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List: 10 things to do before fall officially starts

St. Louisans may already be getting out their fall clothes with the start of fall just weeks away. Here is a checklist of to-dos to tackle before Sept. 22.

ST. LOUIS — Just weeks away, the fall season will start and several people in St. Louis may want to start checking some tasks off their “to-do” lists to be prepared. 

Here are 10 things that you could scratch off your fall checklist between September and December. If you would like to share more ideas with us, please send an email

Stock up the pantry

Stock up your kitchen pantry or storage space with fall essentials such as applesauce, beets, butternut squash, greens beans, pears, peaches, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, green peas and more. 

Also, having a back-up of different types of soups could come in handy this fall.

A collection of classic chicken noodle, tomato with basil, potato with cheddar and bacon, wild rice and chicken, vegetable, quinoa with kale and red lentil, cream of mushroom, carrot and more might make all the difference this fall. 

For a full list of recipes from Eating Well, a magazine that recommends various recipes and menu ideas, click here

How can you leave out chili? 

Consider gathering ingredients for chili options like four beans and pumpkin, beef, black beans and corn, chicken chili, firehouse chili, pumpkin, white chili, pork and jalapeno and more. 

For a full list of recipes from Midwest Living, a regional American magazine that focuses on several lifestyle categories, click here

In addition, what’s fall without something in the oven to warm the home? Try getting chocolate chip cookie dough, s’mores, cupcakes and pies. 

For example, pumpkin pie, salted caramel pie, peanut butter and chocolate pie, sweet potato and brandy pecan are a few options. 

For more ideas on what to add and check off your grocery shopping list, click here

There may even be few canned foods you no longer want or know you and your family won’t eat. How about taking them to a food bank? Here’s a few local food banks you can donate to:

Shop for fall and winter wear


Classic crewnecks, turtlenecks, V-neck sweaters, thick tall socks, warm hats and ear-muffs, scarves, thick women’s tights, gloves and even thermals would be good investments right now to prepare for colder temperatures. 

Coats and jackets:

Real or faux leather, shackets, denim shirt, wool over-shirt, oversized fleece shirt, Sherpa shirt, wool-blend blazer, trench coats and more. For more ideas on what jacket to grab for the falling temperatures, click here


The combat, bootie, slouch, knee-high, western, timberlands and more. If you haven’t thought about boots yet, look here and get an idea of how to prepare for fall shoe ware. 

Deep clean your home or apartment

Housebeautiful.com suggests cleaning your fireplace, insulating the space, cleaning your gutters, draining your outdoor faucets, fixing cracks in areas where bugs and other pests would want to come in and get warm. 

Also, change your filters, light bulbs and check for drafts. You can even start bringing in your outdoor furniture.

Don’t forget to check if your furnace is in good shape for the cold. For more things that you might think you will forget to do before the fall officially kicks off, click here

Get your car ready

Due to the upcoming weather, your car may be more vulnerable to damage and accidents. 

A few tips include checking the seat belts for wear and tear, fluid levels and oil, tires for overall condition, your heat to make sure it’s working properly, brakes, lights and most of all check your battery! 

To learn more about maintaining your vehicle, click here

Don’t forget to prepare even further for colder weather, road and driving safety by purchasing gloves, ice scraper, blanket, first aid kit, jumper cables and a flashlight. 

Nationaldispatch.com recommends gathering these just in case of an emergency such as getting stuck in the severe weather. In addition, have a shovel in your truck because preparing for the winter as soon as possible could help. 

Pull out fall weather tools

Because the fall is upon us, you might want to start pulling out those fall tools from the garage or basement so you're ready for the changing weather. 

Rebecca Edwards, a security expert, safety and technology reporter for Safe Wise, recommends that the leaf rake, leaf blower, gutter cover, branch trimmer, garden trowel, garden fork and lawn mower should all be pulled out right now. 

Safe Wise is an online resource that provides tools and information to help people make their life safer at home and in their community, according to its website

Even grabbing some weatherproofing stain protectant for your backyard or front lawn deck could be essential. 

Clean out closet

Right before the fall may be the perfect time to get rid of or reorganize your closet full of shoes, purses and clothes. Here’s a few tips on how to do this in an easy, stress free way:

  • Take each item out of your closet and put it all in one place in your home or apartment (anything on a hanger, place gently on your bed or chair)

  • Wipe down, vacuum or sweep out your closet space 

  • Gather all your loose hangers and place in one spot (if they are all crazy and tangled, put tape around them to keep them neat and together until you’re ready to use)

  • Start looking through your clothes first to decide what you want the most and what you don’t want as much

  • Start putting each clothing item on a hanger and into your closet (this can be color coded or however you prefer) 

  • Start putting unwanted clothing items into a bag to donate to Salvation Army and other places nearby

  • Organize your shoes into the shoe boxes you kept or if you have a shoe organizer, place that into your closet so they're easy to grab in a rush

  • Grab a purse or jewelry organizer such as one that hangs items on a storage rack or stores items in a stacker 3-drawer mini organizer 

There may be old or unwanted clothes you can donate to places in the St. Louis area, such as:

Shop for fall essentials

If you're excited about the start of fall, you may want your home to feel fall-like with autumn colored decorations and more. 

Pinterest, an image sharing and social media service, suggests a lot of earth tones, natural wood, woven elements, textured fabrics and textiles to embrace fall-vibes. Here’s a few things to stock up on and mark off your list regarding fall must-haves for home and self:

Decoration items:

  • Dark, deep autumn colored or themed throw pillows

  • Real pumpkins - small and large everywhere

  • Gourds to add accent to tables, entertainment center, bars and kitchen or dining areas

  • Faux leaves could enhance any space with a splash of green

  • Scented candles, melting wax, or incense that are cinnamon, coffee, sage, butterscotch pumpkin-spiced

  • Baskets, plants and door wreaths

Self care items:

  • Bath salts

  • Heavy, thick creams, serums, oils, foot creams

  • Exfoliates and foaming bubble bath 

  • Humidifier 

  • Chap-stick or lip balm

  • Sunscreen

  • Vitamin C vitamin, along with other multivitamins

Plant flowers and vegetables

Many flowers and vegetables can be planted now to bloom beautifully during spring next year! 

Anne Balogh with Garden Design, a print and digital magazine that focuses on garden designs, said you should plant in the fall because:

  • Soil that is still warm from the summer promotes good root growth
  • Cool weather prevents your new plants from being stressed
  • The rain establishes stronger roots before the winter and 
  • Many pests and diseases in the summer aren’t as big of a threat. 

Plant flowers such as spring-blooming bulbs including tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, alliums and crocuses, Balogh said.

Also, you can plant cool-season flowering plants such as violas and pansies, Balogh said. Others that can take the cold are sweet alyssum, snapdragon, African daisies, dianthus, lobelia and cornflower. 

Don’t forget the vegetables! Balogh said to plant spinach, leaf lettuce, arugula and mustard greens. Vegetables such as radishes, beets and turnips also thrive in cool conditions and take less than two months to mature. 

For more information on planting tips click here

For an autumn gardening guide click here

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