Get your home and yard ready for winter with this early fall cleaning list.
Chilly weather is likely to be creeping in where you are by the end of the month so we will take this month to get ready in advance for it! Indoors and out there are things you can do to get your home ready so you will be prepared snug and tight before the first frost hits the ground. Here is an early fall cleaning list to make sure your whole home is ready for winter weather.
Early Fall Cleaning List
1. Wash exterior windows – Before the weather gets too cold to wash your windows, get those windows spruced up for holiday entertaining. Use an extension that connects to your hose and a store-bought or homemade window cleaner. My favorite exterior window cleaning solution is one part vinegar, 4 parts water, and a splash of blue dish soap.
2. Clean out gutters and downspouts – Hire a handyman to do this job if you would rather not be hanging out on a ladder, but it’s a good idea to clean them out before snow and ice build up in them.
3. Check for loose shingles – Get on a ladder and scan the roof with binoculars for loose shingles.
4. Sweep off your front porch – Give your porch a good sweeping to prep it for fall decorating! Put away remaining summer decor.
5. Put down a new mat outside the door – You want to add a new thick mat in front of the front door to help prevent leaves, snow, and dirt from being tracked in. Now you can add some fall decor.
6. Create or reorganize space in garage/shed for summer tools – Clippers, gas cans, hoses, mowers, and garden tools will all need a good home when not in use.
7. Store cushions and outdoor furniture in the shed or garage – Hose and dry them off first if needed, then move them to a covered area to keep them in top condition longer.
8. Clean and cover the grill for storage – Some of us still grill even when there is snow on the ground, so you don’t have to put your grill up but it’s a good idea to clean it, check your propane levels, and cover it for winter protection.
9. Drain garden hoses – Drain all the houses in your yard, roll them up, and store them in the shed/garage. Shut off the water supply to the spigots and drain them so they don’t freeze over.
10. Order firewood for the season (or chop your own) – Begin laying in a supply of wood for those cool fall nights BEFORE you need it.
11. Test the generator – You don’t want to be caught with a fall freeze or storm with no generator for backup, be sure you have gas on hand as well.
12. Winterize the air conditioning unit – If you live in a hard winter area you will want to get your AC ready for winter. This can be as simple as cleaning it and then covering it to protect it from the elements.
13. Check weather stripping on doors, caulk around windows – This can be spread out over the month, room by room if you like. Make sure that the weather stripping around doors is in good condition, feel the caulking around windows for signs of air coming in, and make repairs as needed.
14. Have the fireplace/chimney cleaned and inspected – If you have a fireplace, get the chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional to ensure it is in working order and ready to use.
15. Give your heat system a test run – At the first sign of a cool day let your heat run for a bit, call for service if needed.
16. Dust fan blades and light fixtures – Give all the fans and light fixtures throughout the house a thorough cleaning, then reverse the direction of the fans to optimize your energy savings.
17. Vacuum out couch – Clean out the last of summer's sand and other tiny bits to get ready for entertaining, and add some cozy thick throw blankets to enjoy.
18. Give the oven a thorough clean out – As it cools we turn to comfort foods like casseroles and baked goods to get us through, best to start with a clean oven! Pull it away from the wall and clean underneath if you haven’t recently.
19. Go through kitchen drawers, purge and wipe out – Soon you will be bringing out nutcrackers, extra soup ladles, and other items. Make way by thinning out unused pieces to toss or donate.
20. Pack away summer small appliances – Out with the margarita mixer and in with the crock pot! Rotate items that you won’t use again for a while to the back of the pantry and make a spot on your counter for crock pots and pressure cookers.
21. Pack up summer bedding – While it may not be quite cold enough for your heavy bedding, you can bring it out, give it a good airing on the line, and have it handy so you don’t have to dig for it on the first chilly day.
22. Pack up summer clothing and move to your storage spot – Remaining summer weight items can now be relocated to storage to make way for flannels and jeans.
23. Take remaining winter clothes from storage – Hang coats and sweaters to air outdoors to get the storage smell out of them.
24. Check your emergency kit in the car and add winter items – Even though I like to focus on the home each month for cleaning and organizing it is a good idea to prep a few things for your car as well. Especially if you spend a lot of time in it! Make sure you have a spare tire and tire iron, jumper cables, flares, and a first aid kit in the trunk. This is also a good time to add winter items like extra coats and gloves. If you get a lot of snow, make sure your chains are in working order.