I know, I know — maybe it seems early to think about winter! Here in Minnesota, it feels like September has barely arrived and people are already going all out with fall decor while keeping one eye on the impending cold. But that’s how we plan ahead in this state! 😉
Personally, I’ve been thinking about winter a lot already this year because I’ve been trying to plan ahead for our little one! Our daughter is due mid-October and while I’m so excited, I’m also a bit overwhelmed at the idea of having a baby while navigating snowy roads and low windchill temps during a Minnesota winter! I’m new to the whole mom thing, and although I’m not new to the whole MN winter thing, I want to be prepared and diligent this winter in keeping everyone safe and warm!
Of course, one way to cope with this crazy restlessness in late pregnancy is to NEST and CLEAN! 🙂 You may have seen this on my Instagram stories, but I’ve recently gotten bit by the freezer-to-crockpot meals bug again and I’m eagerly planning meals to make before BB gets here! I’ve also been brainstorming any last-minute cleaning or organizational tasks to accomplish before our baby arrives.
Today I wanted to share with you a list of great tasks to work on this fall before winter settles in! Full disclosure: I have not accomplished all of these. Some, I’m just plain not up to with only 4 weeks left of pregnancy. But I’d do them all if I could. And all of them are either useful or fun ways to herald the start of fall and prep for the change of seasons!
Note: I realize that many of Just Bee’s readers don’t actually have to worry about a bitterly cold winter or heaps of snow…so, just take a peek at the tasks that are more fitting for your region. 🙂 PS — can BB and I come visit you mid-winter? 😉
17 Autumn Projects To Do Before The Seasons Change
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Start by getting some fall scents going! I love my Young Living oils when it comes to diffusing yummy scents in the home. My favorites are Purification and Thieves. The Thieves oil blend smells a lot like cinnamon – and an added bonus – is meant to help fight germs in the home (which is great when the seasons are changing). The Purification blend isn’t really a fall smell, but I love it SO much. You can also look on Pinterest for fun recommendations of fall oil blends. Getting oils going in my Home Diffuser always gets the motivational ball rolling for me when I’m cleaning or organizing. 🙂
Shake out, wash, or vacuum the rugs in the house. They’ve been used a lot, of course, and have taken on a bit of dirt from all of your summer adventures! It’s just the nature of rugs; they’re what everyone coming in and out walks on! (And in our household, when Bjorn comes home from farming, our front rug gets a lot of miscellaneous farm dirt/soybeans dumped on it, even though he tries hard to keep it contained. So, it’s important I stay on top of the rug situation in our home to prevent stuff getting tracked throughout the house.)
Clean or wipe down all windowsills. This is a usual cleaning task for me when I am straightening up the living room. However, windowsills can get even dirtier than the usual dust if you’ve had windows open all summer!
Run an air purifier in your home. Bjorn and I purchased an air purifier in early 2017, and it has been a game-changer! I got pregnant in January and when spring allergy season hit, I really didn’t want to be ingesting a lot of allergy meds during pregnancy. So, we went to Home Depot and bought this air purifier, which is meant to rid the air in a large room of any allergens, dust, pollen, or other things like mold spores. We got the one with washable air filters, so we can save money by not buying new disposable filters. We’ve been running it overnight in our room every night, as well as during the day when needed, and it significantly decreases the number of times I sneezed! I never ended up taking allergy pills this year, which is remarkable for me.
Autumn can bring a new season of allergies with it – not to mention, any dusting or cleaning you do can kick up allergens – so I highly recommend this amazing machine!!
Uninstall and store away any window air conditioning units. Even though we have central air in our home, Bjorn and I sleep with a window a/c unit in our bedroom during the summer. We do this because we like to save money by not paying to cool the entire home all night long, when it’s only us upstairs! Having the window unit installed does force us to scoot our bed over about a foot, so I’m looking forward to taking that window unit out once the weather gets cooler, so we can re-situate our bedroom perfectly again. 🙂 The tiny bit of hassle is totally worth it, though! A window unit has been a great solution for us over the summer.
Pack away items like swimsuits and shorts or tanks that you won’t be using for a long time. Of course, if you’ve got a warmer vacation coming up, then make sure those pieces are easily accessible. However, it’ll help with room in your closet or dresser if you aren’t constantly digging past warm season clothing.
