TO-DO — JANUARY-FEBRUARY

Inveterate list-makers know that lists are great tools to sharpen memory. You’ll never forget an important household task again, thanks to our monthly To-Do list. We’ve put together your list of important monthly to-dos, along with some potentially fun things. They’re gentle reminders without the clutter of sticky yellow post-its. Have we forgotten something? Send us an email at: editor@westislandhomeandlife.com.

Now is the time to:

* Try some new recipes. Comfort foods, such as soups and stews, are perfect fare during the winter months.

* Start planning your garden. And no, it’s not too early. Now is the time to order seed catalogues and make lists of what you want to plant in May.

* Tidy and organize indoor storage spaces—closets, shelves, cupboards and drawers—now before the spring weather draws you outdoors and pulls your attention away from your home’s interiors.

* Clean the linen closet. Donate towels, blankets and sheets that you no longer use to local animal shelters.

* Have your kitchen knives sharpened. 

* Gather documents in a folder for the income tax season ahead.

* Tackle small paint jobs indoors: baseboards, doors, shelves.

* Stow your Christmas decorations. Before putting them back into their boxes, check that all tree lights are working to prevent surprises next December. Gently clean baubles and wrap them in tissue paper.

* Enjoy winter quiet time. Turn inward, become contemplative and get clear on questions you have about your life. Choose a book you’ve long wanted to read. Go to bed earlier than usual, get cozy, and read.

* Discard and shred papers you no longer need.

* Check snow accumulation on your roof. If it looks deep, consider having a roofing company remove it.

* Choose a mild day in February to dismantle your outdoor Christmas lights and other decorations. Stow them neatly in containers so they’ll be easy to find next December.

* Rotate and vacuum your mattress. If the mattress is one-sided, turn it head-to-toe to prevent wearing and denting.

* Declutter your clothing closet. Donate to charity outfits that no longer fit or please you. 

* Stock up on sand and grit for your walkway. Expect more snowstorms before the winter ends.

* Humidify your house (indoor heating dries out the air) by hanging wet laundry on a laundry rack instead of using a dryer.

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