Cleaning the Yard for Fall

cleaning-fallAlthough we tend to focus our energy on spring cleaning, cleaning up in the fall is just as important, if not more so. Take care of your yard in the fall to make things easier once the winter weather is over. There are a few essentials that need to be taken care of before the seasons change.

The lawn
Possibly the most important feature of your yard, the lawn is the first sight everybody sees when arriving at your home. The steps you take during the fall will ensure your lawn will be healthy for springtime again. Make sure to water it properly as long as necessary, and continue to keep it looking nice. This will stop any need for heavy duty maintenance in a few months. Besides just watering, it is important to:

Fertilize your lawn – this should be done both in the spring and fall. When done during this time, it will help maintain the roots of the grass, and keep the nutrients stored all winter long.

Air out the soil – after constant footsteps tracking across the lawn throughout the summer, it is good to have the soil aired out as winter approaches. There are professionals that will aerate your lawn for a reasonable price.

Pick up leaves – leaves can be damaging to your lawn if left there for too long. Not only will this kill your grass, but procrastinating will only leave the project for later in the spring.

Take care of your lawn before it’s too late. It is better to get these things done as early as possible, in case an early cold front comes through.

Clear out the junk
As organized as we try to be, junk can quickly accumulate over the summer months. Use the beginning of fall to get rid of the worst of the junk. Organize your garage, shop, and anywhere else around the house. Determine what you still need, and what can be thrown away. Before taking a load to the dump however, check and see if what you have is worth anything.

Some people don’t realize just how much scrap metal they have hanging around their home, or how much they can get for it. If you have non-ferrous metals, the price jumps significantly. Go throughout your yard, combining all the metal products you no longer have need of.

To test and see if the metals you have are non-ferrous, grab a magnet. If the items are magnetic, you have a ferrous material on your hands, such as steel. Non-ferrous metals such as copper and aluminum will bring in a much higher profit. Rather than just throwing these items away, take them to the scrap yard to get some benefit from them. Not only will you be cleaning up your yard, but you will also earn a little extra cash to work with. Invest this in future home projects or whatever else you want.

Take the time this fall to improve your yard. Not only will this save you time for spring cleaning, but it will also keep your yard and garden healthy. By breaking up the tasks between the seasons, your yard will look better than ever before.

Cassie Costner writes on DIY projects, yard maintenance, and recycling metals. She has experiencing with fall cleaning projects on large and small yards. 

Freshen Up Your Home for Fall

FallNow the kids are back in school, you’ve probably had some time to sit down, step back, and take an honest look around your house.

Do you like what you see? I’m not talking about major renovations—you probably still like your couch, your countertops, and your coat closet. But you may feel that your home has become a tad bit stifling, or that you need a subtle change as you and your family transition from summer to fall.

It’s amazing what a simple cleaning and subtle décor shift will do to rid you of that uncomfortable, stagnated feeling! Here are four simple ways to freshen up your home as the seasons change to fall.

An All-Over Clean
Not a deep-clean of every last surface in your house—this is like you freshening up at a hotel after a long drive, not a long primping session for opera night. But you should, before you begin, give your house a basic cleaning job all over. It actually used to be a common yearly ritual in European households to clean at the start of a new year to bring in new life and good fortune, especially the sweeping out of old dirt and debris and replacing the rushes, which were a common medieval floor treatment. While it’s not likely you’ve chosen that particular option for your floors, sweeping them as well as cleaning the house will give you the same refreshed feeling.

Dust where needed, clean & disinfect surfaces, sweep and/or vacuum your floors. Clean and organize your cupboards, throw out any dead plants or spoiled food. Doing this will leave you with a clean, blank canvas to work with, and everything will feel fresher now you’re rid of that old dust and last season’s dirt.

Shift Paradigms by Shifting Furniture
You can laugh, but I’ve got evidence to back this one—frequent re-arranging of furniture keeps people happy by keeping them from being bored with their surroundings.

If something absolutely needs stay in place, like the TV near the cable hook-up,  move around the things you can—you’d be amazed what placing the same items of furniture differently does to the look of the room.

A More Polished Look
Even if your home doesn’t have hardwood floors, there are probably still some wood surfaces you could stand to polish.

If you don’t want to drop a lot of money on expensive furniture or all-natural cleaners, never fear! Just add a little lemon juice or essential oil to vinegar and olive oil. The vinegar pulls out dirt, the oil polishes, and lemon gives it that clean smell. And you’ll feel like your hardwood flooring and furniture are brand new!

Clear the Air
The air you breathe has to be good air if you want to feel refreshed! So make sure to clear the air in your home.

Clean vents and replace your furnace filters. If you haven’t already, see if you can’t buy and install filters meant to reduce allergens.

Then, bring in some summer-to-fall seasonal potted plants to match the rooms in your home! You don’t have to be a total green thumb to enjoy the natural, oxygen-replenishing benefits of plants—you just need the plants in their pots, your own sink, and maybe some led grow lights, and you can easily enjoy potted plants in this changing season. For flower lovers, try sunflowers, chrysanthemums, dahlia, or Chinese lantern. For those of you more practicality-minded, why not grow useful herbs, such as flavorful basil or soothing mint.

Doesn’t your home feel fresher already?

Nina Hiatt researches and writes articles to help people find balance and beauty in their personal space through landscape and interior design. In her free time, Nina blogs about many of her interests, which include gardening, technology news, and baking.

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