Fall Homekeeping Tips
Bring Winter Linens out of Storage
Leaves turning and falling signal important tasks for your home and garden. Make sure your spaces are ready for a long winter's nap. It's easy to do with these simple homekeeping reminders.
If you like cozy beds, change from light cotton sheets to all-cotton flannel and swap your lightweight bedspread to a heavier duvet.
Copper, brass, and silver pieces add warmth and elegance to any room. Over time, tarnish is inevitable—but it’s easy to polish away. Follow a few simple tips to keep these metals looking their most lustrous.
Dust Ceilings, Walls, and Baseboards
It's a good time to banish summer dust buildup. Use your vacuum's long brush attachment on ceilings, walls, baseboards, and woodwork.
Vacuum Upolstery Weekly
Removing dust from furniture will keep it looking its best. Use an upholstery attachment. Protect delicate upholstery by vacuuming through a screen to prevent the fabric from being sucked into the nozzle.
Organize Vacation Photos
Relive your favorite summer memories by taking a day to organize photos from the past few months. Then, evaluate older albums to make sure they're in good shape.
How To Wash Windows
Martha takes you to her Katonah home for a look at how the windows are cleaned every spring.
Update Window Treatments
Switching summer's lightweight curtains for heavier drapes keeps out drafts and sets an elegant tone more appropriate for fall.
Cleaning up and preparing your garden for a freeze will promote its health in the spring.
Divide Spring-Blooming Perennials
Separating these plants before they flower allows them to devote more energy to putting down roots. Do so before the first ground freeze.
Replace Screens with Storm Windows
Mark each screen before storing so you know which window it belongs in, and wipe down storm windows before installing.
Remove Winter Clothes from Storage
Pack up summer clothes and linens, and replace them with cool-season items.
As leaves fall, rake regularly to keep the lawn healthy; then shred the leaves and add to your compost pile.
Use a wall manager to keep important phone numbers, calendars, family messages, and emergency information to save time, and to reduce clutter.
A chimney sweep will ensure the chimney is free of creosote (a residue that builds up on the chimney's inner walls and can cause fires), as well as soot and other debris.
Replace spices that are more than six months old or no longer fragrant, and stock up on staples such as flour and sugar.
Check Your Home for Drafts
Check for cracks in siding and shingles, and for window drafts. Plug air leaks with caulk or weather stripping to limit heat loss in your home.
Shut Down Outdoor Faucet
Turn off all outdoor faucets; coil and tie all garden hoses, and store them in a frost-free place.
Clean the House
The holidays are quickly approaching; make sure your home is sparkling.
Plant Spring Bulbs
Plant spring-blooming bulbs in well-drained soil -- they'll need 12 to 16 weeks of temperatures that are 45 degrees or colder.
Prep your oven for holiday cooking and baking. If you don't have a self-cleaning oven, use our DIY oven-cleaning solution. For either type of oven, racks should be hand-washed and dried before replacing.
Check Smoke Detectors
Test batteries in smoke detectors twice per year; daylight savings time is an excellent reminder to do this task.
Bring Garden Furniture Inside
Store wicker, iron, and other yard furniture in the garage or shed to prevent weather damage.
Stock Liquor Cabinet for Holiday Entertaining
Check on your liquor supply and pay a visit to your local wine merchant for seasonal suggestions to pair with your favorite fall foods.
Cover only the top two feet of the pile with a tarp so that air can circulate, minimizing moisture. On sunny days, remove tarp to let wood dry.
Check Outdoor Lighting
Make sure your porch and walkways are well lit; little trick-or-treaters will soon be visiting.
Wash and Refill Bird Feeders
Feeding birds during the winter increases their odds of survival by allowing them to raise their young and restore their populations.
If you didn't have your snowblower serviced at the end of last winter, make sure it's ready for the upcoming winter weather.
Prepare For Holiday Guests
Your guest rooms should be not only clean, but inviting too. Set out flowers or other special touches to make guests feel extra welcome.
Save space where you need it the most by adding labeled, easy-to-access storage bins to hold your seasonal accessories.