5 ways to get your home ready for Fall

In many parts of the country, the calendar and the weather forecast are far out of sync.  But as the days grow shorter and temperatures cool, it is important to get your home ready for the change in season.  Here’s 5 quick things you can do while the temperatures are still warm to prepare for Fall.

1. Make a plan for falling leaves. Leaves are nature’s free mulch, if you use them correctly.  If the trees around your yard drop large, broad leaves, such as oaks or maples, then it’s best to shred leaves before spreading them in your flower and garden beds.  You can run them over with your mulching lawn mower, or rent a chipper/shredder from your local hardware store to make quick work of leaves, branches and other yard waste.  You can also use leaves in your compost bin.

2. Clean the barbeque. It’s not fun, for sure, but giving your grill a deep clean is actually part of keeping your backyard safe.  Excessive build of up grease can lead to an unwanted and damaging fire that could not just scorch your burgers, but damage your grill.  Use a large plastic storage bin filled with warm soapy water to soak the various parts of your grill to help cut the grease.  You can also use a plastic putty knife to scrape grease off of in to an empty soup or tuna fish can.  Remember to throw grease in to the trash and not put it down the drain.

3. Get a pre-season checkup of your HVAC system. Before doing the overly simple task of flipping a switch on your thermostat to go from ‘Cool’ mode to ‘Heat’ mode, it’s a great time to have an annual maintenance checkup on your heating and cooling system.  A routine health check of your mechanical systems will ensure that everything is in good running order.

4. Clean up the patio. While you still may have a few more weeks ahead where using patio furniture is appropriate, even desirable as the temperatures cool, once the transition to Fall is complete, you’ll want to make sure your outdoor living space is tucked in for the colder months.  Take down umbrellas and store indoors.  Cover patio furniture or bring indoors.  If you have wood furniture, it’s a great time to clean and seal the wood with an oil or sealant that will help prevent cracking during the temperature change.

5. Tidy up the garden. If you’ve enjoyed a fresh harvest from your backyard garden all summer long, the turning season may mark the end of the productive life of your plot.  Pull up any remaining plant stalks that have expired and add them to your compost bin.  If you live in a warmer climate, you may have a few more weeks worth of growing, for leafy greens such as lettuce.  You can also install your cold frames or hoop houses at this time to allow new plantings to survive through the cooler months.

The Fall is a fantastic time to take care of your home while it’s still pleasant to be outside.  Enjoy!

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Derek Smith

Derek is the co-founder of HomeSpot HQ, and uses it to manage the seemingly never-ending list of projects and maintenance tasks around his suburban home.