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Fall cleaning is like giving your home and the planet a fresh start!
The silky notes of Jazz Diva Diane Reeves filled the room, sending a sense of warmth and contentment through Annie. After watching the sunrise during her morning walk and having breakfast, she was ready to tackle their weekend task. At the end of summer, Annie and LJ organized their home for the colder autumn and winter seasons ahead.
“I love this music. Did you put it on to set the mood?” LJ smiled.
Annie wrapped her arms around his neck and whispered, “You know me so well, LJ. I thought we could listen to Dianne as we transition from summer to fall. It’s time to get the house ready for the cold weather.”
“Already?” groaned LJ. “Remind me why do we do this again?”
“Of course, my love. We only do this twice a year, every year. Fall cleaning and organizing have many health and environmental benefits:
– Removing dust, dirt, and allergens improves indoor air quality and reduces the risk of respiratory ailments.
– Weatherizing our home by sealing leaks and caulking saves money and reduces our carbon footprint.
– A clean heating system is energy efficient and reduces our energy bills.
– Regular cleaning prevents pest infestations by removing leftover pet food and other debris.
– A clean and organized home can be calming, reduce stress, and improve mental health and function.
How about starting with checking the windows, doors, outlets, pipes, and the garden drip system for leaks?”
“Okay, you’re right. I have some weatherstripping and caulk that we can use to seal any gaps or cracks. That will help us save money on our heating bills and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. I’ll tackle that because I know you want to swap out the summer bed linens for the winter ones.”
“I love our warm, cozy flannel sheets and heavy comforters. They are made from organic cotton, which is better for the environment and our skin. I’ve washed the summer sheets and duvet cover, so they’re ready to pack in vacuum storage bags.”
“That reminds me also to check and adjust our thermostat settings. Since it’s fall, we can turn off the air conditioner, turn on the thermostat, and keep a comfortable temperature but lower it at night when we’re sleeping.”
“That’s a smart move,” quipped Annie. That will help us save energy and money, and keep us healthier. I read a recent study that shows, sleeping in a cooler room can improve our sleep quality, metabolism, immune system, and even prevent wrinkles.”
“Wow, that’s amazing. I didn’t know that.”
“Me neither. But it makes sense. Our body temperature naturally drops at night, so sleeping in a cooler room can help us fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.”
“Sounds good. If we get cold, we can always put on pj’s,” laughed LJ.
Annie shook her head. “Speaking of clothes, I’ll also go through our summer wardrobes, donate anything we’re no longer wearing, and unpack our winter clothes.”
“If you need help carrying anything, let me know. If I recall correctly, I will need a new pair of gloves and a couple of winter beanies.”
“Okay, let’s ensure we’re buying from an ethical and sustainable brand or a pre-owned store. There are lots of clothes in those stores that have never been worn. They still have the original tags on them!”
“Yeah, I’m not into fast fashion or contributing to textile waste and its impact on the planet.”
LJ nodded, “that is on my list. I don’t want to risk any fire hazards or carbon monoxide poisoning.”
“No, we don’t especially since we use a fireplace and a gas stove in our home, which are sources of heat and comfort, but they can also produce carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless, and deadly gas. So we need to have carbon monoxide detectors in any room where there is a potential source of carbon monoxide. And smoke alarms in every bedroom and on every level of our home.”
“Exactly. And we need to test them monthly and change the batteries twice a year. In fact, I’m going to do that right now.”
“Great. When you finish do you mind meeting me in the kitchen? I want to make a list of recipes that include in-season fruits and veggies.”
“That is an excellent idea, Annie, especially since we have an abundance of seasonal produce from our garden and access to an excellent farmer’s market. In-season fruits and veggies are fresher, tastier, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly than imported or out-of-season produce. Not to mention they also provide us with the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that we need to boost our immune system and stay healthy during the colder months.
“Okay, but that might be tomorrow’s project. I’d also like to include prepping and freezing most of our root veggies for winter soups.”
“Tomorrow works,” laughed Annie. “I don’t want to wear you out.”
Here are the top ways to prepare your home for fall and winter:
– Check for any energy leaks and repair them with weatherstripping and caulk.
– Change bed linens from summer weather to colder weather linens.
– Switch out summer clothes for winter clothes. Donate unwanted clothes and shop sustainable brands for replacements.
– Adjust the thermostat by lowering it during the day when not at home and at night when sleeping.
– Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors ensure they are working properly and replace the batteries if needed.
– Cook only delicious and nutritious in-season fruits and veggies recipes.
These actions make your home comfortable and cozy, save money, energy, and resources, reduce your carbon footprint, and improve your health and well-being.
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.
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