Fall Homekeeping Tips
1. Bring Winter Linens out of Storage
Leaves turning and falling signal important tasks for your home and garden. Make sure your spaces are ready for a long winter's nap. It's easy to do with these simple homekeeping reminders. If you like cozy beds, change from light cotton sheets to all-cotton flannel and swap your lightweight bedspread to a heavier duvet.
2. Dust Ceilings, Walls, and Baseboards
It's a good time to banish summer dust buildup. Use your vacuum's long brush attachment on ceilings, walls, baseboards, and woodwork.
3. Vacuum Upolstery Weekly
Removing dust from furniture will keep it looking its best. Use an upholstery attachment. Protect delicate upholstery by vacuuming through a screen to prevent the fabric from being sucked into the nozzle.
4. Organize Vacation Photos
Relive your favorite summer memories by taking a day to organize photos from the past few months. Then, evaluate older albums to make sure they're in good shape.
5. Wash Windows
6. Update Window Treatments
Switching summer's lightweight curtains for heavier drapes keeps out drafts and sets an elegant tone more appropriate for fall.
7. Winterize Garden
Cleaning up and preparing your garden for a freeze will promote its health in the spring.
8. Divide Spring-Blooming Perennials
Separating these plants before they flower allows them to devote more energy to putting down roots. Do so before the first ground freeze.
9. Replace Screens with Storm Windows
Mark each screen before storing so you know which window it belongs in, and wipe down storm windows before installing.
10. Remove Winter Clothes from Storage
Pack up summer clothes and linens, and replace them with cool-season items.
11. Rake Yard
As leaves fall, rake regularly to keep the lawn healthy; then shred the leaves and add to your compost pile.
12. Clean chimneys
A chimney sweep will ensure the chimney is free of creosote (a residue that builds up on the chimney's inner walls and can cause fires), as well as soot and other debris.
13. Shut Down Outdoor Faucet
Turn off all outdoor faucets; coil and tie all garden hoses, and store them in a frost-free place.
14. Plant Spring Bulbs
Plant spring-blooming bulbs in well-drained soil -- they'll need 12 to 16 weeks of temperatures that are 45 degrees or colder.
15. Clean Oven
Prep your oven for holiday cooking and baking. If you don't have a self-cleaning oven, use our DIY oven-cleaning solution. For either type of oven, racks should be hand-washed and dried before replacing.
16. Check Smoke Detectors
Test batteries in smoke detectors twice per year; daylight savings time is an excellent reminder to do this task.
17. Bring Garden Furniture Inside
Store wicker, iron, and other yard furniture in the garage or shed to prevent weather damage.
18. Cover Firewood
Cover only the top two feet of the pile with a tarp so that air can circulate, minimizing moisture. On sunny days, remove tarp to let wood dry.
19. Service Snowblower
If you didn't have your snowblower serviced at the end of last winter, make sure it's ready for the upcoming winter weather.