The end of summer means kids returning to school, the excitement of the upcoming holiday season and preparing your home for winter. The fall and winter seasons are two of the most glorious when it comes to decorating and showcasing your home. These simple changes can welcome this season in style:
Inside the Home
- Change out your wardrobe – Pack up your summer shorts and break out the hooded sweatshirts and heavy jackets.
- Start planning your Christmas list – Start looking for the perfect Christmas gifts. If you begin early enough, you can even handcraft a few of them for the special people on your list.
- Create a “Great Wall of Art” to showcase school projects – Back to school means an abundance of art work and A+ paper suitable for framing.
- Check your batteries – Check the batteries in all of your safety devices. Smoke detectors, radon detectors, and emergency radios all use batteries. Testing the batteries and replacing those that are close to their expiration date can prevent a disaster from occurring.
- Break out the seasonal decorations – Get out the seasonal directions and look them over closely. Make any needed repairs and place decorations as the different holidays approach.
- Schedule maintenance checks – Yearly maintenance checks should be performed on your furnace and air conditioning unit. This will keep your furnace running in top condition throughout the winter and prepare you air conditioner for next spring.
- Prepare to celebrate family traditions – Holiday celebrations are passed down from generation to generation. Take the time to include time tested traditions as well as create a few of your own that are unique to your own family.
Outside the Home
- Storm windows – Put in storm windows and doors to seal out the cold. Look them over closely and make any necessary repairs before it is time to put them in.
- Drain and store garden hoses – At the end of the summer, you should always drain garden hoses to prevent them from becoming damaged over the winter. If water freezes inside a garden hose, it can cause cracks and holes to appear. Once they are adequately drained, they can be rolled up and stored for next years’ use.
- Check outdoor faucets – Check each outdoor faucet to make sure there are no leaks. Always make sure they are turned off and are not dripping. Faucets that are allowed to drip can freeze and break pipes. If there is water shut off valve in your basement or crawlspace, turn the water off at that point to further protect your water lines from freezing.
- Prepare landscaped areas – Prepare landscaped areas by applying fall fertilizer, digging up bulbs and covering any sensitive plants that needed added protection during the cold winter months. Remove any dead or dying plants, trash and debris that have collected throughout the summer.
- Clean gutters – Gutters and downspouts collect a variety of debris over the course of the spring and summer. Before the snow begins to fall, make sure both are cleaned and free of any obstructions. This will allow water from melting snow and ice to drain away without being able to refreeze or create hanging icicles that can break off and cause injuries.
- Gather leaves and pick up debris – Rake any leaves that have accumulated on your lawn. Removing the leaves and other debris will prevent the grass underneath from turning brown and eventually dying from lack of sunlight. Brown leaves can detract from the look and curb appeal of your home.
- Add seasonal decorations – As the season begins to change and each new holiday is ushered in, update your lawn decorations to reflect the theme of the season. You can add lights and animated ornaments, or you can choose to keep it simple and low key. Either way, it should reflect your personal style and flair.
- Winterize the exterior of your home – One of the most important things on your checklist should be to winterize the exterior of your home. Simple steps can save both energy and money. Checking the weatherstripping around both household and garage doors can prevent heat loss. Plastic can be placed over the windows for an added layer of protection against unwanted heat loss.