Thursday, September 16, 2010

Preparing for Autumn in New England

Just a reminder for autumn:

Little do you lucky people in the rest of the country know what a pain in the ass it is to get a New England home ready for winter. Here is a list to clue you in... let me know if I have forgotten anything.

• Replace pillows. (With 15 pillows in our house, I usually grab a new one about once a month while I am shopping at Target, this way it is not a huge expense all at once.) It is recommended to replace pillows every 1-3 years... or when they have been drooled on so much they look like a Pollack painting.
Wash all windows while it is not too cold to have the windows open.
Clean the walls.
Clean light fixtures and ceiling fans.
Steam clean carpets now while you can still open the windows to speed the drying process.
• Complete any painting project you have as well. You will want windows open to aid ventilation and you don't want to do that in the icy winter.
Wipe down the kitchen cupboards. Empty them and reorganize them.
• Use your vacuum’s brush attachment and gently vacuum refrigerator condenser coil.
Straighten the closets. Declutter and reorganize.
• Pack up the kids summer clothes. Either box and label them for the younger kids to inherit or pass them along to Goodwill.
• Pull out the gloves, mittens, hats, scarves and snow pants. Clean them and take inventory to see what you need to buy before the snow flies.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries (usually recommended done for daylight savings)
Replace the furnace filter. If you haven’t changed your furnace filter within the past three months, do so now. Call and schedule yearly preventative maintenance for the furnace.
• Remove your air conditioners and store them.
Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows. Repair or replace as needed.
Check and clean the gutters. Do the downspouts, too.
Clean the patio furniture. Then store away.
Drain and store garden hoses.
Drain the pool, if applicable. Close it up for the year.
• Clean and store summer lawn ornaments.
• Thoroughly clean and disinfect trash cans/ recycle bins.
• Autumn is a great time to clear brush after the leaves have fallen and you have a clear view of what you want to get rid of.
• Take inventory of shovels, rock salt and windshield scrapers. Make sure you have them on hand before the snow flies!
• Clean out the remnants of the veggie garden and weeds now to save yourself time in the spring.
• Winterize the lawn mower and get it stored. Pull out the snow blower and prepare it, you'll want it up and running BEFORE it snows.
• Get winter mats and boot racks in place for the impending mess.
• Inspect and replace any fire extinguishers- especially if you run a wood stove.

Here is a printable checklist.


  1. I was just telling someone a MINUTE ago how important it is to switch pillows at least once a year. Dirty pillows are so ICK.

  2. Oh wow. I do NOT miss that at all. And as for new pillows? Never! husband likes my dirty pillows.