(image via here)
The get-it-done list for September... straight out of the "gentle reminders" section of my 5 years of Martha Stewart Living magazines. Started late? Check out the other months here.
- Clean radiators or heating vents before cold weather sets in. It's also a good idea to have your furnace inspected by a professional. He can check for leakage, replace filters, and condition the system so it runs at its best all season.
- Start sorting and washing summer clothes and organizing closets. Discard worn items, give any that no longer fit, and pack the rest for storage. Bring out winter clothes and inspect them. Check for evidence of moths; if you find any, immediately wash all items stored in that spot. You can stitch small holes closed in knit garments, but large holes may require professional reweaving.
- Have your cholesterol level checked. You should do so at least every five years; many people should be checked more often. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors. The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association have designated September as National Cholesterol Awareness Month. For more information and helpful tips about maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, visit www.americanheart.org.
- For even wear, rotate your mattress four times a year. Alternate between flipping it end-over-end and side-over-side. This is also a good time to launder the mattress cover and, while the cover is removed, vacuum the mattress itself thoroughly. Air out the mattress twice a year (in fall and spring) by taking it outdoors on a sunny day and letting it sit in the sun for at least three hours. It this is not possible, open windows on a breezy day and leave the mattress uncovered for several hours.
- Dust ceilings, walls, baseboards, and woodwork at least once a season. This is especially important now, because dust that collects during summer is often laden with allergy-inducing pollen. A vacuum cleaner's long brush attachment is the best tool for this job. You also may use a dry sponge, but you'll need a sturdy ladder to reach high spots. Clean ceilings first, then work your way down.
- Will you be traveling during the holidays? Don't wait until the last minute to make arrangements. Research hotels and prices for plane, bus, and train tickets or car rentals online. If your dates are flexible, keep in mind that Tuesdays and Thursdays are often the least expensive days to fly.
- Organize medical records. Before your annual physical exam, compile your treatment history. This should detail any allergies and include your emergency contacts.
- Prepare your car for winter. Remove picnic items, beach chairs, and any other warm-weather essentials from the trunk, and vacuum all the traces of sand from the interior. Wax the exterior to protect against erosion from salt, and replace windshield-washer fluid with a formula that won't freeze. Update your first-aid-kit, and put jumper cables, a collapsible shovel, a flashlight, cotton work gloves, a heavy blanket, and an ice scraper in your trunk.