Use our smart tips to prepare your house and garden for the end of summery days and the beginning of a crisp fall.
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Give your home a fresh look and enjoy your summertime memories at the same time. Use special shells, pictures and souvenirs to create memories on your shelves that you can enjoy all year long.
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Believe it or not, another school year is on the way. Stay ahead of the excitement of a new school year by gathering school supplies now.
Take advantage of good deals now to create the garden of your dreams in autumn. Start planning your new designs and scouting stores for available inventory.
More: Make Sure You’re Buying the Right Plants
Replace your extension cords. Inspect your extension cord collection looking for signs of wear, damage or inflexibility. Throw away anything that's not in excellent condition and stock up on new cords.
Put buffet tables in shady areas to avoid wilted salads and curdled dishes. Cover all oil-based foods with waxed paper. Choose dishes that serve well at room temperature, like vinegar-based salads, kebabs, beans and pastas.
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"I have [my son's] bedroom closet and dresser sectioned and labeled into different clothing types so he knows where everything is. We installed a fun star peg to hold his 'outfit of the day' so he can easily dress himself in the morning." — Wendy in Seattle, WA
Construct an open-air shower in your yard. Pick up an outdoor shower installation kit at any home improvement store. Rinse off after working in the garden or before jumping in the pool.
More: Kid-Friendly Shower Design
Create a gallery wall with four to eight simple black frames, where you can switch out the artwork depending on the season. Try a beach theme for summer, replace with orange and red leaves in fall; repeat again for winter and spring.
More: Beach-Chic Decorating Ideas
With long warm days, summer is the right time to spruce up the outside of your home. By updating external paint colors, fresh landscaping along pathways and porch accessories, you can increase the value—and appeal—of your home.
More: Maximize Your Curb Appeal
Declutter your countertops by removing appliances you don't regularly use. Replace ordinary spice containers with glass jars with metal lids. Install an under-the-cabinet magnet strip and store the jars there, freeing up counter space.
Walk through the house inspecting all doors, windows, hinges and locks. Replace any damaged hardware and don't hesitate to call a pro to help with updating locks.
More: How to Install a Dead-Bolt Lock
A typical midrange kitchen remodel costs nearly $44,000 and can bring a return of about 90 percent.
More: Design Tips for Small Kitchens
Clean your shiny surfaces. To clean chrome, glass or stainless steel appliances, fill a spray bottle with a mixture of 50 percent rubbing alcohol and 50 percent water.
Modern design is known for sleek, clean and certainly uncluttered lines. From bedrooms to living rooms, accessories and more we've found the best ideas for modern homes.
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Instead of sealing kitchen waste in a plastic garbage bag (which produces a greenhouse gas called methane), create a compost heap instead. Start collecting fruit and veggie peels, coffee grounds, egg shells, even paper towels and newspaper.
More: How to Compost Indoors
Beat the heat, and get spinach and other fall veggies started now. Shading the planting bed and providing ample water (up to three times a day in extreme heat) will help germination.
More: Grow Asian Greens at Home
Shake up your morning routine by taking your shower outside. Whether you're in an enclosed space or out in the open, an outdoor shower can be a convenient — and liberating — addition to your landscape.
More: Gawk at Beautiful Outdoor Showers
When vacuuming, use the duster-brush attachment to get in all the nooks and crannies of the dashboard, center console and door panels. If you don't have an attachment, use a paintbrush to dislodge the dust.
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A perennial summertime favorite, fresh tomatoes have reached their peak of juicy deliciousness in most places by now. If your garden (or supermarket) is brimming with tomatoes scoop them up and make one of our favorite tomato recipes.
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If you're short on space in your bathroom, use this this space-saving trick from Genevieve Gorder: Bring a coat rack in to hang towels and bathrobes. It's the perfect size to fit into the narrow confines of your bathroom.
If your house is covered with siding, check for any loose nails and replace or fix any you find.
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Take a good look at your garage door to determine whether you need to make any repairs before the cool weather returns. Inspect the paint and exterior panels plus the automatic door wheels if you have them.
More: How to Repair a Garage-Door Roller
Enjoy the last days of summer curled up with a book worthy of the beach. Create a cozy nook by assembling a comfy chair in the corner of a room, add pillows, a side table and finish with a lamp.
Want a quick way to make over your bedroom for fall? Try a new headboard—from DIY projects to store-bought gems, we've selected our favorite looks for peaceful bedrooms.
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The world of real estate doesn't always work quickly. Most buyers view about nine homes before making a selection.
More: 20 Ways to Add Value to Your Home
After harvest, sow soil-building "green manures" or cover crops like medium red clover or winter rye. They'll be turned under in late winter, and as they decompose will improve soil texture and fertility.
While the days are still long with plenty of sun, tackle any damaged external brick or stone walls. Call a professional if necessary.
More: How to Fix a Brick and Mortar Wall
When it comes to dusting, let gravity help: do the plants first, followed by tables and finish with the floor. Invest in an ostrich-down duster and dust in straight lines so dust falls directly onto the floor. Always vacuum last.
To revive droopy and dusty drapes, take them down, remove hooks and run them through an air-fluff cycle in the dryer along with a damp towel (to attract the dust) for 15 minutes. Re-hang immediately. Wipe blinds with a damp cloth.
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