As each season comes to an end, I think it is important to look ahead and plan for the upcoming one. Most people do this once a year in the spirit of “spring cleaning” when the rainy season finally comes to an end and they get excited about using the outdoors again! I like to do this at least a few times a year, and I think it is important to prep myself (and my home) for the chilly months ahead. Here are some items you may want to adopt or add to your “winterization list.”
- Clean those gutters! If you live around a lot of trees like I do, it is inevitable that leaves will find your gutters and make themselves a permanent home there if they can. If your gutter is clogged, it can cause many issues including a leaky roof. Inspect your gutters once a year (perhaps during or after the fall season) to make sure you’re in good shape for winter.
- Clean your chimney! This one is SUPER important. Chimney fires are a real thing, and not something you want to mess around with. The cause of a chimney fire comes from an abundance of creosote, which is a highly flammable substance built up over time by the wood you burn. Aside from being a threat to the safety of your home, creosote build-up can also cause a reduced draw for your fireplace, which ultimately results in inefficiency. To avoid these issues, call a chimney sweep in your area and have them come inspect your chimney for possible threats and clean that thing if necessary!
- Get your back yard under control. It feels so great to look at a clean and tidy yard even through rainy months. Not to mention, it makes the spring/summertime set-up much easier if you take care of a few things before the cold weather hits! The items may vary depending on your yard situation. I have a pretty simple back yard, so here are some of my winterizing tasks:
- Put all outdoor furniture away (or at least the cushions).
- If you grow veggies or other plants that are now dead, get all of the dead plant debris out and disposed of.
- Cover or move inside all of your frost-sensitive plants.
- Clean your barbeque well and throw the cover on it or move it into the garage.
- Lastly, organize your garage. Little things tend to pile up in there over time, and it feels great to get everything back in ship-shape. For this, I like to pull out everything I can that lines the walls of that thing. This can be tedious and it can take up a whole Saturday if you let it, but it doesn’t have to. Start by taking an overall glance at the garage and single out one thing that needs to go. From there, go through anything that need not be there anymore (old pesticides, garbage laying around, broken toys, chewed dog bones, empty boxes, you name it). If you haven’t used it in the past 12 months, you’re more than likely not ever going to use it again, so get rid of it! I also am a fan of shelf organization. It gets everything up off of the ground and provides easy access to it all! You can also get cheap totes from Costco to organize items by season. Here is one example!