Freshen up sweatshirts and jackets and make them more accessible. Now is a great time to find your fall jackets and get them all straightened out in a handy closet or drawer! I also like to make sure I know where my favorite sweatshirts are. Granted, I do wear sweatshirts as needed pretty much year-round, but autumn gives us a great excuse to make sure all sweatshirts and jackets are freshly laundered and easy to find once cool weather hits.
Store flip-flops and sandals, and wipe down boots. I wear boots 3 seasons out of the year here in Minnesota. 🙂 I wear them with skinny jeans and I especially love to wear them with knee-length skirts and dresses! Therefore, once cooler weather settles in, I’m usually already wearing boots with my outfits. I like to pull out my boots before we get too far into fall, stand them up again (so they don’t get too floppy), and wipe them down with a damp paper towel so they’re all set for these boot-wearing seasons!
Put out seasonal decor. I never go crazy or all-out with seasonal themes, but I like to bring out my white birch tree decor, and a couple more fall or wintery-looking pieces. I love my tabletop white birch trees from Target (I bought them in 2016) because they’re not overly autumnal or Christmas-y, so I basically keep them out from fall until spring! 🙂 I couldn’t find the small versions online to show you exactly what I have, but here’s the huge version so you can get an idea of what they’re like! For fall, I generally like to stick to maroons and browns and any leaf motif; for winter decor, I try to keep our small cozy home bright and clean-feeling with whites.
Dry your bedsheets out on a clothesline. This is one of my very favorite parts of spring and summer! Sheets that are dried outdoors come in smelling fresh and like sunshine, I think. 🙂 If you have a clothesline, then try to dry your sheets outside one final time or two before winter comes! It’ll make them feel extra-fresh as we settle into winter.
Set up a cozy fall drink station. Our coffee bar in our kitchen always has some chai latte mix out during winter, as well as apple cider and coffee, of course. I just LOVE hot drinks (frankly, any time of the year) but fall is a great time to emphasize them again. And having a hot drink station on display will actually add a fun autumn feel to your home’s decor! PS — this is the decaf chai latte mix that I like to have on hand, especially for during pregnancy.
If you’re in a cold weather state, know where your snow shovel is. I know, it feels way too early to be saying this, but autumn tends to fly by, and then we’re left wondering where exactly our shovel is when we wake up to a blanket of white! It’s just nice to double-check that you have your snow shovel in a particular, handy place.
Make sure your car has cold weather essentials. Actually, these are nice things to have available in any car, regardless of where you live. We never know when weather or car troubles will force us to stop, so it’s nice to be prepared with things like a blanket, water bottles, granola bars, and a flashlight.
Consider the lighting you have in your home. With the days getting shorter and darker, you may want to set out a couple new lamps in your living room or bedroom. It’s nice to have some cozy, happy lighting to brighten those gloomier-feeling days coming up. In the past 6 months or so, we also put in much brighter (and efficient) lightbulbs in our kitchen, which we absolutely love! Lighting really makes a huge difference for me and for my mood in the winter months. (I’m even considering getting a Sunlight Floor Lamp like this one!)
Double-check any furnace/heater filters. While I don’t know a lot about heating/air-conditioning/plumbing, I do know it’s important to stay on top of any maintenance needed. If you’ll be needing to heat your place this winter, it’s a good idea to make sure everything is all set to run properly.
Continue (or start) a nice morning routine. Routines tend to bring people a lot of comfort. I personally find a lot of joy in simple daily rhythms. Keeping a predictable, comfortable morning routine is a nice way to set yourself up for a good day — something that’ll help to fight the blues as winter and its darker, cooler days settle in.
Remind yourself of the positives. I’m a sunny-day person. Gray days can see a slump in my productivity or my mood… So I have to work with myself mentally to really enjoy those gloomier days. Instead of telling myself it is “sad” or “gross” out, I try to remind myself during winter months that it’s “warm” and especially “cozy” in here! 🙂 It sounds simple, but sometimes all we have to do is change our phrasing about a season, and we find we’re enjoying it more.
What do you like to do in order to feel ready for the conclusion of fall? Are there any “mandatory” tasks in your household this season?