Here’s a handy checklist of 5 areas around the home—inside and out—that may require a little attention before the season ends. Spend a little time now for a more care- and clutter-free home later.

Your HomeThe Garden. Gardening hasn’t ended until your beds are cleared out and the bulbs are planted. Once that’s done, set aside some time to discard the containers you no longer need. Organize seeds and equipment so you know where everything is next year when the warm weather returns.

Tidying TipsThe Closet. As fall approaches, look through the summer clothes you didn’t wear this year. This is a good time to donate unloved clothing to someone who will love them. If you store off-season clothing, you can begin the process by storing the clothes that only get worn in summer such as shorts, bathing suits, beach cover-ups, tank tops and white shoes.

Pool and Water Toys. Pool related toys and equipment should be dried and put into storage bins for re-use next year. Remember to keep it all together, so it’s easy to dig out the next time the thermometer climbs back up.

Heating. Now is the best time to check your heating and air system, clean out ducts, and perform any maintenance or repairs that are needed. It’s also a good time to change your smoke alarm batteries.

The Desk. You know they’re coming, so why not get ready for those school papers to flow in. Set up an “in box” for each child’s papers to be processed. Set up a “keep” box or file for each child’s art or paperwork that you want to hold onto for long-term keepsakes.

BONUS: Top Tips From Professional Organizers.
First, try to group tasks together so you can get the most done in one location or area. Make sure to have all your supplies ready before you start organizing a space, and don’t leave the area to put things away. Wait until after you finish organizing the space in which you’re working before putting things away elsewhere.

Second, don’t confuse grouping tasks with multi-tasking. Never work on two projects that both require your focus. Switching back and forth between tasks is not productive. If you need to do more than one thing at once, only one project should require thinking.

Follow these easy instructions and you’ll be clutter free and ready for autumn in no time!

This article was taken from my August 2014 issue of YOU Magazine. Click here to view the full newsletter.

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