Image: Stacey Brandford / Styling: Ann Marie Favot
Professional organizer Estelle Gee gives her best home organizing tips for fall.
Blending style with practicality, Estelle Gee, director of Orderly Lives, has made a career out of helping others get organized. Here she shares some of her best home organizing tips and tricks to help you get your house ready for fall.
Simple home organizing solutions
- Fall is the second busiest season and one of the most common problems standing between you and an organized home is the ability to establish a routine. Think about your daily routine and then plan out ways to maximize your time and accomplish your chores efficiently.
- Put systems in place to minimize the time and effort usually spent clearing clutter and running around the house trying to find misplaced objects.
- Keep the family on the same page by synching up everyone's cellphones.
- Preach punctuality. Help ensure that you aren't downstairs waiting to leave in the morning while your teen is still upstairs getting ready by ensuring all the clocks in the house keep the same time.
- Keep a calendar in a common room like the kitchen to keep track of everyone's important dates and appointments.
Back-to-school home organizing
If you have children, then fall is extra busy -- not only do you have to get yourself organized and your home prepared for the oncoming cold, but you also have to get ready for back-to-school. Here are Estelle Gee's best home organizing tips to help get you and your family ready for school.
- Set up a station in the entryway or mud room to store the children's backpacks. This will minimize back-to-school stress, especially in the morning.
- Create a study area for your kids. This can be done in a communal room or in their bedrooms and helps keep books, homework and stationery all in one place.
- Make sure you start tomorrow on the right foot by organizing backpacks, making lunches and updating the family calendar the evening before.
- Minimize the morning routine by picking outfits the day before. If you're really proactive, use a clothing organizer to lay out a week's worth of outfits.
Outdoor fall home organizing ideas
With the lazy days of summer coming to a close, it's time to concentrate on organizing the outdoor living space and exterior of your home. Get your house winter ready before the cold rolls in with these simple outdoor organizing ideas.
- Pack up and store your patio furniture. Keep cushions in a closed storage unit and cover furniture frames to ensure that next summer you won't be shopping for new pieces.
- Clean your deck. If it needs to be weather-proofed, add a new coat of paint to guard against harsh winter weather.
- Get your home's exterior winter ready. Take a weekend to attend to home repairs such as cleaning the eaves and caulking around the exterior of your home's windows and doors.
- Clean out and organize the garage. This is a great place to store your patio furniture for the winter, not to mention your car once it starts snowing.
Fall home organizing accessories
A few of Estelle Gee's favourite home organizing accessories:
- The Rubbermaid garage system has plenty of components to store and organize everything from hoses to hockey equipment.
- Wall shelves to help keep your teenager's after-school life orderly and organized.
- Before the new school year begins, sort through your children's art projects and school work. Establish which pieces you want to keep and store them away in a properly labeled box or file folder. You can even create individual memento boxes so that your kids can file away their own favourites.
- Hooks are a convenient and easy way to organize clutter in entryways and closets. Place them inside cabinet doors to create more storage space in the bathroom and kitchen.
- Shower caddies, like 3M's Command bathroom organizers, allow for convenient access to toiletries and accessories. If your household loves beauty products, you may even want to consider having individual shower caddies.