October To-Dos: Prepping Your Home for Fall
October ushers in cooler temperatures, brilliant fall foliage, and a bountiful harvest. Take advantage of all three as you prep your home and family for your favorite fall customs and traditions.
Inventory the family’s outdoor cold-weather gear. Are last year’s jackets, coats, hats and gloves in good condition and do they fit? Purchase any necessary replacements and stage your mudroom or entry hall so items are readily available when you leave the house and just as easy to put away when you return home. Add hooks, hangers and bins as necessary.
Set aside a day — or two — to deep clean the house in preparation for the fall and winter holidays. In addition to the usual tidying, go the extra mile to dust ceiling fan blades, wipe down baseboards, rotate and flip mattresses, clean the top of the refrigerator and remove the sofa cushions and vacuum up all those crumbs. All the effort will be worth it when company comes.
Plan now for Thanksgiving and winter holiday travel. Make any necessary reservations and talk to family members about who’s responsible for cooking, baking and cleanup.
Start a holiday gift list and set a holiday budget. Try keeping it on your phone so it’s handy whenever you’re out shopping.
Change the filters in your air handling vents. This should be done every one to three months depending on the quality of the filters used. Pro tip: When you install a new filter, write the date on the filter in bold permanent marker. You’ll be able to see the date through the vents, providing a handy visual reminder.
While you’re at it, schedule a local heating and air conditioning company to service your unit for the winter months. Many companies provide a spring and fall maintenance package at a discounted rate.
Toward the end of the month, in the waning days of Daylight Savings Time, change the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors. Don’t forget to check the date stamped on your smoke detectors. They should be replaced every 10 years.
Depending on your climate, it may be time to give your lawn a final mowing. Afterward, clean your garden equipment for winter storage. Be sure to drain the gasoline and oil and remove the blade to be sharpened for next year.
Rake leaves to the curb or use them for mulch in your gardening beds.
When the trees are bare, it’s time to clean your gutters and downspouts or schedule a service to do it for you.
Decorate for fall with natural items. Pumpkins, apples, and squash can all be used as table decor through Thanksgiving, if someone in your family doesn’t eat them first.
Schedule a fall outing to a local park to admire the fall leaves, an orchard to pick apples or a nearby community’s fall festival to indulge in local fall foods, music and traditions.