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October Organizational Tasks

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I always do a lot of research to find fun facts and history about some of the events and awareness days.  That makes each month list a little long; however, I assume that everyone will skim the days of each month and only pick out the items that they find meaningful.

  1. Review your planner to review several months ahead and make a note of the items that you will need that will be on sale. The succinct list is below; however, if you want more details, make a point of reading all the way to the end because I start the list again at the end with all of the links and research that I completed.
  2. National Seafood Month: Make a point of finding out where you can buy fresh seafood around your home on a regular basis.
  3. Cord Control: Your task for today is to tame those unsightly cords whether from your television/DVD player system or desktop computer system, etc.

    Fire Prevention Month

    Fire Prevention Month

  4. October is Fire Prevention Month: Have you and your family practiced how everyone will evacuate in no more than 120 seconds?
  5. Become a tourist in your own town, village, or city. Make a point of finding something that you have never investigated before and take your family along as you all become tourists!
  6. Print next year’s calendar: Time and Date and look for holidays next year, begin initial planning on vacations that will be taken, plan out birthday celebrations, etc.
  7. Before it gets really cold (for those of you who live in winter weather that includes ice and snow), remove, clean, and store your screen doors and screen windows and install storm windows.
  8. This is a good time to clean chandeliers and other light fixtures.
  9. World Egg Day (2nd Friday of October 10/9/2015): What a great reason to learn about all the many benefits of the versatile egg. Enjoy some trivia and fun facts?
  10. Defrost your freezer and clean out your fridge in preparation of the upcoming holidays
  11. Clean out your junk drawers and broom closets.

    Apples - Mac Left - Gala Right

    Apples – Mac Left – Gala Right

  12. It is National Apple Month. Make some recipes with apples or better yet – take the family and go apple picking.
  13. In prep for the upcoming winter months, check all of the vents inside your home to make sure they are free and clear of furniture, boxes, or other items that will prevent heat from coming out of the vents. Clean the vent filters or replace them.
  14. International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction: Involve everyone who is able to be in the planning and decision process of disaster preparedness. I provide a variety of steps to take through Opportunities 4 You (O4U) throughout September. Each week in September, a new phase of Emergency Preparedness is posted.
  15. Watch for upcoming holiday sales and build your menu around the sale items.
  16. Baking Soda / Vinegar / Plunge Drains. It is a great environmentally-friendly drain cleaner.
  17. Clean the kitchen cabinets inside and out. Check expiration dates and throw out food that has expired or will not be eaten.
  18. Change to winter comforters in preparation for the cold weather that will soon be upon us.
  19. Walk through your house and yard and make a list of things that need to be repaired or replaced in preparation for cold winter nights and then make maintenance appointments before contractors’ schedules fill up with emergency visits.
  20. Take out your autumn decorations and decorate your kitchen and living room for the new season
  21. Back up the phone numbers that are in your SmartPhone or iPhone or just general basic cell phone.
  22. Pumpkins are all over the place right now. When you get your kids’ pumpkins, also get some small ones that you can cook down, make puree, and freeze in individual servings for all recipes for the upcoming holidays.
  23. 4th Saturday (10/27/2012): Make a difference day is celebrated each year on the 4th Saturday in October. Look around you and offer to help someone who needs help.
  24. Learn how to compost those kitchen scraps and leaves to feed flower beds and the garden next year.
  25. It is time to schedule a heating system maintenance call.
  26. Check your car and make sure that it has been serviced and all problems are taken care of before winter.
  27. Begin working on November’s menu, remembering to buy fruits & veggies that are in season.
  28. Not only does it provide more diversity in your menu, but also, keep in mind that the world’s healthiest foods are seasonal.
  29. Have you changed your toothbrush lately? It’s easy to forget and time will go by. Toothbrushes should be changed every couple of months because they do wear out.
  30. Clean the kitchen cabinets inside and out. Check expiration dates and throw out food that has expired or will not be eaten.Witch
  31. October 31st: Halloween is a favorite holiday of man because there is no stress, holiday preparation overload, or post-holiday depression; it’s just plain fun.

