Ready Your Home for Fall
As fall sets in, try your best to prepare for it. There are many jobs — inside and outside the house — that must get done. Check out this handy list of tasks you can easily complete — and start the new season right.
Similar to spring-cleaning, there are a variety of jobs in and around the house that are best suited to the fall — tasks to maintain your home and things to do to put the garden to bed. To give you ample time to prepare and plan, here’s our essential guide to autumn upkeep.
Around the House
- Check the exterior of your home for any signs of required repair. This includes damaged, loose or missing shingles on the roof, deteriorating bricks or mortar on the chimney, warping or rot in siding, flaking of painted surfaces, and any cracks or deterioration of foundations, driveways, patios or walkways.
- Ensure all gutters and downspouts are in working order (no leaking or blockage).
- Clean all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. While you’re at it, change the batteries and run a test.
- Replace the furnace filter. You also might consider arranging for a heating professional to check your heating system (something most gas companies provide for a small fee).
In the Garden
- Move houseplants inside (this includes whatever container plants or shrubs need to be brought in from the cold). The best time is when outside temperatures are similar to those indoors. Washing leaves with a mixture of mild soap and water will help plants respond better to diminished light and also will reduce the chance of bringing any pests indoors.
- Plan next year’s garden. Plant spring-blooming bulbs (covering them with a layer of chicken wire followed by soil will discourage squirrels and raccoons). Then, divide any perennials that need thinning (this includes hosta, phlox, peonies, daylilies and astilbe) six weeks before the first frost to give them time to establish themselves.
- Run all gas-powered equipment until the fuel is gone or transfer gas to a proper container using a turkey baster. Consider having your lawn mower blades sharpened now, so they’re ready to use in the spring.
- Clean and store your garden tools. Clever trick: Fill a bucket with sand, and then pour vegetable oil evenly over the top. Pushing your tools through this mixture will remove any debris and also make them safe from any winter water damage.
- Close valves to outside faucets and ensure all hoses are free of water before storing.