Autumn red oak leaves

As the summer moves toward fall, it’s a good time to begin getting your home ready for the cooler weather. Planning ahead will make the task a little less daunting as the school year gets under way and a million other projects pile up. If your aim is to be a little more organized this fall, here are a few tips that’ll make that a lot easier without breaking your budget.

Add Fall Colors to the Décor

A fun way to usher in the cooler weather is to start incorporating fall colors into your décor. You can buy or make new covers for your throw pillows, toss a red or orange throw blanket over your favorite chair, or fill a large bowl with cinnamon and pinecones for a seasonal centerpiece.

fall colors

Keep an eye out for the changing leaves and grab a few for a cheap, easy wall hanging. For a budget-friendly fall decoration, you can press the leaves and hang them in frames purchased from a discount store. 

Organize Your Entryway

When the cooler weather hits, jackets, coats and backpacks tend to migrate toward the entryway. If you live in a smaller home, or if you simply want to be able to walk in your door without tripping over something, organizing that space is key. One simple trick is to hang a coat hook on the wall near your front door. You may like something like this coat rack that lets you personalize it with your family’s name.

entryway

If you have enough room, you may even want to install a bench with space underneath to store boots, shoes and bags.

Another simple trick to organize this area: Hang a metal or plastic file holder on the wall. When the kids come home from school, papers and other items that need your attention go here. Label each section for each child.

Clean Out the Gutters and the Garage 

While the weather is still nice, make sure to clean out your gutters and store anything you don’t need from your garage. Prepping your gutters for winter will mean less work when spring comes around again.

If you’re using your garage for storage space, ditching the clutter will make accessing all of your holiday boxes, seasonal clothes and other items much easier. Take a few hours while the weather is still warm to tackle a few projects, and your home will be ready for the change of seasons.

Inspect the Heater and the Windows

water heater

Now is a good time to have your furnace inspected and your windows checked. It’s important to catch any drafts or furnace issues before the cold weather hits. Also, winterizing your windows can save you a bundle when the winter gas bills start arriving.

Start Pulling Out Clothing and Blankets

If your cool-weather bedding has been stored away for the summer, now is the time to begin pulling it out. Toss those items in the washer to get rid of dust.

You even can begin pulling out jackets and light coats to wash. While you’re at it, go through the gloves and hats around the house. Ditch items that are worn or that are missing their mates.

Hank McKinsey is a DIY lifestyle blogger and stay-at-home dad from Clovis, CA. Follow him on Google + and Twitter to see what he’s up to.

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