Fall is a glorious season. With blazing leaves and roaring fires, apple picking, harvest festivals and sweater weather, there is so much to look forward to. And with that studious, back-to-business mood permeating the air, we feel invigorated to take on new projects and work a bit harder. Kick off this busy season by taking the time now to prepare your home, incorporating both important tasks (like cleaning the chimney) and pure pleasures (like treating yourself to a luxe bath product).
These 14 tasks will help you seamlessly transition your home from summer to fall.
1. Inspect the roof, gutters and drainpipes. Depending on your climate, you may want to hold off until later in the fall (when most leaves have dropped) before cleaning the gutters, but doing a visual inspection now is a good idea. If any branches and leaves fell during summer storms, remove them so they don't cause blockages during autumn rains. Inspecting your roof now will leave ample time to have repairs or a replacement made before winter.
2. Edit your crafting stash. If you knit, sew or practice any other craft that comes with lots of supplies, it's time to begin sorting and purging that mountainous stash. Fall and winter will beckon with cold afternoons that are perfect for engaging in making something with your own two hands — be ready!
3. Move firewood to a covered area. Be sure to check for insects before bringing any wood indoors. Don't store wood with bugs, especially termites, indoors (or against the outside of your house).
4. Have chimneys cleaned before you light that first autumn fire. Residue buildup and blockages in chimneys are a common cause of house fires, so be sure to have a pro take a look before sparking that first flame.
5. Organize the entry. Fall brings with it loads of jackets, mucky boots and bundles of paper. Think ahead and give every type of item a home. That means baskets and bins for accessories, hooks for jackets and bags, and shelves or metal trays for shoes and boots. Add a pin board or a magnet board with a calendar, a place to drop keys and mail, and a bin for recycling, and you should have all of your bases covered.
6. Clear your desk. If you do any work from home (or have a student in the house), now is the ideal time to tackle those piles of paper and start this busy season with a clean and clear workspace. Have drawers, cabinets or shelving within arm's reach so you can easily put things away and not clutter up that desk again
7. Sort the pantry. Set the stage for healthy dinners by creating a neat and orderly pantry with healthful choices front and center. Toss expired foods and consolidate packages that have just a little left. If you like, pick up a flat of canning jars and a packet of labels to create your own organizing system for bulk-bin goods.
8. Deep clean the tub and treat yourself to something new. We may not be heading to the beach as often these days, but the time is just right for a relaxing soak. Give your tub a thorough cleaning and pick up something that will make your soak extra special, whether that is an essential oil you love, a beautiful brush or a luxuriously soft towel.
9. Tidy the porch. After a season's worth of sandy feet tramping back and forth, your porch deserves a good cleaning. Sweep away sand, clean the front windows and door, check porch lights and add a few extras like hurricane lanterns or autumnal potted plants.
10. Stock up on cold and flu remedies. Make a list of everything from your favorite preventative measures to the medicines and other items your family relies on while sick, and pick up these items now. You will feel good knowing you have everything you need if and when someone in the house feels under the weather.
11. Check lighting throughout your home. As the autumn sun dips lower in the sky, you may find you crave a little extra light in your rooms. A few small table lamps or even a strand of twinkle lights can make all the difference in creating a cozy ambience.
12. Refresh cleaning supplies. Take a few minutes to pull everything out from beneath the kitchen sink (yes, wads of plastic bags and all), sort it and put back only what you need. If this is where you reach when you need supplies for daily cleaning tasks, move everything not related to these tasks elsewhere. That means you, half-used crusty box of silver polish!
13. Swap out bedding. Bring cozy quilts and duvets out of storage so they will be within reach on that first chilly night. Check now if anything needs to be laundered and you'll have time to wash it before you really need it.
14. Savor your hard work! Sit back and enjoy a well-deserved rest. Brew a pot of tea, pour yourself a glass of wine, crack open a new novel or do whatever puts the icing on your cake.