Fall starts on September 23rd this year, less than a month away! The leaves change color, the temperatures get cooler, you pull out the cozy sweaters and start using that slow cooker again! Thoughts change to Halloween, Thanksgiving and for you crazy early birds (who I am secretly jealous of & admire) Christmas. So before autumn is upon us, let's get our homes ready! I know...fun stuff. But part of being a grown up & owning & keeping nice things is to maintain them. *At least that's what I tell myself when I see this list and groan*
**I will be crossing items off as I complete them, feel free to join in on the "fun"**
- Check for Drafts. Move a lighted candle along the edges of windows, doors and moldings; if the flame flickers, there's probably a draft. Mark the areas with painters' tape and return to replace seals as needed. On the outside of your home, inspect the siding and shingles for cracks & holes and repair as necessary.
- Check Home Safety Devices. Replace batteries in smoke & carbon monoxide detectors, recharge fire extinguishers and test for radon.
- Clean & install storm windows & doors.
- Clean gutters
- Clean humidifiers. Replace old filters. Soak interiors with undistilled white vinegar and scrub with a soft-bristle brush.
- Compost autumn leaves. Start your own compost pile with fall leaves and other garden debris. The best compost contains two or three parts "brown" or carbon-rich matter (leaves, pine needles, sawdust, shredded newspaper), to one part "green", or nitrogen-rich matter (grass clippings, vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells). You can also contact your town hall to find out if your area's sanitation department collects leaves to compost.
- Disinfect flowerpots. Soak in a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water, scrub with a stiff brush, and dry thoroughly before storing.
Have your chimney inspected & cleaned by a chimney sweep.
- Have your furnace inspected. Hire a professional to check for leaks, replace filters & condition the system.
- Inspect trees. Now that the branches are bare, check for limbs that interfere with power lines or come too close to the roof.
- Organize the shed. Remove any liquids that will freeze in the winter, transfer fertilizer boxed into cardboard or metal or plastic containers, and move snow-and-ice removal equipment to the front for easy access.
- Prepare flowers. Deadhead annuals and perennials regularly to groom and promote blooming. Wrap roses and other fragile shrubs with burlap; after the soil freezes, mulch garden beds to prevent the soil from heaving.
- Remove window air-conditioning units. Clean filters, and drain the units of water before storing them.
- Service snow blower; purchase gasoline.
Service sprinklers. Have your system drained and serviced by a professional, and flag any heads near driveways or walkways to prevent damage during snow removal.
- Turn off faucets and roll hoses; store for the season.
- Make the bed
- Manage clutter - whenever you leave a room, take a quick look around for anything that isn't where it should be. Pick it up and put it where it belongs.
- Sort the mail
- Clean as you cook. Instead of filling the sink with pots & dishes , wash them or put them in the dishwasher as you prepare a meal.
- Wipe up spills while they're fresh.
- Sweep the kitchen floor
- Dust home office surfaces and objects, including furniture, light fixtures & electronics
- Empty home office trash bins.
- Sort through in-boxes; pay bills, file paid bills and paperwork
- Vacuum home office floor
- Buff waxed stone, masonry, concrete & wood floors
- Dust portable & ceiling fans
- Flush drains with vinegar, boiling water & baking soda.
- Vacuum window treatments, moldings & windowsills.
- Wipe interior & exterior door trim,
- Wipe switch plates.
- Wipe telephones.