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The list below has all of the details and links from the research that I did.  That makes this section very long.  Therefore, just skim the items that you have interest in and ignore the others.

  1. Review your planner, whether it is a pocket calendar, DayTimer or wall calendar: Plan several months ahead for normal purchases so you can buy in bulk and take advantage of sales. This includes food staples, paper goods, toiletries, clothing and gifts. If you use the suggestion that I made in the 1st step of my 10-Step Supermarket Combination Technique: THE most important Save Money Tool, this task will only take a few minutes because you will have the prices of the items you use most already available.

    Chef Crab - Seafood

    Chef Crab – Seafood

  1. National Seafood Month: Use this month to learn about sustainable fishing, learn to like new kinds of seafood, and this an overall new experience. Consider visiting a sustainable seafood farm in your area or go to a pier and buy fish right from the boats as they come back to dock or for those who have no access to a fishing pier, learn how to get the freshest seafood in your area.  One great way to find sustainable farms is the Department of Fish and Wildlife in your area.  For example the Delaware Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Try something new.  My son (Bryan: a gourmet chef) told me that the lighter color fish are the milder taste of the fish.  Examples: Mahi Mahi, Monk Fish, Cod, Ahi Tuna, and flounder.  Some things I have learned that might help others who are working at learning to like fish are:

  • Texture is equally as important as mild flavor. For example although flounder is very mild, I find it too mushy and still do not like it.
  • Bryan prefers to cook fish with no breading or coating because the breading/coating defeats some of the health benefits of fish. I like the texture and taste of fish sandwiches that you can get at many fast food restaurants.  Therefore, he bought cod and prepared that using a few seasonings and I LOVE it!
  • I tried Ahi Tuna and I really like it; however, I’m working at getting past the way it looks because when Ahi is cooked properly, the center is raw. However, the taste is very mild.
  • The last tip I discovered is that when I first try new fish, I do not want it in a recipe (such as fish tacos or Newberg, but I prefer it plain. After I try it a couple times plain, I can then begin to get more creative with it.
  • Other types of seafood to try are scallops; however, again, the texture makes a difference. For example, bay scallops have more texture than sea scallops.  Lobster can be very expensive unless you live in an area where it comes directly off the piers.  Same for crab.
  • I tried octopus; however, it was rubbery. Bryan said that it was cooked incorrectly because it should be crunchy.
  1. Cord Control: For those who have multiple electronic appliances in one area, you know all about that unsightly tangle of cords and cables that are all over the floor behind the electronics. You can easily organize that mess by labeling the end of the cables with the DVD, TV, WII, stereo, etc. with the electronic item that each cable belongs to.  Then secure the cables with a desktop caddie or cable sleeve or wire duct.
  1. October is Fire Prevention Month: Make sure you change the batteries on all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home at least twice a year. Fire Department officials recommend that this be done in the spring and fall when we reset our clocks and “fall back” and “spring ahead”. Inspect/install fire extinguishers. Plan fire escape routes and rid your home of fire hazards.
  1. Consider visiting the Visitor Center or Chamber of Commerce in your area and investigate what is around your home that you could visit. Check out museums or statues or parks that you have never visited and create a walking tour of a section of your town or village or city.  Visit a zoo or aquarium during the day for the kids and consider taking a dinner cruise in the evening.  Kids should enjoy that, too.  You can take a hike at a local nature center and pack a picnic lunch so that when everyone gets tired, you can lay out a blanket and have sandwiches and fruit or anything your family enjoys eating.  Remember that when you “take it in, you pack it out”.  In other words, take your trash with you and put it in trash receptacles rather than leaving it behind so other people can also enjoy the great outdoors.

Something that I did with my family when I was young was to pack up the “Minnie Winnie” (camper) and go to Green Lakes State Park in Manlius, NY and spent a weekend there.  We did that many times.  If we got too dirty, we could run home and take a quick shower and then back to the park.  It was great sitting around the campfire at night and just laughing and having a great time!

