Fall is such a beautiful time of year… but far too short and, unfortunately, winter won’t be far behind. While we’re enjoying the crunching of leaves below our feet, now is the time to think ahead to what needs to be done before the snow flies. Preparation is key during this time to make sure that you’ll be comfy and warm throughout the winter. With a little attention to your home now, all you’ll have left to do come wintertime is hunker down and relax! And shovel, but we won’t dwell on that yet.
Tidy Up After Mother Nature
If you’ve got a significant amount of lawn, do your best to keep up on raking. While that carpet of leaves looks pretty and all, it can end up smothering your grass, leaving it dead by the time spring arrives. While you’re outside, get a tall ladder and clean out the gutters, which are probably also full of leaves at this point. If you don’t keep the gutters clean, you could end up with ice dams on your roof once it snows, which can cause serious damage. Also, if you have patio furniture, now’s the time to clean and cover it up or stow it away for the winter.
Batten Down the Hatches
Give the outside of your home a good once-over with a winter prep checklist. Look over all of the casings and joints around doors and windows, and caulk anywhere there’s a gap. If you see any spots on your house where there’s paint peeling or chipping away, slap a fresh coat of paint on there to protect the surface underneath. And of course, this might be your last chance to clean the outsides of the windows, which will help let a little more of that precious winter sunlight into your home.
Freshen Up One Last Time
Now that the windows are clean on the outside, crack them open a bit if it’s not too cold, so you can let some fresh air in while you still can. This is your last chance for “spring” cleaning, so make the most of it! I’ve found that using a fall chore checklist can be really helpful when making sure all of those little, once or twice a year tasks are remembered. Give the house a full scrubbing from top to bottom, including everything from the insides of the windows to the curtains. If you’ve got a fireplace, have it swept out and ready for those cozy wintertime fires. And pay special attention to cleaning and organizing your kitchen: You’ll want to have everything in its place in time for your holiday season. While you’re at it, you might want to take an inventory of your food staples and supplies, and start stocking up on things like chocolate chips and nuts for any holiday baking: I know I go through a ton of that stuff during my annual December cookie-baking spree!
Once all of this work is done, you’ll be all buttoned up and ready for winter. And then, hopefully, you’ll still have a little time to enjoy the fading colors of autumn and a few more pumpkin muffins before you see those first flakes sticking to the ground. Once the white stuff hits, you can retreat into your clean, comfy home and relax. With all of the big chores done, you’ll be able to focus on the little things, like perfecting your hot cocoa recipe!