In the very first sharp mornings spent raking leaves, to the last exciting days preparing for trick-or-treaters, October is usually a busy month round the home. Mix in mandatory home maintenance (clean rain gutters, roll hoses) with items you have been needing to get to (finish a decorating job, select up gourds for front porch) and you’ll discover your to-do list vanishing before your own eyes. Work your way through the 11 jobs on our checklist, and from the end of the month you’ll have your home winter-ready — and also a little more beautiful, to boot.
1. Clean rain gutters after leaves drop. Leaves and other debris that clog your rain gutters can lead to leaks, so it is best to get to the chore as soon as possible after the majority of the autumn leaves have fallen. If your home is smaller, and you feel comfy on a ladder, even draining rain gutters is a fairly simple task to do yourself. If your home is more than 1 story, hire an expert.
2. Repair roof and siding. Should you see any damaged areas for your roof, siding or shingles, it is crucial to look after the problem before winter storms come through.
Lands End Development – Designers & Builders
3. Scrub and shop outdoor furniture and gear. From the end of October, with light fading earlier and weather getting less friendly, your outside seating area is very likely to go rancid. Rather than leave out furniture in bad weather, put it away in a drop or the basement. This month, also aim to wash your gardening tools and put them away neatly. Those in cold climates should move winter gear (snow shovel, ice scrapers) to a convenient place now so you don’t need to scramble when the first frost hits.
4. Put up storm windows and doors. Should you use storm windows or doors, now’s the time to get them installed. These features can help conserve energy during cold months and safeguard your home from drafts.
Moore Architects, PC
5. Give porch a fall makeover. Sweep off the summer sand, refresh baskets with autumn flowers, wash front windows and use a broom or soft brush to wash siding up. An armful of decorative gourds and pumpkins makes a simple display that will last all month.
6. Close off outside taps and roll pliers. Freezing temperatures may harm hoses and water pipes, so be sure to shut off empty and taps hoses of water before the first big freeze.
Martha O’Hara Interiors
7. Organize sand room. In the rush of return to college — and work — this tough entryway can take a major beating. Schedule a weekend day to sort through the mud room, putting away unneeded items and paper clutter and cleaning the floors. Invest in a couple of new baskets, bins and hooks to corral items.
8. Check security devices. Every home should have a carbon monoxide detector, as well as smoke detectors positioned throughout the home. Take a minute to examine that yours will be in working order, and change batteries if needed.
9. Sharpen knives. If you become aware of your kitchen knives becoming a bit harder to use, that is a sign they are due for a professional sharpening. Regular sharpening at home can help prolong the life span of a sharp edge on knives, but once that border is missing, just a pro can bring it back. Make a date to fall off your own knives.
Tim Barber Ltd Architecture
10. Type and store clothing. Don’t let summer swimsuits and shorts take up precious cupboard space yearlong should you only use them for a couple of months!
Alter warm-weather accessories and clothes to an out-of-the-way cupboard in bins with tight-fitting lids. And be sure to store just freshly laundered items — bugs are attracted to dirty clothes but usually leave clean garments alone.
Lisa Petrole Photography
11. Tackle a decorating job from start to finish. Quit dreaming and start doing! Select one sensible job (e.g., a single room or nook) which you would like to transform this month, and make it happen.
It might be helpful if you break your project down into bite-size pieces and schedule tasks throughout the entire month.
Read the DIY projects section
Inform us what’s on your home care record this October?