Fall is here again and that means preparing for winter, both in your home and out in the yard. With so much work to be done, many of these tasks can seem overwhelming—but not if you have a bunch of shortcuts a.k.a. “fall hacks” to help you complete the work at a faster speed! Use the following six hacks to help you get the work quickly, that way you’ll be able to spend more time enjoying the season and all it brings.
1. Clean Leaves from the Gutters
When the leaves begin to fall, your gutters can fill up quick. Cleaning them can be extremely time-consuming and exhausting. Instead of taking a big part of your day wearing gloves and reaching into gutters, use a leaf blower to clean them out. Make sure you have the special attachment designed for this task, and the job will get done in just a few minutes instead of a few hours. To save even more time later, the leaf blower can also be used to remove the debris from your roof before clearing the gutters. After all the leaves are removed from the gutters, then you can rake the leaves up from your yard.
2. Rake up Those Leaves
The fall season means it’s time to rake up all those fallen leaves again. While this may seem a tedious job that has to be done quite a bit during this time of year, don’t fret. Instead of trying to use the rake, a shovel, or two rakes to pick up piles of leaves, rake the leaves onto an old bed sheet or tarp. Once all the leaves are on top, have one, two, or a few people grab the opposite corners of the sheet or tarp, and carry it to your trash can or leaf bags. You can dump all the leaves in one easy swoop by tipping the sheet or tarp like a big leaf funnel. The whole leaf raking process will go so much faster, and you won’t have pesky leaves escaping from your grasp as you try to pick them all up.
3. Trim Plants
When preparing to cut back plants in the fall before winter comes, make sure to get bungee cords, strips of fabric, or large rubber bands. Tie these around the ends of large plants you plan to trim such as ornamental grasses, bushes, or portions of trees. These hold the ends of the plant you’re cutting off together—which makes for easy disposal and less cleanup. By tying the plant together, you can easily trim and dispose of the tied part plants, without gathering up all the pieces later. Brilliant!
4. Organize Inside the House
Before you start to deep clean inside your house, grab two large baskets or other storage containers to help you do a quick sweep of each room. Have one basket for small items that need to be put away, and another for small items that can be donated. If anything larger takes less than one minute to be put away, just do it. Stack all dishes in the sink to go in the dishwasher, and have a laundry hamper handy for any clothes lying around. By cleaning everything out of your way in one swoop, your next step will be deep cleaning. Set baskets aside to sort and donate later.
5. Get Rid of Dust
During this time of year, the wind and falling leaves tend to kick up a lot of dust and debris that would otherwise stay outside. When doing a deep clean like this, be sure to start at the top of your room, nearest the ceiling. This means you should dust and wipe ceiling fans and wall-mounted shelves before moving down toward the floor. Keep a pile of damp cloths handy and a bucket, so once a rag gets dirty you can grab a new one. Otherwise, dust and dirt simply gets pushed around and settles someplace else you’ve already cleaned. Work in circles around the room in one big spiral motion, until you reach the floor.
6. Vacuum Quickly and Efficiently
After dusting, it’s time to vacuum everything up, including what you just dusted onto the floor. Before starting, pull all of the furniture away from the walls toward the center of the room, so you can vacuum underneath it. Vacuum thoroughly, remembering to get in corners and underneath furniture. Make sure to get those dust bunnies! Then put everything back where it goes. Mop the floor with hot water and a clean mop to get any last dust and debris.