Organizing - Things To Do

10 things to do in October

Welcome cool days and long nights by bringing autumn into your home.

There's nothing like the crisp, clean and often slightly wood-smoke-tinged smell of fall. Combined with the feel of cool air and the splendour of the turning leaves, it makes you want to jump into a pile of fallen leaves -- and then curl up under a blanket with a steaming mug of hot apple cider. Make the most of the season, both indoors and out, with these 10 suggestions for your to-do list this month.

1 Plant spring bulbs
Think back to early spring, and how much you appreciated those first sights of flowers blooming -- and make that thought your inspiration as you buy your spring bulbs. Now is the time to plant them, before the first frost.

2 Make your living space cosier
Now's the time for quiet evenings at home on the couch with a page-turner. Make things more comfy by decorating your living room with warm, textured cushions and throws in your favourite fall palette -- wrap yourself in rich-coloured velvet, cashmere or faux fur for the ultimate in luxury. Get inspiration from this interview with Nate Berkus.

3 Enjoy some hot apple cider

Healthier than hot chocolate but just as soothing, apple cider is a delicious fall treat best enjoyed when locally made from fresh-picked fruit. Whether you're preparing it for guests or just for a quiet evening at home, now is the time to pick up some cider and spice it up.

4 Use your leaves

Rather than letting the city take away your fallen leaves, make good use of them. If you have a compost bin, keep bags of leaves nearby to add periodically throughout the winter. Another option is to make leaf compost -- fill a garbage bag with shredded leaves, a few handfuls of soil and some water, close the bag, and shake once a week. By spring you should have usable leaf mold.

5 Set the table for fall

As the seasons change, so does our appetite -- as salads cease to satisfy, we find ourselves preparing much more hearty fare.

6 Prep the fireplace
If you've gone natural gas, you can skip this step. But if your fireplace is the old-fashioned sort, make sure to get it and the chimney cleaned professionally. Don't forget to stock up on firewood, kindling and long matches so you're ready to start a fire at a moment's notice.

7 Change your bedding
Now's the time to bring out your warm duvet and enjoy the comfort of snuggling into a warm bed with a fresh, cool breeze coming in through the window -- before it's too cold to leave it open. Make sure to add a cosy throw in a thick fabric like faux fur, and leave space on your bedside table for a cup of herbal tea to sip while you wind down in the evenings.

8 Rethink your space

No matter how much effort we put into our home decor, it's all too easy to get into a rut -- or to acquire clutter faster than we can clear it. Think about how you're using your space and if you can put it to better use. For instance, if you have three bedrooms and only ever use two, perhaps it's time to reconceptualize that third room.

9 Prepare a harvest feast
Thanksgiving comes but once a year, and when else do we get a holiday that's all about food? With no gifts to buy or cards to send, you're free to focus on the meal -- and how best to use the bountiful fall harvest. Make use of quintessentially North American ingredients like squash, wild rice, corn and cranberries -- yes, and turkey -- for a deliciously seasonal menu no one's likely to forget. (Try this menu from canadianliving.com.)

10 Bring autumn into your home
Whether it's through colour, texture or seasonal objects, clear out the lightness and brightness of summer and replace it with the comfort of fall. Try these do-it-yourself decor ideas, and read these suggestions for 15 ways to bring autumn into your home.

Image courtesy of West Elm.

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