The weather is cooler – prepare your home for arrival as long as it is still nice outside.
The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler. The children trudge to school with their backpacks and leaves fall from the trees.
Yes, it's official: autumn is here. Now it is time to complete all maintenance projects before winter and get your house and garden ready.
Take care of these 12 tasks so that your home will be clean, warm and cozy for the coming cool days.
1. Repair cracks in concrete and asphalt
Depending on where you live, these may be the last few weeks of the year when it's warm and sunny enough to repair cracks in the driveway and sidewalk.
2. Clean the gutters
Nobody loves this job, but we all have to do it annually. A few hours of work later can prevent major problems.
Visually inspect your roof for damaged shingles, lightning, or vents while on that ladder. You can also examine the chimney for missing mortar and, if necessary, repair it by inserting it.
3. Switch off the external lines
Drain and cover external taps and sprinkler systems to protect them from the upcoming frost.
4. Start composting
If you don't have compost bins yet, now is the time to make or get some. All these accumulated autumn leaves will bring you garden gold next summer!
5. Clean garden furniture and garden tools
It may not be time to put them away, but clean your garden furniture and garden tools so they can be stored over the winter.
6. Bulbs for spring blooming flowers
Plant bulbs in October once the ground has cooled to get big rewards next spring. If you have never planted onions before, choose a place in your garden where the sun shines during the day.
7. Prepare your stove for winter service
If you have not done so last spring, you should have your stove professionally serviced in good time for the cold season. Check your oven at least visually and replace the oven filter before using it every day.
8. Clean the chimney and the chimney
Clean the chimney, check the chimney and make sure that the doors and shields are in good condition. Have the chimney swept professionally if necessary. Now is the time to get firewood!
9. Keep the warm air inside and the cold air outside
Check your windows and doors. Check the weather strip by opening a door, putting a piece of paper in the entrance area and closing the door. The paper should not be able to slide back and forth easily. If this is the case, the weather strip does not do its job.
Now it is time to re-seal windows and door panels if necessary.
10. Illuminate the path
Bring as much light as possible into your home for the colder, darker months. To emphasize natural light, clean your windows and blinds, especially in rooms with lots of sunlight.
Add lighting to darker rooms with new lamps. And consider replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with energy efficient bulbs.
11. Create a mud room
Even if you don't have your own mud room at home, now is a good time to think about organizing and stocking an entrance that serves as a "mud room" for cold and wet weather.
Place a carpet indoors and outdoors to protect the floor. A fun and rewarding weekend project is to build a wooden shoe rack, cloakroom, or storage bench for your entrance area.
12. Home security check
Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors. A good way to remember this is to replace the batteries whenever you change the clock to daylight saving time.
Create a family escape plan or check the one already in place. Assemble an emergency standby kit so you are prepared for all winter power outages.
As soon as you have completed your checklist for the Herbsthaus, you can enjoy the season in your warm, comfortable home.
Originally published September 2016.