Fall Homekeeping Tips

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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.

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Polish Metal

José Picayo

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How To Wash Windows

Martha takes you to her Katonah home for a look at how the windows are cleaned every spring.

Learn This Technique

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Update Window Treatments


Switching summer's lightweight curtains for heavier drapes keeps out drafts and sets an elegant tone more appropriate for fall.

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Winterize Garden


Cleaning up and preparing your garden for a freeze will promote its health in the spring.

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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.

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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.

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Remove Winter Clothes from Storage


Pack up summer clothes and linens, and replace them with cool-season items.

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Rake Yard


As leaves fall, rake regularly to keep the lawn healthy; then shred the leaves and add to your compost pile.

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Stay Organized

Mike Krautter

Use a wall manager to keep important phone numbers, calendars, family messages, and emergency information to save time, and to reduce clutter.

Martha Stewart Home Office Wall Manager is available at Staples.

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Clean Chimneys

David Meredith

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.

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Audit Pantry


Replace spices that are more than six months old or no longer fragrant, and stock up on staples such as flour and sugar.

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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.

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Shut Down Outdoor Faucet


Turn off all outdoor faucets; coil and tie all garden hoses, and store them in a frost-free place.

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Clean the House


The holidays are quickly approaching; make sure your home is sparkling.

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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.

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Clean Oven


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.

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Check Smoke Detectors


Test batteries in smoke detectors twice per year; daylight savings time is an excellent reminder to do this task.

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Bring Garden Furniture Inside


Store wicker, iron, and other yard furniture in the garage or shed to prevent weather damage.

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Stock Liquor Cabinet for Holiday Entertaining

elderflower sour
Charles Masters

Check on your liquor supply and pay a visit to your local wine merchant for seasonal suggestions to pair with your favorite fall foods.

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Cover Firewood


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.

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Check Outdoor Lighting


Make sure your porch and walkways are well lit; little trick-or-treaters will soon be visiting.

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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.

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Service Snowblower


If you didn't have your snowblower serviced at the end of last winter, make sure it's ready for the upcoming winter weather.

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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.

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Stylish Storage


Save space where you need it the most by adding labeled, easy-to-access storage bins to hold your seasonal accessories.

Get storage solutions by Martha Stewart, exclusively at The Home Depot.

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