September is the month for organization and order. With school in session and fall around the corner, Get the most out of one of the most perfect months of the year with our helpful tips for your house and garden.
A link to %this page% was e-mailed
"I take digital photos of my four-year old with each craft project and scrapbook them instead of keeping them all. For ongoing art, we'll paint a magnetic wall to attach pictures without lots of pinholes or display boards." —Wendy in Seattle, WA
More: Save Money on Organizing Products
More than 70 percent of home buyers want two or more full bathrooms and a laundry room, and more than half want a formal dining room.
Happy Labor Day! Just in time for the last picnic of the season: Ants have six legs, each with three joints. And according to Life123, they also have the largest brain of any insect.
More: French Country Decorating Ideas from Rate My Space
Give your outdoor chairs and tables a good scrub now. Mild dishwashing detergent should work for most materials, but check labels to be sure. For wood, use a high quality wood cleaner and rub in wood oil to prevent cracks during winter storage.
More: Garden Furniture Styles
It's one of the most popular decorating styles today. To get the look, combine antique-style furniture with bright pink, orange or white linens, curved metals and distressed wood pieces. More: French Country Decor Ideas from Fans
For a simple way to tackle spills in your car, store a towel under your seat to use on upholstery. Don't rub a spill, instead press down with the towel to soak it up. For deeper stains, use a mild solution of one gallon water plus a few drops of dish washing liquid.
More: 12 Handy Car-Cleaning Tips
Now is the time (before temperatures drop too far) to have an automatic irrigation system installed in your yard or garden if you need one. Scheduling should be easier this time of year and you might even find lower prices.
More: How Much Water Are Your Plants Getting?
Dust mites love bedrooms, especially bedding. Protect your mattress and box springs from dust mites and their larvae with allergen-impermeable zip-up covers. Wash blankets and pillows monthly and wipe down the bed frame and coils too.
More: Crisp, All-White Bedroom Linens
One of the easiest ways to change the look of a whole room is updating your window treatments. From curtains to valances, we've picked our favorite looks from Rate My Space, guaranteed to inspire.
More: Stunning Window Treatment Ideas
White is the most popular color for interior paint, according to HappyNews.com, followed by off white and light brown. Yellow is most often used in bathrooms and kitchens, while blue is the number one color for bedrooms.
More: Pro Tips for Painting Your House
Get in the spirit of the season with a few fresh accessories for fall. Our favorite colors include bold hues like rich tangerine, deep jewel tones like emerald and dark, earthy granite and brown.
Before you store your screens for the season, clean them with a scrap of carpeting. Just a small piece of remnant carpet makes a powerful brush that removes all the dirt and particles easily. More: 8 Pretty Window Seats
Clean inside the refrigerator. The best cleanser is a combination of course salt and bubbly soda water. Take all food items out and scrub each surface with a clean sponge, wiping dry with paper towels before refilling.
More: How to Declutter the Refrigerator
Prune the bush to three feet, cutting above outward-facing buds. Remove smaller limbs, leaving three to five of the thickest, most vigorous canes. Pull off leaves, tying canes together. Spray with dormant oil spray and scatter moth balls around the soil.
More: Details for Winterizing Your Roses
Switch out your summer wardrobe for heavier clothing. Be sure to clean everything first (and dry clean if necessary). Mend anything torn and donate items you didn't wear at all this year. Do the same for kids.
More: 10 Steps to a More Beautiful Closet
Once a year, it's a good idea to tackle the bathroom fan. Turn off the power source before you start, then take off the cover and wash in soapy water. Clean the fan blades with a toothbrush in order to really remove the built-up grime. Replace everything once dry.
More: Maximize Your Bathroom Storage Space
When you turn off your dehumidifier for the season, freshen the basement. Open all cellar windows and doors, and then wash the floors and walls with a solution of one gallon of water plus 3/4 cup bleach. Drying should be fairly fast while the weather is still on the warmer side.
More: 10 Basement Spaces for Everyone
To make your own cleaner fill a spray bottle with water and spray oven liberally. Sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda over the water and let sit overnight. Use a sponge with hot water and liquid dish detergent to remove the baking soda (and grime) from inside the oven.
More: A Quick Tip for Keeping Kitchens Tidy
Before winter storms start, set up a 72-hour kit of emergency supplies in a large storage container. Choose a storage space easily accessible during a power outage. Include non-perishable foods (oatmeal, water, trail mix, etc.) plus candles, a flash light, first aid kit, paper towels, a radio and kerosene stove.
More: Must-Read Tips for Electrical Safety
Give your carpets a thorough (and professional) cleaning before the holiday season arrives. Not only will your floors look great but you'll enjoy the time you save during the holiday rush.
More: Getting Out Tough Carpet Stains
"My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint." — Erma Bombeck
Apply grass seed to any spots in your yard that appear thin or bare. While you're at it, fertilize in early fall to encourage good root development.
More: Basic Lawn Care Tips
Make sure your backup heating source (generator, wood stove, etc.) is in good working order. Repair or replace as necessary. For wood burning fireplaces and woodstoves, have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year.
More: Give Your Fireplace a Facelift
Most real estate agents suggest that the number one reason houses don't sell is price.
Replace cool cotton sheets for flannel and air out winter duvets. Spritz with a favorite linen spray or light candles in the room to add a fragrant and cozy glow. For more of a boost, store a scented candle in the same drawer as summer linens.
More: Quick Tips for Organizing the Bedroom
Deep clean the bathroom. After applying cleanser and scrubbing, don't forget to rinse thoroughly. The chemicals in cleansers are designed to attract soil and particles. If you don't rinse after spraying your cleanser, dirt is likely to stick to it and build up—causing an even bigger mess.
More Tackle Bathroom Grime Like a Pro
What's the most widely grown plant in the world? Wheat. It's been grown on every continent except Antarctica for the last 7,000 years.
Get your AC unit ready for a fresh season next year with a professional inspection and routine service now. Not only will it be easier to schedule than in the late spring but you might even get a good deal if you double up with a furnace inspection at the same time.
More: Can Air Conditioning Prevent Mold?
Add weather stripping. Open and close all of your windows. Do they open easily, yet close tightly? If not, check the weather stripping and replace as needed.
More: Do You Have the Right Windows?
Order seed catalogs or get started on your spring garden now by planting biennials and perennials (such as peonies, foxgloves and pansies) in order to get their roots well established. Don't forget to consider next year's winter garden when making seed selections for spring.
More: How to Prepare for Spring Now