While spending time at the local Pumpkin Patch, scrolling through Pinterest for DIY Halloween costume ideas & collecting new Harvest inspired recipes to try out this Fall are all fun and exciting things to be doing this time of year, you should also be reserving a few moments to make sure your home is functioning at its very best for the upcoming months!
With cooler weather on the way chances are you'll be spending more time indoors, so now's the time to take care of outdoor maintenance before it gets too cold! Not sure where to start preparing your home for the Fall and Winter? Don't worry, we've got you covered with a Fall Maintenance Checklist! Since we typically have our Monthly Home Checklist each month we're going to incorporate the two into one convenient post that will have your home both tidy and prepared for any Seasonal issues that may come up!
Let's dive right in!
1. If you have a chimney, now is the time to schedule a yearly visit by a professional to clean & inspect your fireplace/chimney to clean out any buildup and make sure everything is working properly! If you're the type to have frequent fires during the cold months, you'll want to have this inspection at least once a year! If you schedule this inspection now you can avoid any wait times during the cooler, busier months, so go ahead and check this off your list!
2. Let's get outside and clean those gutters before it gets too cold! In our local area we've had Tropical Storm conditions and some severe weather over the late Summer and early Fall months, so there's probably a little bit of gutter debris just waiting for us! Before we know it, we will be ready to hang Christmas lights and we'd rather be up on the ladder near clean gutters, right? Not to mention, gutter build-up can be a haven for pests and mold, as well as water damage if they aren't draining properly due to build up.
3. Speaking of water damage... while you've got the ladder out to clean the gutters, take a look at the roof. Look for loose or disturbed shingles, branches that may have grown or been blown into contact with your roof causing potential issues, and any seams around the roof edges that may need attention.
4. Now, let's get those garage doors open and take advantage of the slightly cooler weather to tackle cleaning out the garage. We hesitate to do this during the hot, humid months because, well, that just sounds like torture, but now that the air is slightly more tolerable, there's no excuse for a messy garage! Now's the time to sort through any storage you may have stuffed away in the garage. Sorting this now may make finding your holiday decor a little easier when the time comes. Clean out any landscaping equipment that you'll be putting away until Spring, rather than storing it dirty over the Winter and organize any gardening tools so that they take up less space in the months that they aren't being used. If you have shelving, remove everything, purge through the items you can eliminate (like that old paint can that barely has anything left in it that you haven't touched in years, but you "might" one day decide you need just a little... go ahead and toss it now)! Once you've sorted, you can clean the shelving since it's empty and then neatly return the items you're keeping to the shelves.
5. If you're changing outdoor Seasonal decor like accent pillows on your porch or wreaths on your doors, go ahead and pack them neatly into a storage bin or bags and store them in your recently cleaned garage! This will allow you to pull your Fall and Winter decor out and store the Spring decor behind it so that there's less "digging" and "adjusting" when it's time to rotate your Holiday decor into the mix next month! Pull it to the front now and save yourself the hassle!
6. Next on the list is checking/cleaning the windows and doors. Go ahead and wipe all door and window frames with a wet, warm cloth on both the exterior and interior of your home. While you're cleaning, look for broken seals or drafts...this could mean you need to focus some attention on weatherstripping or adjusting doors in order to keep in the most heat and keep out the cold. While you're focusing on the windows and doors, pull out the Windex and clean the glass since you're already right there working!
7. Let's change out our air filters inside now. If you have pets, haven't done this since Summer or can't remember the last time you replaced them, then it's time! This is an area that a lot of people forget to focus on, but now is the time for a reminder! For the best air quality and function, it's recommended you change these filters every 4-6 weeks!
8. If you're changing out your bedding in a Master or Guest Room, pull everything out and wash it/dry clean it before storing it for the Winter. If you do this now, you won't have to worry about it when you pull it back out in the Spring! Same goes for any decorative hand towels or kitchen towels that you'll be changing out for the Season, wash them, pack them and put them away so that you can make room for the Fall items!
9. Let's be honest, Fall is one of the best times for baking. Pumpkin rolls, baked meats, holiday pies and Thanksgiving/Christmas meals for the family are all on the list, so why not give your oven and stove a good deep cleaning before it gets any closer to your kitchen's prime time? Cleaning your cooking appliances now means you can start enjoying this season's comfort food sooner rather than later!
10. Since you're going to be doing some holiday entertaining and you'll have plenty of food to share if you've cleaned your kitchen and are excited to start baking, you'll want to get all of your barware and cocktail accessories out of the cabinets and ready for some new Fall and Winter drink recipes! Polish those glasses, trade in your summer cocktail ingredients for some darker spiced rum or warming whiskey and get ready to start Pinning some festive mixology ideas for your guests! You never know, it could be a long Winter ahead of us, so you definitely want to have your bar cart cleaned up and ready to go!
That's it! Congratulations on completing another month's checklist! Now, go get those Pumpkins, grab a few Mums and spend the rest of your free time with Friends and Family enjoying a clean space, a properly maintained home and everything fun that this Season has to offer! We've only got two more months of maintaining a clean & functioning home until we've reached our goal of one whole year, then you'll be ready to make new resolutions for 2018!