Fall is officially here. While we’re all excited to enjoy everything the Dallas-Fort Worth area has to offer during these cooler days, now is a great time to get your fall home to-do list in order.
1. Clean carpeting and area rugs. Have area rugs and carpeting professionally cleaned if needed, or spot-clean on your own. Rotate area rugs before putting them back in place — this will help prevent one side from becoming more worn or faded than the other.
2. ‘FALL’-proof your space. Regardless of your situation, the fall season presents a great reminder to prevent unnecessary falls.DIY: Use the “FALL” mnemonic to make sure your place is slip-proof:
- Floors: Scan your floors for fall risks. Look for clutter, slippery stairs, and loose rugs. Add sticky padding to prevent slips.
- Activities: What does your daily routine look like? If you have family coming to visit, you might need grab bars in the shower or a second handrail by the stairs.
- Lighting: Is your home bright enough to see any potential hazards?
- Leaving: Examine your porch and outdoor paths. Are there any broken steps or overgrown shrubs that might trip you up when leaving your home?
3. Check the fireplace. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, odds are you haven’t used it in quite some time. Make sure it’s good to go before you light it up! A professional inspection and sweep will cost between$150 and $350.
4. Check safety devices. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house, replacing batteries as needed. Check the expiration date on the kitchen fire extinguisher and replace it if needed.
5. Switch your ceiling fans. Your ceiling fans are designed to cool you off during the summer—but they also serve a need during the chilly seasons. Every ceiling fan has a switch hidden on its base. When the mercury level drops, flip that switch so the fan is moving clockwise.
6. Keep out the critters. Just as you’ll spend more time indoors when the weather cools, rodents and pests will seek out a warm place, too—like your home. Keep an eye out for cracks or holes that might allow critters in and seal as needed.
7. Get a jump on holiday prep. If you plan to host this holiday season, take a bit of time now to prepare a few things in advance. Launder and iron the fancy linens (roll freshly ironed linens on old wrapping paper tubes to prevent wrinkles), drop off the kitchen knives for a professional sharpening or polish some silver — you’ll thank yourself later.
8. Check bathtub caulk and repair as needed. As you clean your bathrooms, notice the condition of the caulk around the tub. Cracked or worn-out caulk can allow water to seep into your home’s framing. If you spot a problem area, get it replaced as soon as possible.
9. Force bulbs indoors. Potted bulbs make a lovely, thoughtful gift, and if you’re potting them for yourself, it’s easy enough to make a bunch to give away throughout the holiday season.
10. Make space for your cold-weather clothes. With cooler weather comes bulkier coats, boots, and all sorts of accessories that seem to multiply when you’re not looking. Make space in your closets now so you have one less thing to worry about when it comes time to bundle up!
11. Cover or store outdoor furniture and grills. Even though we live in a mild climate, covering your grill between uses is a good idea to preserve the finish. As the temperatures get cooler, covering furniture or moving it to a covered area will keep it in great shape and conveniently located for those occasional warm winter days.
12. Clean gutters and downspouts. While not all of our trees here in Texas shed their leaves in the fall, scheduling a rain gutter cleaning toward the end of the season is recommended. Inspect gutters and downspouts for cracks and loose parts, and make repairs as needed.
Looking for even more ways to get ready for fall? Below are a series of lists containing even more tips!
Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist: 7 Tasks to Tackle Before Temperatures Dip
To-Dos: Your October Home Checklist
To-Dos: Your November Home Checklist
To-Dos: Your December Home Checklist