With Labor Day directly behind us, the unofficial start of fall is here. Texans know this time of year well: the kids are back in school, temperatures are almost tolerable again, and your nearby coffee spot is trying to pumpkin-spice your morning beverage.
As if we didn’t see that coming.
It’s also the time of year when the days get shorter and the list of things to do gets longer. The holidays are right around the corner and before we know it, 2017 will be over. Why not get a head start on prepping your home for upcoming festivities and family gatherings, or just jump-start your resolutions?
There are also some key end-of-summer storage to-dos that require attention now.
This may sound daunting, but we’ve created a task list to simplify things just for you, along with helpful links to websites that will show you how.
OUTSIDE YOUR HOME
- Weatherproof and/or store your summer patio furniture. Even if you have year-round furniture, you may want to check to be sure your pieces will hold up over the years.
- Winterize your lawn tools (lawn mower, hedge trimmer, etc). Same idea as above! If you want your yard tools to last longer, take the precautions now to preserve their quality.
- Assess summer plants and have a plan for frost and freezes.
- Clean out your gutters! Leaves can build up over time, and you’ll want a fresh start for the fall when trees shed their leaves. Prevent damage caused by clogged gutters by cleaning them out now.
- Check your plumbing for winter, and prevent frozen pipes. You can also check your water heater, garbage disposal, and septic tank to prevent any embarrassing situations when the family pays a long visit.
- Clean out your chimney if you plan to use your fireplace this season. Even if you don’t plan to use it, taking some precautions can save on your energy costs long-term.
- Check for air leaks around doors and windows. No one likes a drafty home or a high energy bill. A little elbow grease now can save you some discomfort later.
- Change your furnace filter, make sure it’s up to code.
INSIDE YOUR HOME
- Create a calendar for seasonal events and extracurricular activities for the kids. Don’t forget a single bake sale, homecoming game, or hay ride! You’ll be ready to go once your home calendar for the fall is in place.
- Set up a station by the front door for shoes, backpacks, umbrellas, and coats. Mornings will run a lot smoother, and evening cleanup will be a breeze if you have a place to store your essentials while coming and going.
- Designate a place for homework and/or home finances. Increase your focus or your kids’ productivity by creating a space specifically for homework or bills.
- Donate clothing that was outgrown in the summer. Take stock of what was worn out, and what no longer fits. Donate your items to a worthy cause, and receive a tax write-off at the end of the year. Win/win!
- Steam clean carpets, and treat wood floors. Get a head start on the foot-traffic that the fall will bring and clean those floors now. You’ll have less stress the days leading up to the holiday gathering or festive bash you’re planning.
- Dust surfaces and light fixtures. Brighten your home to show off your holiday decor, or just enhance family game night.
- Clean the windows, inside and out. Your home will sparkle with this one tip alone! Set aside a weekend afternoon to conquer this transformative task.
- Break out winter clothes and make sure everything still fits. Make repairs or alterations as needed. If you’re fashion-savvy, you can style some of your summer clothes for the upcoming colder seasons.
- Test your smoke detectors! Don’t let this safety precaution slip your mind; not only is it required by law, it can save lives.
INSIDE YOUR STORAGE UNIT
- Set aside a few hours.
- Go in and make some extra space.
- Check through your seasonal items (holiday decorations) and set aside boxes to take home.
- Prepare summer items for storage: clean summer clothes and pack in airtight plastic containers, treat leather items with leather conditioner before storage. Wipe down metal objects and tools with a metal oil to prevent rust from forming.*
What tips do you have, and what seasonal tasks make your home run smoother?
Happy Fall, y’all!