  1. Print next year’s calendar: The Time Now and look for holidays next year, begin initial planning on vacations that will be taken, plan out birthday celebrations, etc.
  1. Before it gets really cold (for those of you who live in winter weather that includes ice and snow), remove, clean, and store your screen doors and screen windows and install storm windows. Check windows and doors and seal any gaps or cracks with weather-stripping and caulk. Not only does this prevent the need for significant repairs later on but it will also reduce your energy bill. Drain and put your garden hoses away until next spring.  Clean patio and porch furniture and store until next spring.  Clean and store your garden tools.  LifeHacker suggests that you put them in a bucket or bread pan filled with sand, which dries and cleans them and prevents them from rusting and corroding.
  1. This is a good time to clean chandeliers and other light fixtures. You can save energy by cleaning the dust off of your light bulbs.  Consider setting a task reminder for every 6 months to wipe off your light bulbs with a dry cloth.Egg
  1. World Egg Day (2nd Friday of October 10/9/2015): What a great reason to learn about all the many benefits of the versatile egg. They can be used in baking cakes and homemade breads or making noodles or breakfast meals (fried, omelets, poached, scrambled), whites are used in meringues and angel food cakes and the list goes on and on. You can color them (in fact, I put food coloring in the water when I make hard boiled eggs so I can keep the hard boiled eggs in the same egg carton as the raw eggs and know instantly which is which). You can use them in relay races.  Each egg is packed with protein.  In fact, one egg provides 12% of the daily protein and eggs are a super bargain – what other food items provide so much protein?  Finally, how about some trivia and fun facts?
  1. Defrost your freezer and clean out your fridge in preparation of the upcoming holidays
  1. Clean out your junk drawers and broom closets.
  1. It is National Apple Month. There are so many things that you can do with apples.  They are one of the most versatile food items: you can have them for breakfast (apple crunch), lunch (apple and peanut butter sandwiches), dinner (apple pancakes), snacks (apples and cheese), and desserts (apple dumplings).
  1. In prep for the upcoming winter months, check all of the vents inside your home to make sure they are free and clear of furniture, boxes, or other items that will prevent heat from coming out of the vents. Clean the vent filters or replace them.
  1. International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction: Initially, the UN declared the 2nd Wednesday of every October (10/14/2015) as the date to host this event, which coincided with the UN’s Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (1990 – 1999). However, 12/21/2009, the Resolution 64/200 declared that Natural Disaster Reduction day would be recognized every October 13th.  The theme for 2015 is to focus on people and communities work to reduce their exposure to disasters.  The time to get prepared is BEFORE a disaster, whether it is a natural disaster or manmade disaster.  It is important to keep in mind babies, children, teens, women, those who have disabilities, senior citizens, etc.  Keep in mind that senior citizens usually have a wealth of experience at reducing risks and exposure that present during disasters.  Involve everyone who is able to be in the planning and decision process of disaster preparedness. I provide a variety of steps to take through Opportunities 4 You (O4U) throughout September.  Each week in September, a new phase of Emergency Preparedness is posted.  One of the very best ways to begin to prepare for an unexpected emergency is simply to turn off ALL electricity for AT LEAST 1 FULL DAY and better yet, 2 full days and make notes of what you can and cannot do.  Keep in mind that this is only the very first step.
  • The last time my power was off for 6 hours, I discovered that although I have candles strategically positioned throughout my home, many of the match clips I had near those candles no longer ignited because the flint had worn off the match clips!
  • Another issue I discovered was that although I have a camp stove, I had no fuel for the stove!
  1. Watch for sales on food ingredients that you will use for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanza, and New Year’s Day holiday food items. A huge variety of winter squash will be reduced in price and squash keeps for months.  Canned pumpkin will go on sale or you can get pumpkins (the day after Halloween) and make your own pumpkin puree and measure 2 cups of puree in re-sealable bags and freeze them.

If you love pumpkin pie, consider using the same spices in overnight oatmeal and flavor it with pumpkin pie ingredients.  I like it even more when I add Greek yogurt to the oats and milk and then pumpkin pie ingredients.

Brown sugar will go on sale and if you do not have a brown sugar keeper, be sure to put the 2 pound bag of brown sugar in a re-sealable bag, squeeze the air out of the bag and the brown sugar will stay soft and ready to use.  When flour goes on sale, stock up and toss each 5 pound bag of flour in your freezer for a month before putting the bag of flour in your pantry and you will never have weevils grow in your flour!

