February 2009 Monthly Checklist

February 1
Do you have special plans in mind for Valentine’s Day? If you want to go out to a special restaurant, call now for reservations. Cooking? Get out your cookbooks and plan now for that special dinner with your sweetheart.

February 2 -- Groundhog Day
Is everyone in your home continually coming down with colds? Wipe down doorknobs, cupboard pulls, bathroom surfaces, telephone handsets, remotes and video game controllers with disinfecting wipes to help control the spread of viruses.

February 3
Even though it’s February you can still do gardening chores. What you are able to do depends on what zone you live in. If you know when the last frost usually occurs, you can better plan when to add the first plants to your garden. Start writing down your gardening and landscaping plans for this year.

February 4
Start to slowly stock up on bags of fertilizer, lawn bags, and mulch as you see them on sale. If you accumulate this way, it won’t be a big hit to your budget all at once.

February 5
Did you know that today is International Pancake Day? Celebrate by having pancakes for dinner. Try a different recipe from your usual!

February 6
Start shopping for Valentine’s cards now for your children to exchange with their classmates. Many elementary classes have card exchanges and a small party for the students. This will give your child plenty of time to sign and address their cards.

February 7
Declare today family day! If the weather cooperates, prepare a picnic lunch and head to the park to play Frisbee. If it’s still winter weather where you live, plan a family game day indoors and picnic on the floor.

February 8
If you haven’t done so yet, go through your home and videotape all of your belongings. In addition to a video record, do a paper inventory. Store this in a safety deposit box or a fire-proof lock box. In the event of a fire, or other disaster, you will have a record of all of your belongings which will facilitate any insurance claims.

February 9
Do you get a lot of snow in your area? Be sure to clear the snow out of air intakes, exhausts, and meters around the outside of your home.

February 10
Are you frustrated with trying to figure out how to dress everyday during the winter? Many web based weather programs will give a week long forecast specific to your zip code that you can print out. This will give you a better idea of how to dress each day to go outside.

February 11 -- Happy Birthday Thomas Edison
In honor of his birthday, if you haven’t already, make the switch to CFL’s in all of the light fixtures in your home. This will save a bit on your energy bill.

February 12
Did you know that smiling is as contagious as yawning? Try smiling at everyone you meet today. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how it will brighten your day.

February 13
Today is a great day to prepare valentines for every member of your family. You can place them at their place at the breakfast table so that they will find them in the morning.

February 14 -- Valentine’s Day
Put your romantic plans into action today. If you haven’t already made plans, pick up take-out, or a rotisserie chicken and sides from the deli at your local supermarket, along with a special dessert.

February 15
Are you having trouble finding an owner’s manual for an appliance or piece of electronics equipment in your home? Many of the manufacturers have web sites with links to the owner’s manual that you can download to your own computer. You will have the information you need at your fingertips, without having to store another booklet.

February 16 -- Presidents Day
(1.) In addition to today's task, do something patriotic!
(2.) Do you get overwhelmed with home maintenance chores in the warmer months? There are several you can do now to spread them out a bit. If it isn’t terribly humid, you can do interior painting in February. The clerk at your local paint store can help you figure out how much paint you’ll need for each room.

February 17
Are you feeling like the light is dim inside? It could be dusty bulbs, which reduce the amount of light given out by your bulbs. Take time to gently dust your bulbs. Be sure all of your bulbs are cooled off before dusting.

February 18
This is a good time to trim and/or prune you trees and woody landscape plants on good weather days. If you’re fortunate to have a forsythia bush, you can bring the trimmings inside and put them in water. They’ll bloom and you’ll have spring flowers inside.

February 19
After a heavy snowfall, be sure to knock the snow off of tree branches to avoid having them break because of the weight of the snow.

February 20
Most of us don’t give much thought to our bathroom exhaust fans other than switching them on for showers. Take your vacuum, attach the brush to the wand, and vacuum the cover of your exhaust fan. Also, pull the cover off and vacuum the dust from the fan itself. It will pull much more moisture out of the bathroom when it doesn’t have to labor due to dust on everything.

February 21
It’s important to keep the bird feeders full, especially in February when it’s much more difficult to find anything on the ground.

February 22
Starting today, plant seeds indoors for your summer flower and vegetable gardens.

February 23
When was the last time you cleaned out the dust from under your refrigerator? Many are on rollers which makes it so much easier to pull them out long enough to clean under and behind them.

February 24 -- Mardi Gras
Get a jump on getting your central air conditioner serviced. If you live where it’s already starting to reach 60 degrees during the day, technicians can check out the unit.

February 25 -- Ash Wednesday
Check the hoses on your washing machine. If any are in bad shape, buy replacements and install them. Just make sure that you turn the water off before unhooking the hoses, or it could get quite messy.

