September is well under way which means the kids are back to school and its time to get ready for fall. Part of being a NAPO Organizer is helping our clients be prepared for the crazy predicaments life throws our way. I have compiled this comprehensive list to give you a jump start on fall home maintenance so that you and your family have more time for apple picking and pumpkin carving!
1. Wash exterior windows.
2. Clean gutters and down spouts.
- HACK: Try using a plastic spatula; it fits perfectly, won’t scratch gutters and is easy to clean.
- While your up there look for loose shingles and debris. HACK: binoculars help magnify loose shingles.
3. Sweep off front porch and put away summer décor: Don’t forget cushions, outdoor furniture, kid’s sprinklers and kiddie pools.
4. Create or reorganize space in the garage for summer tools & toys.
5. Put out new fall mat and add fall décor.
6. Clean, cover and store grill.
7. Water your lawn. You may think it’s time to put the sprinklers away but watering your lawn in the fall is actually a great way to help it recover from the stress of the summer sun and strengthen it for winter.
- If you fertilize your lawn in the fall it will need the H2O to help it soak up the nutrients.
- In a few weeks you can drain garden hoses and shut off water supply to spigots.
- Additionally, fall is the perfect time to aerate soil.
- It relieves compaction and allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate your lawn.
8. Order firewood or get choppin!
9. Get your chimney cleaned and inspected.
10. Winterize air conditioning unit or remove and store window units. Bring out the space heaters.
- To properly store your window units you will need to clean it first. After its been cleaned, remove the filter and with a soft brush clean it with warm, soapy water then rinse and allow it to air dry. Do a visual inspection of the filter and if the cleaning didn’t do the trick, then you should replace it. Once it’s dry, place the clean filter back in the air conditioner. Place the unit in its original box or a plastic storage tote.
- Store in a warm, dry place.
11. Check weather stripping on doors and caulk around windows.
- In a few more weeks it will be time to winterize.
- Check with your township or local community center to see if they are distributing free winterizing/energy-saving kits.
12. Dust fans, light fixtures and reverse direction of ceiling fans. Running fans in the cooler months can actually save on heating costs! Fans have slightly angled blades that when turning counterclockwise move air down. Warm air naturally rises so by switching the rotation of your ceiling fan it pushes the warm air down. Most fans have a small switch to reverse the direction.
Clockwise = Winter Counterclockwise = Summer
13. Vacuum couch cushions, collect change and lost snacks and display some cozy throws blankets.
14. Give your oven a thorough clean inside & out as well as BEHIND it to get it ready for the holiday cooking season.
15. Pack summer clothes and bedding; wash and store.
- Consider keeping swimsuits and towels handy in case you plan a winter vacation.
- Pull winter clothes, flannels and heated blankets from storage and air them out.
16. Check car for shovel, ice scraper, blanket and refill or create an emergency kit
- Read my NAPO blog “An Organized Car for 2017” for tips on what you need in your car http://www.napo-gpc.org/blog/2017/01/an-organized-car-for-2017