  1. Baking Soda / Vinegar / Plunge Drains
  1. Clean the kitchen cabinets inside and out. Check expiration dates and throw out food that has expired or will not be eaten
  1. Change to winter comforters in preparation for the cold weather that will soon be upon us
  1. Walk through your house and yard and make a list of things that need to be repaired or replaced in preparation for cold winter nights. Now is the time to make appointments with maintenance contractors to complete tasks such as clearing out gutters, checking out your heater, etc
  1. Take out your autumn decorations and decorate your kitchen and living room for the new season
  1. Back up the phone numbers that are in your SmartPhone or iPhone or just general basic cell phone. I do this on a quarterly basis because I never know when my phone will fizzle out and I prefer to simply have the information that I will need on hand rather than scrambling to find the numbers and to remember whose numbers I had in my phone (basic time management technique: be PROactive rather than REactive)
  1. Pumpkins are all over the place right now – and great sales are happening. Now is a great time to get raw pumpkins, cook them down to make puree and make pumpkin pie oatmeal (this works great by pouring the ingredients into a jar and putting the jar in the fridge and in the morning, you have breakfast), pumpkin pudding, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pies
  1. 4th Saturday (10/27/2012): Make a difference day is celebrated each year on the 4th Saturday in October. Created by USA WEEKEND Magazine, it is the nation’s largest day of volunteering, thanks to the passion of millions of people like you. Together with long-standing partner Hands On Network, the generosity of Newman’s Own and hundreds of carrier newspapers, USA WEEKEND rallies millions in a single day to help change the world. http://www.usaweekend.com/section/MDDAY
  1. Learn how to compost those kitchen scraps and leaves to feed flower beds and the garden next year.
  1. It is time to schedule a heating system maintenance call. A technician can clean the burners and fan, lubricate moving parts, change the filter and check the general operation. If you have a humidifier, clean and check it at this time as well. Replace the filter.
  1. Check your car and make sure that it has been serviced and all problems are taken care of before winter. Check tire treads and pressure, the battery and all fluid levels. Replace windshield wipers. Create a winter emergency kit and keep it in the trunk of your car along with chains and flares. Include water, snacks, blankets, extra clothing, jumper cables and a first aid kit.
  1. Begin working on November’s menu, remembering to buy fruits & veggies that are in season. Although street markets will no longer be popping up along the sides of streets or in parking lots, you can still get great fruits & veggies from public markets. Choose My Plate offers a variety of ways to Focus on Fruits, to add more veggies to your diet, as well as food galleries for veggies and fruits.
  1. Not only does it provide more diversity in your menu, but also, keep in mind that the world’s healthiest foods are seasonal. Modern food processing and distribution makes it so supermarket produce sections look the same in September as they do in March or June. However, processing also involves chemicals and higher sodium content.  It is much healthier to increase the flavor of your food items naturally than with chemicals. Consider adding broccoli to macaroni & cheese to increase your daily quota of fruits & veggies; or add frozen peas to casseroles or berries to ice cream and so on.  Consider including veggies that are common in autumn harvest such as: carrot, garlic, onions, pumpkin, sweet potato, and tomatoes. And, fruits such as: apples, kiwifruit, pears, persimmons, or pomegranates.
  1. Have you changed your toothbrush lately? It’s easy to forget and time will go by. Toothbrushes should be changed every couple of months because they do wear out.
  1. Clean the kitchen cabinets inside and out. Check expiration dates and throw out food that has expired or will not be eaten.Halloween Witch
  1. October 31st: Halloween is a favorite holiday of man because there is no stress, holiday preparation overload, or post-holiday depression; it’s just plain fun. Bats, the Bizarre, Dracula, Ghosts, Witches, Graveyards, Ghouls, Haunted Houses, Halloween Movies, Paranormal, Halloween Parties, Pumpkins, Skeletons, Scarecrows, Vampires . . .

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Updated: July 18, 2017 — 6:28 am
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