February 26
In many areas, big snowstorms and power outages are still possible. Make sure that you have fresh batteries in your flashlights, and that your flashlights are stored around the house where you can easily get to them in the event the power goes out. Keep them by your bedside, in the living room, and in the kitchen.

February 27
Clean the exhaust duct on your dryer and clean out underneath the dryer to prevent possible fires due to lint buildup.

February 28
Make sure your fire extinguishers are charged up and ready to use. Be sure that your extinguishers are appropriate for the room you plan to use them in, in case of fire.

Organizational Tip of the Week

Schedule time every month, 1-2 days. Schedule it in your planner/calendar so you will get the time you need to get your crafting and other hobbies done.

100 Reasons to Get Rid of It - Part Four

Part Four - Because It Can Be Turned Into Something Else

41. Nike, the famous shoe company, uses recycled footwear materials to make playground surfaces.
42. Donated Capilene base layers become polyester fibers for new Capilene garments at Patagonia.
43. Pangea Organics' packaging becomes an herb garden when planted in soil.
44. PlantLove lipstick by Cargo Cosmetics come in a tube that is plantable and will sprout wildflowers.
45. Old newspapers become colored pencils at Pencil Things.
46. Rubber tires become sleek purses at VivaTerra.
47. Rubber tires become rugged iPod covers at Passchal.
48. Plastic soda bottles become durable hammocks at Gaiam.
49. Preserve uses yogurt containers to make colorful plates, flatware, toothbrushes, and razors.

100 Reasons to Get Rid of It - Part Three

Part Three - Because Someone Else Needs It

Cell Phones
12. Verizon Wireless will put a refurbished phone of any brand into the hands of a domestic violence victim.
13. Donate the profits from your old cell phone to an environmental charity.
14. Send a phone to the field staff of a poverty-fighting mission.

Digital Cameras
15. Help keep service members in touch with their families.

16. Work with charities to find homes for consumer electronics.
17. Youth for Technology will put scanners, computers, and cameras in the hands of deserving, impoverished kids around the world.

Air Miles
18. Donate air miles to the Red Cross for staff and volunteers.
19. Donate air miles to Hero Miles so family members of wounded servicemen and women can get free plane tickets to visit their loved ones recovering at military hospitals across the country.
20. Donate air miles for transplant patients.
21. Donate air miles so a terminally ill child can travel to visit a dear family member or bring a distant loved one to the bedside of a dying child.

Furniture & Appliances
22. Match your household items with a local non-profit's wish list.
23. Help furnish homes for disaster victims.

24. Donate work clothing to disadvantaged women.
25. Donate a wedding gown to benefit breast-cancer patients.
26. Send formal wear to teenage girls who need help getting to the prom.
27. Help veterans get the clothing they need.
28. Give shoes and sportswear to struggling athletes around the world.

29. Supply children in foster care with luggage.
30. Unite for Sight and Give the Gift of Sight will send eye wear to men and women in underdeveloped countries.
31. Convert American Express credit card points to cash donations to help the Save the Children agency.
32. Donate a used vehicle to support your local public radio station.
33. Books for Africa will give everything from storybooks to encyclopedias to children in Africa.
34. Send towels, newspapers, and other items to the Humane Society.
35. Help fund job training programs and social services by donating household goods to Good Will Industries.
36. Post donations for your neighbors (and others) to claim.
37. Donate leftover building supplies to Habitat for Humanity.

38. Donate used computers and other technology to be matched to charities, schools, and public agencies around the world.
39. Donate used computers to nonprofit organizations, schools, and people with disabilities.
40. Donate used computers to schools, libraries, and orphanages in developing countries.

100 Reasons to Get Rid of It - Part Two

Part Two - Because It's Fun

8. Set up shop at the World's Longest Yard Sale, August 2-5, 2009, along 450 miles of Highway 127 in the southeastern U.S.
9. Peddle your wares in your own front yard on National Garage Sale Day, August 10th.
10. Attend nationwide clothing exchanges and do-it-yourself alteration workshops.
11. Wild Zipper - Watch as a pile of your favorite old T-shirts is converted into a quilt.

100 Reasons to Get Rid of It

Part One - Because You Have Too Much Stuff

1. 1.4 million Americans suffer from chronic hoarding & clutter.
2. People burn 55 minutes a day looking for things.
3. 80 percent of what we own we never use.
4. 1 800 Got Junk - Pay someone else to take out the big, cumbersome trash.
5. Public Storage - There are many storage facilities located throughout the United States.
6. Red Shield - Schedule a pickup with your local Salvation Army and it counts as a tax donation.
7. Earth 911 - Find local recycling and reuse programs for all kinds of household items.