TIP OF THE WEEK

Yard projects to tackle as the weather cools off

Fall lawn care packs plenty of work into a few short months and you can make it all a little bit easier by applying the following tips from Lowe’s and Greenworks:

* Stimulate your lawn. Look for brown, tan or white patches on your lawn and apply a lawn fungicide to halt mold growth.

* Blow those leaves away. Try a lightweight, battery-powered leaf-removal solution that’s easy to use and effective.

* Seed and sod. Reseed small portions of dead grass in your yard and look into sodding options for more comprehensive coverage.

* A fresh spray clean. Fall cleanup is the perfect time to give your home a reset by spraying down your siding, decks, and patios with a pressure washer.

* A hole in the ground supports future growth. Aerating your yard allows water, oxygen and fertilizer to reach the root structure of your grass.

GARDENING

3 easy tips for gardening organically

When it comes to gardening, not all practices are created equal. For an environmentally friendly gardening experience, follow these organic gardening tips from flower-gardening-made-easy.com.

* Replenish your soil humus by continuously adding fresh compost. Also try to pick plants that will do well in your garden’s specific soil.

* Encourage diversity in your garden. Plant several plant varieties, including trees and shrubs. More diversity encourages more animal visitors, which can remove harmful pests from your garden.

* In addition to inviting pest-eating birds, planting a tree also works as a natural air cleaner. One tree can cut airborne dust by an amount of 7,000 particles for each liter of air.

CLEANING

5 steps to reduce dust in your home

Dusting is one of the most disliked of household chores. To reduce the dust in your home so you can breathe easy and dust less, follow some advice from bobvila.com:

Use both exterior and interior doormats (the kind with a bristle top) to trap dirt and keep it from traveling into your home.

Opening the windows to get some fresh air actually increases the amount of dust in your home, so close windows, especially on high-allergy days.

A good damp mopping and dusting with plain water will go a long way toward eliminating 90 percent of the dust in your home.

Install a humidifier and aim for relative humidity levels of 40 to 50 percent throughout your home to help eliminate static and keep dust levels down.

The solution to both closet clutter and drifting dust particles from clothes, bedding and pillows is to put things in storage bags.

HOME ORGANIZATION

Declutter commonly used areas before kids go back to school

According to a survey conducted by ClosetMaid, 92 percent of parents describe their kids as messy. Among those same parents, 80 percent give their kids chores and about half of them end up doing the work themselves to ensure it’s done properly. Two out of three of the parents surveyed said their children’s messiness often leaves them in bad moods. Considering one of the hardest things about back-to-school season is creating an organized routine, the time to start is now.

When every room in the home can use some reorganization, decluttering in preparation for busy school days can be overwhelming. A smart place to start is in the room you and your kids waste the most time looking for things. Another tip is to create a drop zone. Contain clutter before it spreads too far around the house with child-sized storage furniture such as a storage locker that is perfect for backpacks, coats, sports equipment and supplies. Since it’s kid-sized, children can be responsible for making sure their belongings are put neatly away.

— Family Features/ClosetMaid