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Summer Closets Turn to Autumn Closets

With the summer nearing its end, it may be time to start changing over your closets from summer clothes to autumn clothes. In an effort to help make this change as easy as possible for you, the good people over at Seventh Generation, have compiled 5 simple steps to help you clean out and switch over your summer closet for an autumn one.

Changing Over Closets for a New Season

As seasons change, so do your clothing needs. Now’s the time to clean, sort, store and organize so your clothes, shoes & accessories are ready to go as new weather rolls in. It’s also a great time to give your closet space a deep clean before you fill it back up! Tackle closet changes in 5 easy steps:

  1. Separate into 2 piles – ‘keep’ & ‘donate’: Go through all of your drawers, shelves, shoes and hanging space and separate items into two piles – those you’ll want to keep and those you no longer have use for. Bag up anything that can be donated and bring to your local donation center.
  2. Store seasonal items in bins: For the clothes and shoes you plan on keeping but won’t wear this season, store them in air-tight containers or bags – clearly marked so you know what’s what when they’re ready to join your closet again. Make sure items are clean before packing!
  3. Clean your closet: Now’s a great time to give your closet space a deep clean. Vacuum the floor, wipe off shelves to remove dust & grime, and toss any broken hangers.
  4. Unpack and wash: Last year’s stored items will likely need a refresh before being added back to your closet. Unpack containers and wash those that do need it with a gentle detergent. Iron out wrinkles from time spent in storage.
  5. Try it on: Before putting everything away, try on the seasonal clothes you’ve just brought out. Make sure things fit well and are free of any damage. Hang or fold and you’re good to go!

Bring the Smell of Autumn, Indoors

There are many things that I love about the fall season; the chilly temperature, the changing of the leaves, and tailgating at a football game are all things that make Autumn, my favorite time of year. However, the one thing that I love even more than all of the things I’ve already listed, are the scents of the season. Apple, pumpkin, cinnamon…..I love it all! There is also nothing better than coming home and having those wonderful scents fill your home. Unfortunately, in order to achieve this many people turn to artificially scented sprays and candles. However, thanks to our friends at Seventh Generation, you can forget about those sprays and candles, and make your own Autumn concoction in a simmer pot. The following article tells you what ingredients you’ll need and gives directions on how to naturally fill your home with the scents of fall.


Fill Your Home With the Scents of Fall – Naturally

As cooler air makes its way across the country, we’re reminded that the holidays are quickly approaching. From Thanksgiving decor to Christmas trees, our homes start to feel the holidays approach, too. This year, skip the artificially- scented candles and sprays and create your own simmer pot! Using fruit, liquid and spices, a simmer pot is an easy, natural way to make your house smell like fall.

What You’ll Need

  • 4 cups of apple cider
  • The peel of 2 naval oranges
  • 1 apple, sliced in half
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon of allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon of whole cloves
  • 4-5 cardamom pods
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Add all of the ingredients to a small saucepot and bring to a simmer over low heat. Keep the pot on very low heat for up to a few hours, allowing the scent to fill your house. Add more liquid as needed – and save the mixture in your refrigerator for up to 3 days!

A Few Tips for Fall Cleaning

Fall cleaning often gets overlooked as being as important as spring cleaning. However, after a long summer of having the windows and screen doors open, along with dirt brought in on kids shoes after long summer days/nights playing outside; a good fall cleaning can be very important. Luckily, the good people at Seventh Generation, have a few tips to help you out with your annual fall cleaning, to make sure you go into those chilly autumn months with a nice clean home.


5 Tips For Fall Cleaning

Do you Fall clean as much as you Spring clean? You should! Summer is a time of open windows and little ones running through the house from outside, which provides a lot of opportunity for germs to enter your home. Take advantage of these cooler fall weekends and get the house ready for winter with this checklist:

  • Clean from top to bottom. Go through each room and dust everything! Walls, ceilings, baseboards, etc. Summer is a common time for the house to collect dust, and an dust is an easy way to cause irritation in the winter. Follow through with a thorough vacuuming of carpets and any fabric drapes you may have.
  • Winterize the beds. Pull out all of your heavier winter blankets and give them a solid wash to make them feel like new. Flip or rotate your mattress (you should be doing this every three months).  Tuck your kids into a warm, cozy and clean winter bed.
  • Organize the closets. Go through your closets and your kids’ closets and pull items that you no longer wear or don’t fit anymore. Make a pile of clothing to donate. Swap out the summer styles for the winter coats and sweaters that have been packed away.
  • Wash the windows. Go through the house and was all the windows, indoors and out, to avoid this step during the cold and snowy winter months. Take out the screens and wash them so they’re ready to go next summer. Replace them with storm windows.
  • Deep clean the kitchen. Fall means the holidays will be here before we know it, and holidays often bring guests. Deep clean all of your appliances – refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher. Organize your cabinets and drawers to make sure you can easily find what you need.
  • Use VOC-free OR Low-VOC cleaners. In winter, windows are open less, and according to the EPA, our indoor environment is two to five times more polluted than the air in our outdoor environment. Because of this, it can be important to choose the cleaners you use indoors wisely – and make sure to open your windows for 5 minutes a week during the winter!

Eco-Clean Your Yard This Fall

Autumn is now in full swing, which means many people are beginning to notice an abundance of leaves accumulating in their yards. If you happen to be one of these people, you’ll definitely want to check out this article from Seventh Generation, on how take care of fall yard work the eco-friendly way. The article has tips on how to clean your yard, create compost heaps, transfer your outdoor vegetables to indoors, and prepare your lawn for spring.


Eco-Friendly Fall Yard Work

Fall marks the environment transitioning from summer to winter, and we experience many of our own transitions as well. You probably winterize your house, and your car, but what about your yard? Here are some eco-friendly fall yard work tips to keep your yard happy until spring:

Compost. This time of year generates a lot of waste that is often bagged up and thrown away. This year, take your lawn clippings and fallen leaves and turn them into top-notch fertilizer to use in the spring! To successfully compost fall waste, first shred leaves and grass clippings using a mulcher or shears. This will make it much easier for the leaves to break down. Try to have equal parts grass clippings, which are a nitrogen source, and leaves, which are a carbon source. Moisten the pile slightly, and then just let it be. Turn the pile just about once a month to keep things moving.

Use Your Own Power. Fall chores tend to bring out a lot of machines. Leaf blowers, lawn mowers, rototillers – the list goes on. While these tools may make your job a little quicker, they also release hazardous emissions and use up a ton of energy. Garden equipment engines make up 5% of the nation’s air pollution, with gasoline powered lawn mowers at the top of the list. Running a gas-powered mower for one hour emits as much pollution as 11 cars being driven for an hour! Make the environmentally friendly choice while getting a workout in and trade the leaf blower for a rake.

Put Your Lawn to Bed. If you want to keep your lawn happy, you need to prepare it for the cold weather that’s about to come! Do your final mow of the season with a push mower and cut a little shorter than usual – this will discourage matted grass and snow mold over the winter. Spread a thin layer of compost on top of your lawn to keep it happy under the snow, as well as promote healthy soil and help nourish the many creatures that live in the soil! The fall is also a great time to fill in any bare spots with new seeds for a lush green lawn in the spring.

Do an Outside House Check. You’re not going to want to repair leaks or cracks in the middle of winter, so use the fall to check the outside of your house for any areas that may need attention. Making sure all windows and doors are tightly sealed will prevent heat from escaping, and in turn prevent you from turning up the thermostat.

Final Garden Harvest. Go through the garden and harvest the rest of those tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. If you have herbs or other plants that you like to enjoy year round, transplant them to a pot and move them indoors to grow.