Making the Summer-to-Fall Transition: Prepare Your Home Before Winter Sets In

The end of summer is all about change. Leaves are starting to fall, the weather’s just beginning to cool (okay, at least it’s less hot). The kids are back in school, and everyone settles into familiar and busy daily routines. Soon, you won’t have as much time for those little household jobs that’ll pay off later ­– or cost you some money if they’re neglected – so do yourself a favor: put down the TV remote, pull on your sweatpants and t-shirt, and get ‘em done now.

Clean Inside and Out

The end of summer is a good time to clean and organize your house, room by room. As your family begins to transition to fall clothing, start putting away the summer wardrobes. Store them safely in secure plastic containers, especially if they’ll be spending the winter in the attic or basement. Put away the doo-dads you picked up on vacation or your kids brought home from summer camp. If things have really gotten out of hand, you might consider having a professional home organizer help you tackle the clutter. 

Be sure not to neglect your home’s exterior or your yard. If you have big, creaky-looking tree branches hanging over your roof or outside a window, cut them down. Then they won’t cause damage when they get wet and heavy, or when the wind picks up. Inspect your roof for holes or gaps that could let in the weather or some hungry critter looking for a winter home. Gutter cleaning is one of the least popular household tasks, but it’s well worth the time and effort. A clogged gutter can come crashing down and do some serious damage when it fills with leaves, water or ice. And don’t forget your insulation – check the exterior carefully for spots that might need to be caulked or weather-stripped.

Preventive Maintenance

Effective home maintenance is largely a matter of following good habits. One very good habit is to check the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when the seasons change. This is something that’s easy to forget if you don’t plan for it. The National Fire Protection Agency reports that the death rate in homes that have working fire alarms is about 50 percent less than in households that lack protection. Another very good habit is to change air filters on your heating and cooling unit and other air intake outlets, where dust and dirt build up over time. Remember, your house will probably be closed up tight during the cold months, so be extra careful to make sure you have good airflow and effective protection against carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s also a good idea to add an air purifier to your home, especially one that reduces the allergy and asthma symptoms that are so common in autumn; not only will they keep your family healthy, but the air filters in your heating and cooling units won’t have to work as hard, since there will be fewer particles in the air.

Don’t Play With Fire

There’s nothing quite like a warm fire on a chilly day. Unfortunately, too many homeowners fail to have their fireplaces and chimneys checked and cleaned before they light the first logs. The results can be disastrous: fireplaces are among the most common sources of household fires.

Pest Proofing

When the weather cools off, the bugs come in. No one wants to spend the fall and winter with mice, roaches and spiders, so pest proof your home by spraying down the corners and cracks with pesticides that are safe for kids and animals. You’ll find mouse and rat traps at your local hardware store. If you’re not sure what products to buy or how to use them, think about hiring an exterminator to make your home safe from bugs and rodents.

Most basic home maintenance tasks are fairly simple to do.

Cleaning, organizing and checking your house for fall and winter is largely a matter of rolling up your sleeves and getting it done.

Courtesy: Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels

Author: Erin Reynolds of |


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