As you lay yourself down to sleep tonight, don’t forget it’s time to set your clocks back one hour. Who doesn’t love an extra hour of sleep, right? Well, not everyone but as we “fall back,” we can also do some things around the house that we might otherwise forget or neglect to do. In other words, use this time switch as a biannual reminder.
Quick history though. The idea of turning clocks forward one hour during the summer was first conceived by New Zealander George Hudson back in 1895 but it wasn’t really until April of 1916 when the German Empire and Austria-Hungary first used DST as a way to conserve coal during WWI. Britain followed suit as did the U.S. in 1918 and the idea of “saving” as much daylight as possible became especially popular during the 1970’s energy crisis. In most of the United States, Daylight Savings Time begins the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November.
People either love the idea or hate it, but one group that seems to favor more morning light is farmers. These hard workers are typically early risers and prefer morning sun to evening sun as they believe crops are best harvested after dew evaporates.
In this crazy election cycle, you are probably either “for” or “against” the idea of changing times mid-year but whatever side you’re on, let’s all agree that there are a few things we can and should do each time we “fall back” and “spring forward,” including:
- Replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. While you’re at it, check in with any elderly family members or neighbors and help them do this.
- Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. In the fall you want your blades rotating clockwise, which helps bring warm air down.
- Schedule a furnace and chimney inspection and replace filters in your heater and air conditioner units. Things get trapped and may deteriorate over the course of a year so make sure all your heating elements are safe and running as efficiently as possible.
- Flip and rotate your mattresses. This can be accomplished by either literally flipping the mattress over or just rotating head and feet areas.
- Clean out your pantry and refrigerator shelves. You’d be surprised how many items you may have in stock that are expired. Dates are there for a reason so adhere to them.
- Clean out your medicine cabinet. Same thing with medicines and first aid kits. Safely dispose of all expired or discolored meds and do an emergency kit overhaul if necessary.
- Revisit your emergency bag. This can be any bag or items you keep in stock for emergencies such as tornados, hurricanes, lock downs, or any other time you might need to “shelter in place.” Make sure batteries are new, foods aren’t expired, and emergency contact sheets are current.
If you have kids in the house, make doing all of the above a family event. Assign tasks and explain why what you are doing is important. Many of these could be the difference between life and death. In the meantime, sleep tight tonight!
Do you have any other “fall back” reminder suggestions? Please share!