If you’re in the northern hemisphere, it’s time to button up your home before winter. Depending on your latitude that could mean anything from cleaning gutters to raking leaves.
For us, we don’t rake leaves until December or January depending on how cold it is, but there’s plenty for us to do in the meantime. Fall prepping is our biggest and longest lasting chore. Not only does it stay warmer through the later months, but we have six acres to put to bed.
These are the things I try to cross off my list every year.
• Clean the gutters. We have a guard on our gutters, but I noticed we’re missing a couple of them, so I guess we’ll have to go up there and see what needs to be cleaned.
• Reseed your lawn. I am going lawn-less this year. My plan is to make my entire front yard nothing but plants and ground cover. Anything but grass.
• If you must have a lawn, now is the time to fertilize.
• Check the roof for any damage. We try to do this after any major storm anyway.
• Check your doors for good sweeps to make sure no drafts are getting through.
• Walk around your house looking for weatherstripping that needs to be repaired or replaced.
This copper wool is similar to what I use.
• Insulate any outdoor pipes.
• If you have sprinklers and your area gets below freezing at any time, you’ll need to blow out your sprinklers. We generally get light freezes, but last year we got hard freezes, so we kept all the outside lines empty and hauled water to the animals by hand. Great fun it was not.
• The same goes for water hoses. Roll them up and bring them indoors.
• If you have a portable generator, check it now. We used to do this before every hurricane season, but now that we live further inland, we do it later in the year. Generator–Check!
• Change your filters. This actually has to be done several times a year, but Fall is the one time of year we actually remember.
• Clean your dryer vents. We try to do this once a year. You wouldn’t believe the stuff we got out of the vent leading to outside the house. We are fastidious about emptying the lint trap, but lint still gets past it. Leave it long enough and your entire line can get clogged. You’ll notice it when you find your clothes are taking longer to dry. There are simple little devices you can buy so you can span the long distance of the vent line. Consider yourself lucky if your dryer vents directly to the outside like my old house did. I miss that!
• Store outdoor furniture and gas grills.
• Drain the gas from lawn mowers. tillers, and any other gas powered garden tool. I’ve learned this the hard way. If you leave gas in your machines too long without running them, the gas will varnish the innards and gum up the works.
• Feed the birds. Hummingbirds leave us in the winter, but we still have plenty of other birds that stay behind. We stock two big feeders. I plan to add one more this winter.
• If you have outside animals, get their pens cleaned and prepped for any additional winter protection.
This is just my outside list. I have a whole other list for holiday prepping inside the home, which happily coincides with winter prepping.
What’s on your to do-list for the fall? Do you feed the birds?