Start Cold-Weather Household Projects Now

People spend aobut 40% more time inside their homes during the winter months, so it’s worth the effort to pursue household improvement projects that will make the environment cleaner, cozier and more energy-efficient as the weather gets cooler. For example, you can concentrate on big projects such as insulating the roof, weatherstripping and furnace upkeep ahead of the worst winter weather, Homelight says, and paint interior and exterior walls while the temperatures are still compfortable enough to open windows for ventilation and/or dry quickly enough to provide protection. #FallProjects

Start Planning Fall Home Improvement Projects Now

One of the curious aspects of the #pandemic is that it forced people to stay home more — and all that staying at home helped many launch renovations and other projects to make their space more useful and livable.

With things are nearly back to #normal in many parts of the country some 16 months later, people are in a more celebratory mood, using their summers to travel, visit friends, go out to restaurants and generally do all of the things that the coronavirus curtailed.

There are likely a few household projects that still need doing, however, and you might want to plan ahead to get them done when the weather turns cooler and the kids return to (in-person) school.

Likely projects for areas with cold winters include upgrading your furnace, replacing single-pane windows and adding insulation, says Family Handyman. You should also clean the gutters and replace any missing shingles to protect your roof against leaks.

If any exterior painting needs doing, early fall is one of the best times to do it, the Spruce says; pick a dry week with temperatures above 50°F. You can paint interiors at any time, but it’s always nice to give your space a fresh new look ahead of the holidays.

Wait for the fall to do any projects that involve lumber — new building, flooring, decking, etc. — to give prices a chance to stabilize. Wood products continue to be in short supply, and costs are high as a result.

Upgrading your home office is a good project to tackle this fall if you’re one of those lucky people who will continue to work from home (#WFH) once the pandemic subsides. Consider a new desk, shelving, artwork or an attractive background for your Zoom call.

One household project you can tackle at any time of the year but is especially important to do ahead of DIY projects is #decluttering. Go through that room, closet or garage, weed the #stuff you don’t need, and contact ClothingDonations.org for a free #donation #pickup.

Your fall projects will be easier to accomplish once you get that #clutter out of the way. And once you complete your fall home #renovations, you’ll have an attractive, functional and clean new space to call home.

Save Money by Winterizing Your Home

There’s a chill in the air, and before you know it, there will be snow on the ground. That may sound like a harsh reality to contemplate in mid-October, but the good news is that you still have time to winterize your home in preparation for the colder temperatures.

Even if you live in a more temperate part of the country, a few quick, inexpensive steps will help you save money on utility bills throughout the winter months. Some can even make your home healthier and more comfortable while you save!

For example, the first thing to do — whether you own or rent — is to replace the furnace filters. This will help them run at optimum efficiency, saving money on gas bills, while also improving indoor air quality. If you have pets or allergies and can’t remember when you last replaced your furnace filters for a few months, the task is likely overdue.

Next, you should eliminate any drafts that might be allowing heat to escape from your home. Invest in doorway draft “snakes,” caulk and weatherstrip windows and doors, and pull out that window A/C unit. And to keep cold air on the outside of older, single-pane windows, LifeHacker says, tape bubble wrap to them or use a window insulation film.

Owners can improve their homes’ overall weather-readiness by adding insulation to walls, window frames, doorways, outlets, ducts, and especially attic floors and ceilings. And home-improvement guru Bob Vila recommends the installation of a programmable thermostat to avoid heating the house when you’re not there.

It’s also a good idea to insulate pipes, says Popular Mechanics. Not only will you pay less to heat water, you’ll protect your pipes against costly freezes and bursts during winter cold snaps. Foam pipe insulation is cheap and easy to install — and while you’re at it, “bleed” your water heater and turn it down to 120°F to save even more on utility costs.

Finally, The Art of Manliness says, take a cue from former president Jimmy Carter and put on a sweater! You’ll add about 4° of fully mobile warmth to your body, allowing you to lower the thermostat and potentially save hundreds of dollars. (Low on sweaters? Check out a local thrift store supplied by ClothingDonations.org to stock up on the cheap!)

Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to keep warm all winter long without breaking the bank.

Need More Organization in Your Life? Do-It-Yourself (DIY)

If you’re struggling to keep your home organized and clutter-free, you don’t have to invest in expensive furniture or storage units. Sometimes the solutions you need are things you already own, or could purchase for a fraction of the cost of high-end options. In other words, you can do it yourself (or DIY)! While people have always been crafty, the era of DIY seemed to boom with the start of sites such as Pinterest and Etsy. Now DIY ideas are everywhere. You can find a do-it-yourself remedy for just about anything — home repairs, home remodeling ideas, jewelry projects and more.

When it comes to your home, though, it’s nice to know that there are simple organizational solutions you can take care of on your own. Emily Co and our other friends over at POPSUGAR.com have put together some simple and fantastic DIY solutions you can use to help keep your home organized.

If you have a home office or study area for kids, one idea they suggest is tacking computer, printer, and scanner wires to the bottom of your desk or table. That way, no one trips over the wires, and they don’t get caught and tangled around one another. This idea is a small and simple way to make a room more clutter-free!

Looking to optimize empty space? POPSUGAR suggests putting a shelf right above your bedroom or bathroom door. These shelves can be used for storing extra bath towels, T-shirts, sweaters and more. Going along with this idea, POPSUGAR also suggests folding and rolling your T-shirts to optimize space in your dresser and closet — something that we’ve advocated for in a few of our previous blog posts!

Going through your clothing and rolling your shirts will also help you identify clothing items that you no longer wear, or that no longer fit. If these pieces of clothing are in good shape, don’t throw them away. Donate them to us! Simply visit our newly updated ClothingDonations.org website to schedule a time for us to pick up your donation. Put your clothes in a bag or box marked “for donation, ” and we’ll take care of the rest!