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Five on Friday: October Down Time

It’s sort of an in-between time where we live. The leaves are just starting to change color, and we still have afternoons with temperatures in the 70s. We certainly hung on to summer with all our might, but I know that the chilly, shorter days are just around the corner. In the meantime, right now is a great opportunity to transition from summer into preparation for the upcoming holiday season.

Here are five tips for making the most of your “down time.”

1) Declutter! It’s the buzzword of the hour. Whatever is weighing you down…whether it’s clothes, toys, paperwork…believe me, you’ll feel better after eliminating it. I had been hanging on to old baby clothes, toys, and books for way too long. Years, in fact. So this week I rounded up three boxes full of kids’ stuff and drove them to a local consignment shop. My procrastination had finally been cured by the knowledge that I’d make at least a little bit of cash right away. Whatever didn’t sell will be donated. It’s only three boxes out of several, but it felt great to clear them out. Doing so can literally be a load off your mind. Just start somewhere!

Check out Organized Home for some great decluttering tips.

2) Clean! Okay, house cleaning is absolutely NOT my favorite thing to do. But once you eliminate some of the clutter, it makes sense to deep clean some of the areas that you’ve been neglecting. (For me, it’s washing floors. Ugh.) Think of it as, well, spring cleaning in the fall. If you do a lot of entertaining during the holidays, take some time before your calendar fills up to clean and decorate your home. Then you can relax and enjoy the festivities.

Check out Real Simple and HGTV for some specific ideas for cleaning and festive decorating.

3) Cook! Try some fall-themed recipes with ingredients such as apples, pumpkins, and butternut squash, which are all abundant in the fall. Here are two to get you started:

Butternut Squash with Cumin Couscous (Real Simple again!)

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread (Courtesy of the AARP, it uses canned pumpkin, but we won’t tell.)

4) Open the windows! Better yet, throw on a sweatshirt, get outside, and take advantage of the dwindling daylight hours. The brisk fall air is perfect for a family touch football game or a quick walk. Also, bring some of nature indoors with you. I enjoy simple touches like a fall wreath or centerpiece. Of course, getting ready for Halloween is a lot of fun too, as Lynn posted in her Fall Favorites.

5) Pamper yourself! Well, why not? After all of your hard work decluttering, cleaning, decorating, and cooking, it’s important to take a little time for yourself. Maybe a new haircut or color is in order. My ultimate indulgence would be getting a massage, which I don’t do nearly as often as I would like. For the ladies, a mani/pedi, at home or in a salon, can help maintain soft skin and healthy nails. Just because you’re no longer wearing flip-flops or sandals every day doesn’t mean you should neglect those toes!

So, how are you enjoying October so far? Leave us a comment.


About katietesta

I am a mom, a wife, and a freelance writer. I love to research and have a passion for social justice and nonprofit work.


4 thoughts on “Five on Friday: October Down Time

  1. Great post. I copied the recipe for pumpkin cranberry bread and plan on cooking it up, soon. I love the fall and all the beautiful colors!

    Posted by Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice | October 5, 2012, 12:37
  2. Oh man, decluttering is an ongoing battle that I despair of ever winning. It seems like no matter how much I get rid of there is more just waiting to take it’s place. Argh!

    Posted by Rhonda Parrish (@RhondaParrish) | October 9, 2012, 11:06
    • I know what you mean! I spent a whole week during Spring Break cleaning out the basement. Filled a small dumpster we rented and made 10 trips with the back of the van full to Goodwill… and again, I’m out of space down there!


      Posted by A Common Sea | October 11, 2012, 10:20

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