Fall Cleaning: Getting Ready for Winter

Fresno, CA From the carpets to the closets, it's time to clean and de-clutter. If you're feeling overwhelmed, try a divide and conquer approach. Cleaning house is easier if you break it up into smaller parts and get your family to pitch in.

When it comes to household cleanups, spring gets all the hype. But autumn can also be a good time to give your home a clean sweep.

"In winter, which is just around the corner, you're home a lot more. You're spending a lot more time in your house, and at that point you're going to notice a cluttered hall, a messy closet, a whole lot more," said Bob Markovich with Consumer Reports.

Start with closets, swapping summer and winter clothing. "Be sure that winter gear is together, be sure that short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts and blouses are together."

Get kids in the habit of keeping backpacks, schoolbooks and other clutter out of sight, with cheap and simple organizers. "Have a place to store everything. Bins are a very, very good thing to use in closets. Even if you don't have a closet organizer be sure there's place for everything. And make it easy for them."

And for items you don't need, a crisp fall weekend could be the perfect time for a yard sale. "Make sure there's a lot of room for a lot of cars, because they're gonna come. I just was part of one myself and it's amazing what you're going to find, especially today when people are looking to save."

Fall's also a good time to winterize your home. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, check the gutters, examine weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows, and clean and store your patio furniture.

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