Prep your Car, Closets and Home For Cold Weather

It's October in the Midwest! 80 degrees one day, high of 51 the next. Try one of these ideas this week to make the transition to cooler weather go smoothly.

It was 80 degrees on Thursday, with a high of 51 on Friday. Must be October in the Midwest! There are lots of things you can do to make the transition to cooler weather go smoothly. Try one of these ideas this week:

In your Car:

Pack your Winter Car Safety Bag:
     I always carry the basics, like jumper cables, first aid kit and bottled water. But as I pumped gas this morning in the thin and chilly 37 degree air, I wrote a note-to-self to re-pack extra gloves and earmuffs, additional blankets and sweatshirts, and a replacement box of granola bars.

In Your Closets:

    • Swap out warm-weather clothes for cold-weather clothes in your closets and dressers. Review the warm-weather clothes, and purge old, tattered, stained or otherwise undesirable items now before putting them away.
    • Do the same for your warm-weather shoes.  Purge old or uncomfortable ones now. Take all shoes that need repairs to a reputable shoe repair shop, and put the rest away for the season. You’ll be amazed at how spacious your closet is without the summer clothes and shoes!
    • Take warm-weather clothes that require dry cleaning to your cleaners now, so you can store them clean this winter.
    • Find your winter coats and blankets, and take in any that require cleaning now instead of on that first really cold day!
    • Make a note to pick up all the repairs and clothes at the cleaner in a week.


In your Home:

We tend to have a party in October, which offers great motivation to super-clean my house.

  • Un-furnish / Clear out: In addition to regular cleaning, I un-furnished a few spaces, stored window fans, cleaned the ceiling fans, purged old electronics to the E-Waste recycling in my area, and generally cleared the decks. It felt great, and the house feels lighter.
  • Make service appointments this week: Have your furnace checked, the gutters cleaned, the landscape winterized, etc.  Make the appointment, or do it yourself, but do it SOON! A few weeks ago, we had the HVAC guy out to clean the furnace, and I had the carpet cleaners out the same day, so we’re looking good!
  • Set up a Reading Area: 
    1. This is a personal goal I want to share. I have a backlog of professional and non-fiction reading on my reading shelf. I get through fun fiction because I read that as I go to sleep, but I’m not getting very far on the professional reading I need to actually retain.
    2. We are a houseful of readers, and I am so glad. The most important determining factor for raising a child who is a reader is If There Are Books in your home. We have LOTS, and we have always encouraged reading while modeling the behavior ourselves.
    3. I want to step up my reading, get through my pile and learn new things. I need dedicated space for reading, like a corner of my loved but underutilized living room. I am adding a new lamp, another snuggly blanket, an attractive basket to hold my books and a coaster, of course, for my coffee or tea. Also in the basket will go a pad of paper and pen, since I get lots of really great new ideas when I read new things! I also need space in my schedule to make it happen, so I’m adding some blocks of time.


     At each of my two presentations last week, I asked the participants “What is your Next Step? What one thing that I mentioned today resonates with you? What will you try?” Weather proof your car? Finish transitioning to Fall in the closet? Head to the Dry Cleaners? Make some service appointments? Dedicate some reading space?

Well, what are you waiting for?  Let’s Go!

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