Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Organized
Autumn's here and it's time to Fall Back: Time Change Sunday is on the way!
On the first Sunday in November, we come to the end of Daylight Saving Time in most of the United States. With an extra hour in the day--and winter on the way--it's a good time for a seasonal home preparedness checklist!
As you circle the house, resetting clocks to Standard Time, make time for this short safety checklist. It'll see you into the winter from a safe--and organized--home:
Change the clocks, change the batteries. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors save lives ... if they're powered on by a fresh battery. Safety experts recommend replacing smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries twice a year--so celebrate Time Change Sunday with fresh batteries all around.
Energy savings hint: don't toss the replaced batteries just yet. While they're likely not fully charged, replaced batteries can still do duty in children's toys, media players or electronic devices. Squeeze the last drop of power out of them before you recycle!
Replace light bulbs. Long dark winter evenings call for a little illumination! Since you'll have stepladders out to reach smoke detectors and clocks on Time Change Sunday, double up on safety (and energy savings) by checking for light bulbs and fixtures.
Consider replacing conventional bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent or LCD bulbs. The U.S. Environmental Protection estimates that replacing standard bulbs with energy-efficient ones saves over $30 in electricity costs over their lifetime.
- Prepare for cold and flu season. Cold weather is here and so are colds and the flu; will your household be prepared if illness strikes?
Check the medicine cabinet, and assess stocks of over-the-counter medications. Do you have sufficient non-aspirin fever reducers, cough syrup, and decongestants needed to fight colds or flu? Has the thermometer gone missing? Be sure Dr. Mom is ready at the first sign of seasonal illness!
In the pantry, a stockpile of canned soup and lemon-lime soda can ease cold symptoms and fight off dehydration--and don't forget to stock up on disposable tissues for all those coughs and sneezes!
- Make or review your family emergency plan. If an emergency strikes, will your family know what to do?
Review your family's emergency plan, or create one for the first time. Update phone numbers, addresses and contact information, and post an Emergency Information Page near the phone.
Learn more about what your family needs to know in case of disaster or emergency:
Family Emergency Preparedness from RedCross.org
Are You Ready? A Guide For Citizen Preparedness from FEMA.org
This free printable from Ready.gov makes it easy to develop a plan in case of emergencies: