Fall comes with a lot of prep work. Somewhere between leaves falling, the temperature dropping and the days getting shorter you’re supposed to create a cozy oasis for holiday guests and, more importantly, to ride out the winter months. Here is an easy to follow to-do list, with life-hacks to help you accomplish it all.
If you are blessed with a beautiful leafy tree than you know that with it comes great responsibility. It’s important to remove leaves from your deck to avoid rotting.
HACK: if you don’t have a leaf blower, you can repurpose a house fan to move the leaves. The visual of that is great for your neighbours too!
HACK: Rake or blow your leaves onto a tarp or old sheet. Ask a neighbor to help you create a ‘leaf funnel’ to get the leaves into a bag, or pile the leaves in a corral to create nutrient-rich compost.
You’ll also need to clear out your gutters so that rain and snow melt can move freely through them.
HACK: if you’re not down for going up ladders, a PVC pipe with a curved end on to a shop vac or leaf blower makes a great solution.
Prepare for summer
Although it seems too early, plant the bulbs you want for spring. When tulips appear in the spring you’ll be glad you dug around in the cold earth.
HACK: Use a pair of old winter gloves and a serving spoon to keep your hands warm and out of the mud. Kneeling on a tarp or old blanket will save your knees too.
Trim back branches that may have overgrown during the summer. Cover any delicate plants or trees to protect them from heavy snow.
HACK: tie up branches that you want to trim with bungee cords. This will ensure you only trim the branches you intend to chop and the scraps will all land in one area.
Windows and doors can let in a lot of cold air, and drafts can cause your heating bill to rise. First, remove or seal air-conditioning units. Then you’ll also need to replace any old weatherstripping.
HACK: hold a lit candle near the seams of windows and doors. If the flame flickers you probably have a drafty window.
You’re only as warm as your toes. Keep your toes nice and warm by ensuring your boots are fully dried.
HACK: loosen the laces and stuff your wet boots with newspaper. You’ll be surprised by how well the paper draws all the moisture out of your boots.
The fun part of preparing for fall is decorating. Bringing the outside inside is a great way to celebrate the harvest. Many porches become dressed with gourds of all shapes and sizes.
HACK: to keep your pumpkins and squash lasting longer, spray them with a water and bleach mixture. This way you have beautiful fall foliage for thanksgiving, and a jack-o-lantern for Halloween.
HACK: Collect fallen pine cones and bake them in the oven at200° for 20-30 minutes to remove any bugs living in them.
Over the fall and winter months, we all seem to spend more time at home enjoying our surroundings. By putting a little effort in at the beginning, it will make it easier to kick back and curl up when the temperatures really start to drop.