The weather may be turning chillier and the leaves disappearing, but
with Thanksgiving and the winter holidays approaching, you’re likely to
have a bustle of activity indoors. Get ahead of things this November by
checking these 12 items off your to-do list, and rest easy in a
cleaner, cozier home.
1. Decorate for the season naturally.
You don’t need to spend much (if anything) to bring a seasonal touch to your home. Hang a wreath
on the door, and collect acorns and pinecones from outdoors to make a simple centerpiece
that will last indefinitely. Bowls of apples, pomegranates and nuts in the shell make for easy (and edible) table decor.DIY fall and winter wreaths2. Make a donation to your local food pantry.
Getting Thanksgiving meal essentials to families in need can make a big impact at this time of year. Check with your local food pantry
before you go shopping to see what it is most in need of — it can be
hard to keep fresh items that families need, like milk, in stock, so see
which fresh items are needed. Of course, food pantries need support
throughout the year, so consider making donating a monthly to-do.
3. Schedule a preholidays carpet cleaning. Whether
you rent a carpet cleaning machine or hire pros, getting rugs freshened
up before holiday gatherings will help your home look its best. If you
hire a carpet cleaner, consider having your upholstery done, too.
4. Set up a humidifier — and keep it clean.
you’re running the heater a lot, the air can get very dry. Using a
humidifier puts moisture back into the air, which can help your space
feel warmer and more comfortable. But be vigilant about keeping the
humidifier clean — it can easily become mildewed, which can be harmful,
especially for allergy sufferers.5. Check the sump pump.
If you have a sump pump to protect your basement in case of flooding, be sure to check it and make sure it is working properly before
the November rains take their toll.
6. Deep clean the kitchen.
everything thoroughly now will give you a chance to take stock of
what’s in those cupboards and pantry before any major holiday cooking
Clear expired food out of the pantry, fridge and
freezer; clean appliances; and clean dust and grime from the light
fixtures and range hood.How to get a spotless, beautifully organized kitchen, step by step
7. Organize closets.
With bulky fall and winter clothes taking up more space, it’s natural for closets to get overstuffed at this time of year.
a day to clear through some of the clutter, and donate a bag of clothes
to charity. Make sure there is nothing on the closet floors — use
shelves, bins and hooks to store things and prevent future pileups.How to tackle your closet’s mess
8. Order holiday cards and update your contact list. Planning
to send out holiday cards? Make it as stress free as possible by
ordering early and gathering everything you’ll need in one place.
a half hour to make a list of people you want to send cards to, and
check that you have the most current contact information.
11. Have trees trimmed.
9. Check walkways, railings and stairs for winter safety.
away gardening supplies and anything else that’s in the way on walking
paths. Check that railings and stairs are in good repair.10. Keep furry friends safe.
pets safe by storing antifreeze and other harmful chemicals securely.
And with shorter days and longer nights, winter is a more dangerous time
for pets to be outdoors. Get a reflective collar for your dog,
especially if he or she tends to escape or you live near a busy street
, and consider keeping indoor-outdoor cats inside for winter.
Trees are dormant at this time of year, which makes it a good time to
have the trees on your property professionally trimmed. Trimming trees
helps prevent unstable limbs from falling and causing damage during
winter storms.12. Clear rain gutters and downspouts one last time.
If more leaves have fallen since the last time your gutters were
cleaned, be sure to have them cleared out one last time before winter.
Leaves left clogging gutters and downspouts
can cause water and ice to pool, potentially causing damage to your siding or even leaks.