To-Dos: Your October Home Checklist

Clean up fallen leaves and branches and get your home ready for more time spent indoors.

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Houzz Contributor, Laura Gaskill

The leaves are falling, the farmer’s markets are bustling and the cozy comforts of home beckon — it must be October. Make the most of this month’s bountiful harvest, get some exercise raking leaves in the brisk air and button down your house in preparation for winter. Then sit back, relax and warm your hands around a mug of hot apple cider. Fall is here.

Connor Homes - The Dorothea Harwell House

1. Rake leaves. To make quicker work of collecting leaves from a large lawn, rake the fallen foliage onto a large plastic tarp. Then bag it or add it to your compost pile.

2. Trim dead tree limbs. Dead limbs are more likely to fall during winter storms, making them a potential safety hazard. Have an arborist inspect and trim large trees.

3. If you haven’t already, clean gutters and downspouts. Wait until most of the leaves have fallen to schedule a rain gutter cleaning. Inspect gutters and downspouts for cracks and loose parts and make repairs as needed.

It’s Time to Clean Your Gutters — Here’s How

Leschi Remodel

4. Neaten up the mudroom. The back-to-school (and work) flurry can leave the mudroom looking as if a hurricane hit it. Take some time to regain sanity — sort through papers and put away stray summer items and extra coats. Clean the floors and invest in a new doormat if needed. Keep a recycling basket near the entrance to make sorting mail and school papers easier, and dedicate a tote or bin for items that need to be returned (like library books).

Mudrooms That Really Clean Up

Brookline

5. Keep seasonal decorating low-key with natural finds. Pumpkins and gourds, fresh heirloom apples, quinces, pomegranates, figs and fall foliage all make wonderfully simple decor.

Bring in cut branches from your yard, stop by a pick-your-own farm or scoop up fall’s bounty at a farm stand.

Browse the Houzz fall decorating page

Stackyard House

6. Maintain your wood stove or fireplace. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, it’s essential for safety that you have it serviced before lighting the first fire of the season. If you haven’t done so already, schedule an appointment to have your chimney inspected and, if necessary, cleaned.

Farmhouse Yellow

7. Check safety devices. Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house and replace batteries as needed. Check the expiration date on the kitchen fire extinguisher and replace it if needed.

2015 Kosair Children

8. Start a gift list. It may seem like the holidays are a long way off — but that’s why it pays to start getting organized now. Start a list of everyone you plan to give gifts to this year. Then, as ideas strike, jot them down on your list. You can also use your list to keep track of a holiday gifting budget. And if you want to make any gifts by hand, October is a great time to get started — handmade gifts always seem to take longer to make than expected.

Alderwood Landscape

9. Cover or store outdoor furniture and grills. If you plan to leave your patio furniture or grill outside through the fall and winter, cover them well and stow them beneath an overhang that will protect them from rain and snow. Even if you live in a mild climate, covering your grill between uses is a good idea to protect the finish.

Cherry Street Residence

10. Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses for winter. Disconnect, drain and roll hoses before storing them for the winter. Shut off the water supply to exterior faucets to prevent frozen pipes.

Tell us: What’s on your to-do list this October?

More: Start the Season Right With Some Fall Cleaning To-Dos

Related Links:

Start the Season Right With Some Fall Cleaning To-Dos
Have Mittens, Scarves and Hats Ready in a Storage Bench for the Mudroom
Check Your Breakers Before Cold Weather Hits

Header Image Source: Connor Homes, original photo on Houzz

Victoria Keichinger is the Brand Engagement Manager with Coldwell Banker Real Estate. She grew up in New Jersey, before attending the University of Miami and still remains a proud 'Cane. Going back to her roots, she currently lives in Hoboken, NJ where she enjoys runs along the Hudson and eating at great restaurants. A true francophile, she loves to travel and will go anywhere there are ski slopes.

1 Comment

  1. Rick
    October 6, 2016

    Thank you … I really enjoy these articles!

    Reply

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