Design Dilemma: A Checklist for Fall
Officially now, it’s fall. Time to break out the wool sweaters, rakes, and pumpkin carving knives! And when it comes to your home, it’s also time to prepare your home for the cooler months.
Where to start?
1) Inspect your gutters and clear out debris. You will have to do this again as fall turns into winter, but it’s a good idea to start out the season with nice clear gutters that won’t block immediately as the first few leaves begin to drop.
2) Inspect your roof. Before wet and snowy weather hits, take an opportunity to review the state of your roof. Is it in need of any repair? Does the whole thing need replacing? Now is the time to do it, before inclement weather sets in.
3) Have your chimney cleaned. Do you like to build fires? If so, have your chimney cleaned before fireplace season begins since chimney blockages can cause house fires.
4) Clean up your woodpile. This is a task that’s always forgotten until that first autumn rain soaks the wood through, rendering it useless. Before the weather gets really damp and chilly, move your wood to a protected, covered area where it will stay dry even on stormy days. When you bring the wood indoors, be sure it is free of bugs or critters that could make themselves comfortable in your home. Avoid storing wood inside your home.
5) Organize the entry. It’s time to pull all the umbrellas, winter coats, rainboots and snowshoes out of storage. What do you want to keep, what do you want to toss, what needs repair or replacement? Organize your entryway area so that everything has its place and can be reached easily. If there is more major work that needs to be done to prepare your entryway for the winter (new tile, new hooks, new doors, new storage) this is the time to address those issues.
6) Patch up holes, and re-insulate your windows. Cold weather sends critters that spent the summer outdoors seeking shelter in your nice warm home. Make sure holes where mice or other rodents can enter the home are properly patched. Check your attic to make sure there are no points of entry for raccoons or other wildlife. Check your windows for any spots where insulation needs to be reinforced.
7) Review your indoor lighting. In the coming months, you will be spending much more time indoors — reading, cooking, entertaining and relaxing. But can you see what you’re doing? Check your bulbs. Replace old incandescent bulbs with energy saving bulbs where necessary. Switch out lighting that isn’t sufficient or add lamps or lights to dim corners.
8.) Declutter. We all think of spring-cleaning as an annual rite, but a fall-cleaning may be just as important, precisely because you’re going to be spending so much more time indoors. Now’s the time to get rid of things you don’t use to free up valuable space. Clear out closets, organize your pantry, bookshelves and game storage. You’ll want to find that good book or the chessboard on those long winter nights. Bring out the heavier linens, wash and store away the lighter blankets. If you customarily change your decor with the seasons, now is the time to bring out your winter throws, pillows, rugs, etc. Most of all, prepare yourself to enjoy the very beautiful fall and winter months when its possible to enjoy a cozy, indoor lifestyle without feeling guilty about what you’re missing outdoors.