As we in the United States of America, prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, I thought this quote may spur us to show how thankful we are.

I like to think that we show ourselves gratitude when we take care of our homes. No matter how large or small your home is, there are always things to do.

As the seasons change, there are different maintenance steps to take to ensure our homes run as well as they can.

This month, I’m focusing on outdoor maintenance activities.

Here in Georgia, the weather has started to turn much cooler. We haven’t had any frost advisories yet, but I’m sure they are coming.

What can you do to prepare?

There are several things you can do to help your heating system run as efficiently as possible.

If you haven’t already, change the filter in your HV/AC unit.

Check to make sure no furniture is in front of return air vents or heating vents. If there is, move the furniture.

Prevent a flood inside your house from a burst pipe.

Find the shutoff valve for the outside water, turn it off, and drain the line. Drain any hoses you have outside, coil them, and bring them into a shed or the garage.

Attend to outside furniture and planters.

If you like to sit outside and watch the birds and if you like to garden, there are a few things to do to put the furniture and garden to bed for the winter.

Let’s talk about the furniture first.

Leave your furniture outside unless you have a great place to store it that will not impact putting your car in the garage.

I recommend bringing the cushions inside as they don’t always do as well outside. Wash the cushion covers if possible and put the cushions in an extra-large garbage bag or two. These can be stored in the garage. This will save you money as the cushions will last another season or more.

Garden planters and garden

If you have a garden, you know it’s time to cut back the perennials and remove the annuals. Dig the earth around the perennials to allow the roots to breathe. When you remove the annuals, shake off the extra dirt and turn the dirt to make sure you remove the entire root system. This will make planting in the spring easier.

If you have planters, remove the annuals from the pot and turn the dirt to make sure you removed all the roots.

If you are not planting winter seasonal color in the planters, get a terra-cotta saucer large enough to cover the top of the planter. Another option is to get a wooden board to cover the top. Whatever you use, weigh it down with 1 or 2 bricks.

The reason for doing this is to keep critters from nesting in your pots or hiding their acorns.


If you have a wooded area near your home, blow or rake the leaves into the woods. The leaves provide nutrients and mulch for the woods, as well as providing woodland animals with nesting material.

If you do not, then corral the leaves and put them into a paper sack for the garbage disposal people to pick up.

This November, demonstrate how thankful you are to be in your home through acts of gratitude.

Looking for Gift ideas? We have some suggestions below...

Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time is a deck of cards that offers something for the whole family.

Everyone in the family can pitch in to help keep the home organized.

Each of the 50 cards has one task with step-by-step instructions to guide you.

Tasks are designed to only take takes 10 minutes to complete.

Pick a card, do the task, and you’re done in 10 minutes or less!

Learn more and purchase Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time here.

Need a good way to keep track of things to do…stay on top of maintenance?

I have just the thing. It is an undated planner/journal. A new kind of journal!

There is a calendar page with some checklists and a full page for notes. Keep track of your research and planning with this fabulous planner called: My List Simplified.

Learn more and purchase My List Simplified here

Books offer a special meaning to both the giver AND the receiver. Giving someone a book shows that you care. At its best, organizing is anxiety-soothing. It's a way of gaining control in an otherwise unpredictable world. Plus, you can add a personalized message inside the gift to give it an extra special touch. Consider...

Filled Up & Overflowing was written to help you and your family members, friends and spouses answer questions and concerns about the safety and comfort of their loved one in their space.

Benji’s Messy Room & Suzie’s Messy Room are some of the best books on organization for small children.

Upcoming Events

November 4 & 5: Diane and Jonda will have a booth at the Elegant Elf Marketplace at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts and Conference Center. Come out and say ‘hello’. The marketplace is open from 9-5 on Saturday and 10-5 on Sunday. Read all about it and the other wonderful vendors here.

November 10: Lunch and Learn with Diane and Jonda. The topic this month is Unique Ways to Navigate the Holiday Season. Celebrating the holidays with decorations and fancy meals is not everyone’s cup of tea. So, learn other ways to handle the holidays by attending our class. The class is one hour from 12 – 1pm ET. It is on Zoom and is recorded. The cost is $19.95.

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Warm Regards,

Diane N. Quintana, CPO®, CPO-CD®