Sunday, August 31, 2014

Get Ready for Fall

The days are getting shorter, the air is crisp and cool in the mornings and the sound of crunching leaves under your feet rings like music in your ears. It's fall... finally! For the last several months, we've been doing our best to keep cool and beat the heat. The time has finally come to prepare our homes for the cooler weather that is coming our way.

Just as we scrubbed and polished in the spring, we need to do a few things around the house to get ready for all the excitement that is just around the corner.

Unless you've got a good bit of warm weather left where you live, it might be time to think about cleaning and storing your patio cushions (and furniture if it needs to be protected from the weather).

Change your furnace filter - you'll keep your heater running efficiently and save some cash.

Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and flashlights. Now would be a great time to stock up on some extra batteries to have on hand in case of power outages this winter.

Time to bring out the blankets and comforters. Hang them on the line to air out while the weather is still pleasant.

Ring your local Chimney Sweep. It's important to maintain your chimney, buildup can cause the fireplace to not vent properly, fires can also be the result of buildup - and a chimney fire would just not be a very festive way to celebrate the fall holidays.

Check the weather-stripping around doors and windows. Weather-stripping is easy to add - peel and stick options are available at any hardware store. If you stop the drafts, you'll keep your home warmer and cozier and save money on your heating bill.

Check those gutters. Be sure to clean out the rain gutters before the rain begins (otherwise, you'll be like my poor Mom, who is inevitably out on a ladder in the rain, cleaning the gutters because she didn't do it before it rained!)

Have a look at your carpets. Do they need a good cleaning after being tracked with dirt and sand all summer? Call and schedule and appointment, or drag out the steam cleaner before you have a house full of Thanksgiving guests (it is only 9 1/2 weeks away you know!).

Store all the camping and outdoor sporting equipment away. You won't be needing it until next year, so why trip over it every time you go into the garage?

Finally, bring some fall touches into the house. Maybe some acorns or beautiful fall leaves in a pretty bowl (send the kids out to gather the pretty ones, then wash them & apply a good moisturizer, they'll last all fall). Or add some fall colored throw pillows or accents.

The days may be getting shorter and cooler, but we still have plenty of time to get our homes ready to face the weather ahead. With just a few simple steps, we can be cozy and our homes maintained by the time we're carving jack-o-lanterns!

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