Happy October! Last month we told you about 10 essential home projects you should try to conquer in September. Now that you’ve accomplished those, we have a few final fall projects you’ll want to complete in October to ensure your house survives the winter without any damage and, just as important, to make sure everything is safe and looks great when you entertain guests for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the winter holidays.
Clean and Store Outdoor Furniture
October brings cooler weather and, sadly, the end of outdoor dining and lounging until spring. Now is the time to give all of your outdoor furniture a good cleaning and remove any dirt and debris so that it doesn’t damage your furniture while its in storage. Don’t have a garage or shed to store your furniture? Find a spot that’s out of the way and cover the stacked furniture with a weatherproof tarp.
Install or Replace Smoke Detectors
October is Fire Prevention Month, so there’s no better time to make sure you and your family have a plan in case of fire and to buy a few fire extinguishers to place throughout the house. In addition, now is the time to install smoke detectors if you don’t have them (there should be at least one on each floor, as well as one in every bedroom). If you already have smoke detectors, you should be testing them every single month, changing the batteries every six month, and replacing them entirely every 10 years. October is a great time to do that because come late fall/early winter, you’ll likely be lighting more candles, using the fireplace more often, and doing a lot more cooking.
Rake and Remove Fall Leaves
All of the leaves that turn beautiful colors come autumn are eventually going to fall from the trees and right into your yard. While a blanket of colorful leaves may look pretty, your grass will die if the layer is too thick, which means you need to remove the leaves as they start to pile up. Once most of the leaves have fallen, that’s actually when it’s okay to finally stop raking/blowing/vacuuming and leave a thin layer to decompose and provide organic matter and healthy nutrients, However, you will want to mow over them in order to mulch the leaves so they decompose more easily.
Inspect Outdoor Lighting
Daylight Saving Time ends on November 6, which means it will be getting dark a lot earlier, so you want to make sure that all of your outdoor stairs and pathways are properly lit so that you stumble or fall at night. Be sure to check every fixture, including wall lights, post lights, motion-sensor flood lights, and even landscape lighting and replace bulbs as needed.
Inspect Outdoor Pathways
While you’re checking the outdoor lighting, you’ll also want to check the pathways to make sure there aren’t any loose bricks or paving stones and that aren’t any cracks in the concrete. You want to do this before the rain and snow come because winter weather can multiply what may seem like only minimal damage, making for an expensive fix come spring.
Drain and Remove Hoses
When water freezes in a garden hose, it can not only ruin the hose, but also create problems with water pressure in the pipes inside your home. That’s why you should remove the hoses, drain the water, store them in the garage or shed, and install covers on all exterior faucets. In addition, if you have an in-ground sprinkler system and live somewhere with below-freezing temperatures, it’s important to winterize the pipes as they can burst if there is water left in them.
Clean Your Windows
Getting your windows cleaned twice a year will not only make looking out of them more enjoyable, but give them a longer life. Yes, autumn can bring rain, but rain won’t actually make your windows any dirtier. If they look dirtier after it rains, that’s because of the dirt and debris that was already on them.
Deep Clean the Oven
Fall is the start of baking season, so give your oven a seriously deep cleaning, including the entire interior, oven racks, door, and stovetop. If this seems like a chore you can skip, just remember that a dirty oven can be less efficient at reaching temperatures and also impact the taste of your food. Do you want a pumpkin pie that’s anything less than perfection? Better start scrubbing…
Clean Your Carpets
Carpets should be professional cleaned at least once or twice a year and though there’s no set time one needs to do this, autumn is a good time because you want your home to look its best when you’re entertaining during the holidays and, if you have kids, they’re back in school, which means it’s easier to schedule an appointment since there’s a little less activity during the day.
Decorate for Halloween
Halloween is one of the most fun holidays of the year when it comes to decorating. Whether you choose to go the frightening route with a graveyard in your front yard and ghosts hanging from trees, or prefer décor that’s a bit more classic like an array of pumpkins on your front step, this is one “chore” we don’t think anyone should skip. And we bet your neighbors would agree.