So… how do you feel about the approach of fall coming closer each day? We’re halfway through August and I can’t believe that soon it will be time to tuck away the air conditioner and bust out the sweaters. Now that we’ve been in the cabin nearly a year, I am thinking of chores that need to happen in order to prepare for the changing seasons. It always feels like I’m a bit behind, but, with this list in hand, maybe I won’t be this year! If you’ve ever wondered how to prepare your house for fall and winter, I hope these tips help.
How to Prepare Your Home for Fall & Winter
Come up with a storage plan
To prevent drafts during cooler months, we remove our window a/c unit and store it in the shop. Before packing it away, I make sure to give it a good cleaning. Usually I vacuum out the filters and wherever I can, then wipe it down with all-purpose cleaner. I also stow our garden pots that hold annuals so that they don’t become waterlogged with PNW winter rains.
Stowing outdoor furntiure is a must, as well. I suggest making a plan for your home’s specific needs similarly!
Wash the textiles
I like to wash our curtains twice a year: spring and fall. I also take the time to launder throws and whichever pillow covers are machine washable. That way everything is fresh and clean when it’s time to curl up by the fire wrapped in a blanket!
Clean out the gutters
Surprisingly, our cabin actually does not have gutters! But the bungalow did. So I always made sure to set aside a weekend dedicated to cleaning out the gutters to prevent all those fall leaves from clogging them.
Schedule a pest control visit
I learned this lesson the hard way with our old house… apparently rodents are usually more active in the winter months because they are trying to come in and get warm! I always wondered why it was so much colder in our living room than the rest of the house… and it was because pests had removed the ducting from the vent, thus heating the crawlspace and making a cozy space for themselves!
I highly recommend scheduling a professional pest control appointment and asking them for exclusions. Basically, that means they will put hardwire mesh anywhere that a mouse could potentially squeeze through. It isn’t glamorous, but it’s totally necessary.
Check your emergency kit
I shared our emergency kit and essentials previously and always check that it’s ready for winter storms before the seasons start to change. For example, I just restocked our pharmacy items and first aid kit, plus got a few more jugs of emergency water. Take some time to inventory your emergency kit and see what else is needed! It’s also a great time to check your generator if you have one.
Clean your windows
Our cabin has SO many windows and usually they are covered in cobwebs. Such is country life! I want to get into the habit of washing our windows and windowsills twice a year so that we can take advantage of our forest views as much as possible. Plus, summer is usually really dusty so cleaning your windows helps to press the restart button as the changing seasons roll in.
Clean the fireplace
This is definitely something we will be doing, especially as our woodstove is our primary heat source! I use a small brush and dustpan to clean the inside of the stove, then hire a professional to clean the chimney. I think this year I will also add cleaning the exterior of all of our stoves (including the propane stoves) because they’ve gotten rather dusty over the summer.
Shake out your rugs
Before the weather gets too cold, I recommend taking your rugs outside and giving them a good shake. You can also drape them over a clothesline and beat them with a racket like in the olden days! Even though we vacuum regularly, shaking our rugs, especially the Moroccan ones, helps to extend their lives.
Do you have any additional things that you do every year to prepare your home for fall and winter? I’d love to know! Leave a comment and let me know.
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