My mother swears by those vacuum bags, the ones where you suck all the air out and can get 10 sweaters to drop to the size of one, but I usually store my summer clothing high up in baskets on a shelf. I haven’t purchased any yet due to the high price, but from what I’ve heard, they’re worthwhile for the extra closet space they offer.

2. Get ready for overnight visitors. Since September, we have had visitors every weekend, and there will be many more. While having friends and family around is wonderful, they will all need pillows to sleep on and blankets to keep warm. It’s time to check our linen closet to make sure we have enough fresh, comfortable bedding for the next chilly winter nights.

country living guests linens

3. Fill the freezer and pantry. Amen. We do a lot of baking, a lot of cooking, and a lot of wine drinking. Buying essentials now, such as sugar, flour, pumpkin pie mix, spices, and even trash bags, will help you avoid the Costco hordes I loathe during the holidays. It’s also time to clear out our freezer in preparation for stocking up on meat and poultry in quantity for chilly evening meals.

pantry country living

Winterize the home, fourth. We get a lot of rain around here, so it’s time to clear the gutters and check that the downspouts are pointed away from the house to prevent flooding the foundation. Ah, the pleasures of home ownership. That’s a lot of work! We also need to cover the patio furniture, inspect and replace the furnace’s filter, turn off the sprinklers, and weatherproof a drafty door.

5. Make a list of the winter outerwear. As our children grew, we constantly needed new jackets, boots, caps, etc. Fortunately, we have friends who frequently give us jackets or rain boots when their children outgrow them because winter clothing can be expensive very quickly. What is your go-to place for good, inexpensive winter clothing for kids? Are there any other excellent options since I’ve previously shopped at Lands End? Anyone have any more smart labels for kids’ outerwear besides Sharpies?

winter garments country living

6. Establish and adhere to a holiday spending plan. Of all the things, this is the most crucial and, I’ll be honest, the one I find hardest to do. (I particularly died when I spotted some coveted sunburst mirror small ornaments at a nearby Christmas store. But since I detest receiving a sizable credit card statement in January that lists all the small things that I neglected to plan for, I firmly believe that having a budget in place makes me less inclined to spend foolishly and more likely to manage my money wisely.

7. Prepare to wrap your gifts. The disarray I experienced with all that gift wrapping was one of the factors that led me to construct an gift wrap organizer ! There is far less stress and a significant time savings when all the wrap is prepared in a small area with ribbon, tape, and scissors.

gift wrap country living

8. Start gathering gifts right away. I believe it is wise to begin Christmas gift buying in October, and the purchases are made simpler when I maintain a brief list of all the people I need to buy for in my handbag or wallet. Oh well, if the idea is to make my own presents, I’ll need to allocate even more time to acquire the materials and spend that few hours making leisurely rather than under duress.

The advantage of starting your shopping early is that you can avoid the crowds and impulsive purchases, but those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals only grow better with time! Which holiday—Black Friday or Cyber Monday—do you prefer? Since I can complete the latter in my jammies, I believe I prefer it.

9. Enhance What You Have. Isn’t it true how all those fresh Christmas decorations can be so alluring? Although everything is lovely and glittery, I believe it’s vital to take stock of what you currently have in your stockpile and make an effort to use it. Supplement with some fresh seasonal items, decorations, and accessories if the budget allows.

pumpkins on table country living

10. Be Prepared for Indoor Hours, but Colder Weather Always Makes Entertainment Difficult, Particularly with Daytime Hours Spent Indoors Having Plenty of Games, Books and Art Supplies Around Keeps Boredom at Bay

But when the kids start climbing the walls, I’m one of those parents who happily welcomes them outside before pointing them toward the puddles or snowdrifts. It’s the least I can do to pay it forward because my parents made us do it. One of the best things about winter is how all the outdoor play is rewarded with soup and hot chocolate everywhere.





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