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We have homework for you to complete before summer is over: get your home ready for fall. But don’t worry. This home maintenance checklist has fun, design-oriented tasks, too.
Fall rolls around fast and it’s best to get your house ready for cold-season nesting while the weather is still good. And if you’re a goal-oriented person, checking off these pre-fall season home maintenance tasks soon means you can reward yourself with the best Labor Day weekend ever.
2. Check for (and repair) air leaks
Air leaks in windows create energy waste and cold drafts. Image: DiGiacomo Homes
You can solve the drafty room issue and create a more energy-efficient space by taking a few minutes to find any places where cold air could potentially enter.
From the outside, walk around your home looking for cracks or holes around your windows, walls, doors or places where wiring might enter your home. Fill them with some exterior caulk in a matching color. Caulk costs around $5. And sealing the leaks in the summer is the best time, since caulk flows and dries best in warmer weather.
From the inside, look for cracked or dried out, shrunken putty around windows. Or see if there is light coming from a section of a door jamb. You can also hold a lit incense stick near a window or door on a windy day to see if the incense smoke blows from a certain section of the closed window or door.
3. Prep your fireplace
Inspect and clean your fireplace annually. Image: Strachan Group Architects
Take a good look at your fireplace or call in a qualified and well-recommended professional to give it a good cleaning and inspection before you start using it again. It’s also a good time to order your firewood to have it ready to go.
Don’t have a fireplace and wish you did? Check out these cool electric fireplaces.
4. Clean out the gutters
Keeping rain gutters clear of leaves and debris protects your home’s exterior from water damage. Image: Mark English Architects
Shop a similar look: Chairs
If you have a home with rain gutters, take a look at what’s built up in your gutters and clear it out before the rains come. Clogged gutters overflow in the wrong places and can damage stucco, roofing and other exterior elements.
5. Air out your winter jackets and bedding
Pick a sunny, breezy day to lay out your winter duvets, blankets, pillows, area rugs and outerwear that have been in storage all spring and summer. The ultraviolet light in sunshine is a great disinfectant. Exposing your fall and winter items to fresh air and sunshine will also kill odors and mild mildew.
6. Cozy up your space with heavier-weight fall textiles
Layers of soft, luxurious textiles prep your home for fall and winter. Image: Adams Cougall
Swap out your white linens and light summer textiles with heavier fall textiles. Good fabric options for fall include, velour, velvet, corduroy, faux suede, microfiber and faux fur. Items to swap out to get your home cozy enough for fall include:
- Throw pillows
- Blankets and throws
- Sofa and chair slip covers
- Area rugs
The key to creating a successful design is to layer. In fall and winter home design, more is more, so don’t be afraid to go over the top with a fur throw blanket, lots of pillows and a combination of colors, prints and soft fabrics. The more texture, the warmer and more inviting the feel.
7. Create a mudroom section in your entryway
Designate a small area near your entry for jackets, boots and other gear. Image: LDa Architecture
Regardless of how space challenged you may be, find a wall, nook or spot where you can catch all your fall and winter gear like boots, jackets and hats. The best elements to consider adding are:
- A small, easy-to-clean rug to set your dirty or wet boots on.
- A chair or small ottoman to sit on to remove your boots. An ottoman or bench that opens up for storage or a cubby-style bench or low bookcase would be a great seating option that also offers extra storage.
- Wall hooks or a wall-mounted organizer to hold jackets, hats, scarves and other gear.
Some mudroom and entryway organization items in stores now: