is a must! Use a wall manager to reduce clutter, post appointments, mark important holiday events and keep check on all your kids’ activities.
- Test the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year. Daylight Savings Time is a great prompt to do this task.
- And last but not least, if you dare: Clean your oven.
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-Text by Julie Gunter