Autumn is a time of renewal and gives us a chance to start anew. Since we’ve had the opportunity to take care of our homes and ourselves both inside and out, it’s time to prepare for the fall season and do some home maintenance. This time of the year represents Harvest, which is a time to acknowledge growth and expansion as a natural part of our well-being. Just as our lives go through various cycles like growth and rebirth that we see in nature, we can do the same for our homes and ourselves. Read on for a list of fall maintenance tips that will help you get excited about the upcoming season.
INDOOR FALL MAINTENANCE TASKS
Consider these tips to help you prepare the inside of your home for the fall season:
Indoor maintenance. Now is the time to inspect things like your plumbing, electrical wiring, and panels. Ensure that all plumbing is properly insulated and that all outdoor faucets are covered and prepped for cooler weather. Look in the attic to confirm that the roof underlayment is intact and that you have adequate insulation to keep your home warm.
Heat. If you have a fireplace, fall is a perfect time to clean or sweep the chimney and have the fireplace inspected. Check your gas stove to ensure it’s working correctly, and ask for an HVAC system inspection to confirm that your heat is working correctly. It’s also an excellent time to change your air filter. If you have oil heating for your home, now is a good time to fill your tank up.
Home appliances. Do a quick inspection of all major appliances to ensure they work. If anything is broken, get them repaired or replaced, particularly your refrigerator, oven, washing machine, and dryer.
Declutter. Refresh your entire home by doing some thorough decluttering and organizing. Get rid of old electronics like unused cell phones, computers, and small appliances. It’s also a good time to dispose of expired medications. Shred all of your old bills and go through your home office to get rid of outdated paperwork. Fall is also a perfect time to declutter unworn clothing, shoes, bedding, towels, and summer items like hats and swimsuits.
Décor. Dust off your spring and summer décor and put it in storage. Now is the time to bring out the autumn and winter décor to celebrate this exciting time of year. Anything that doesn’t work or no longer brings you joy can be donated, sold, or recycled if possible.
Reorganize. This is a perfect time of year to reorganize and declutter the kitchen and pantry, your bathroom cabinets, and the shed or garage. Separate items into things you want to sell, give away or throw in the trash. Clean out your pantry and throw out expired food. Organize dry goods and place them in clear canisters, then label them so you can find them easily.
Recycle. Look for any items in your home that can go to recycling. You can also do some upcycling and repurpose items like old seasonal décor, discarded clothing, shoes, and even furniture. Get creative and come up with new ways to reuse these items in a whole new way. A simple coat of paint on an old chest or table can give it a brand-new look, for example. Clothing can be sewn into bags or pillows for a fun piece of fall décor.
OUTDOOR YARD AND PATIO FALL MAINTENANCE TASKS
Fall is also a great time to do a bit of outdoor maintenance. Here are a few things you can add to your list to prepare for the season ahead.
Outdoor maintenance. Clean your gutters and remove dead leaves, twigs, and debris. Check all the pipes going into and out of your homes, such as the waterline, gas line, and anything connected to your HVAC system. Look for signs of leaks, rust, or damage so you can get these items repaired now before winter arrives. Test your outdoor equipment like leaf blowers and lawnmowers to ensure that everything is working properly.
Insulate pipes. While you should insulate your plumbing indoors, it’s also time to insulate and protect those outdoor exposed pipes too.
Check for leaks in windows and doors. Do a “draft test” to confirm that there are no leaks in your doors and windows. Add new weatherstripping to keep all windows and doors properly sealed.
Inspect your roof. Look for possible signs of leaks in your roof and keep an eye out for missing shingles. Get all roof repairs done now before winter snow arrives to protect your home and property.
Take care of your garden. Rake leaves in your yard and put them in bags, cover any garden plants that need to be kept warm, and fertilize your plants so they will thrive through the season. Trim dead tree limbs and make sure that all of your plants are properly trimmed, and cover them with burlap (if required). You can also decrease the amount of outdoor watering you need to do during this time of year.
Do a yard and garden sweep. Some areas of the country aren’t impacted by autumn weather until later in the year. If this applies to you, just do a quick cleanup of the yard or garden and determine what you need to put away now and what you can put away later. Check on items that still work, like your outdoor lighting, and confirm if anything needs repair. It’s also a great time to declutter old outdoor items and either donate them or throw them away.
Upcycle garden items. This is also a wonderful time to see if anything outdoors can be recycled or upcycled and turned into something new. Take old wooden palettes and turn them into planters or furniture. Paint your outdoor planters in new fall colors or use some of your outdoor décor to make a cute birdhouse.
Create a schedule for outdoor tasks. Work on creating a schedule for a few outdoor activities you’ll need to tackle later when it gets closer to winter. Some items include checking the roof and gutters to prevent ice dams and a checklist to ensure you have everything you need, like snow boots, snow shovels, and deicers.
Make another maintenance list. Your home isn’t the only thing that needs a little bit of fall maintenance. Make a quick list of other items to check on, like your car, shed or garage, and driveway and walkway. Repair any cracks you see now before winter arrives to prevent them from growing and getting worse.
CELEBRATE THE BEGINNING OF AUTUMN
Since Autumn is a time to start anew, it’s also a perfect time to celebrate. Keep these tips in mind to help you celebrate the upcoming season.
Declutter your life. This is a wonderful time to declutter, clean, and toss out anything that brings you unhappy memories. Only keep the things in your home that bring you joy and happiness. Remember that is not about getting your act together.
Do some fall rituals. Fall is a perfect season to practice self-care with a few simple rituals like yoga or meditation. Play some soothing music, enjoy a long bubble bath, or read a good book to help your mind and body reset.
Light some candles. In addition to some fall rituals, it’s a perfect time to light some scented candles. Aromatherapy can uplift your mood and give your home a beautiful fall-like ambiance. An essential oil diffuser is another great way to fill your home with the fragrances of autumn.
Buy new décor. Decorating your home is a wonderful way to celebrate every season, including autumn. Add a faux autumn leaf garland to your fireplace mantel, hang some fall wreaths, or fill your home with fun Halloween décor. You can also upcycle and create new décor from some of the old stuff you have lying around. This is also a great way to have some fun arts and crafts time with the family.
Celebrate the harvest. Head out to a local farmer’s market and buy fresh produce to celebrate the autumn harvest. A fun hayride or a visit to a local pumpkin patch will get everyone excited about the changing season.
Make delicious fall treats. Get excited about autumn by trying out some new recipes. Make homemade apple cider, bake a pumpkin pie, or come up with your own delectable fall dinners and desserts.
Doing a few easy maintenance tasks for your home is an integral part of taking care of your property as the seasons change. It’s also essential to maintain all your material items and, of course, yourself, too. By decluttering, organizing, and even checking on your health, you can get ready to enjoy the fall season and embrace the growth of what this new season will bring.
Guest Contributor: Adriana Lopez, porch.com