With fall in full swing and the holidays approaching, it’s time to prepare your home for winter weather and holiday hosting. Allow yourself to enjoy the anticipation of the holiday season by battening down the hatches now and getting ahead on holiday prep by completing this seasonal home checklist.
1. Perform an Exterior Sweep
Walk around the exterior of your home and repair uneven walkways, loose railings, and any exterior light bulbs that have burnt out. Trim overgrown shrubbery/bushes or low-hanging branches that may eventually break with snow and ice buildup. If you have an excess of leaves to rake up and want to put them to use in your yard, here are a few ideas!
Cover any gaps that mice or other critters could enter, as it doesn’t take much space for them to get in and cause trouble!
2. Protect Entryway Flooring
High-traffic areas of your home take a beating in winter with all the road salt, snow, ice, and sand, tracked inside. Protect your entryway floors by placing floor mats inside and outside of each entrance of your home, especially mudroom entrances. You may want to invest in a boot brush to remove extra snow! Rubber shoe trays are great for catching leftover snow and work great for keeping your entryway clean and dry.
3. Deep Clean Your Kitchen & Baths
Holiday hosting will be here soon, so take time now to tackle more time-intensive tasks to ensure your kitchen looks beautiful and works efficiently. Clean your oven, small appliances, light fixtures, refrigerator, backsplash, and range hood/filter. Scrub your tile grout as well.
Plan to deep clean your bathrooms around a week or so before hosting so a quick wipe-down will be enough to quickly freshen the space before company arrives. While you’re cleaning, check and replace any cracked or worn-out bathtub caulking to prevent water seepage.
4. Winter Essentials Inventory
Now is the time to prepare for our bitter Midwest winters. Replace any old shovels or ice scrapers and check that your snow blower and backup generator are working properly. Don’t forget to restock your home and car emergency kit to prepare for frigid temperatures and snow days.
5. Seal Warm Air Inside
Cracks in walls, doors and windows will allow freezing air into your home during winter months. To preserve your home’s heat and keep your energy bill from spiking, check and repair any caulking around windows, doors, as well as exterior faucets or vents. Utilize weather-stripping around windows and doors, and seal cracks in foundation walls.
6. Fireplace & Furnace Maintenance
Before you fully rely on your furnace and fireplace for heating, have both inspected to ensure they are working properly. The chance of a chimney fire increases during the winter, and a blocked flue can increase the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your fireplace is stocked with firewood too! If you need inspiration for your holiday mantle, we’ve got you covered with our mantle styling breakdown!
7. Check Your Sump Pump
If you have a sump pump in your basement, it is important to make sure it is working properly before the winter season arrives. Be sure to also turn off any outside water faucets and clear the lines of water to prevent leaks and damage.
8. Prevent Exterior Water Damage
Clean clogged gutters before snow and ice arrive. If a particular area on your roof causes issues year after year, consider installing heat cables on the roof to prevent the buildup of ice from leaking into the house. While you’re outside, be sure to shut off exterior faucets and store hoses for the winter to prevent frozen pipes.
9. Check Safety Devices
Be sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly and replace batteries as needed. Check to make sure your fire extinguisher isn’t expired. Update any home security systems to ensure they work properly during frigid temperatures.
10. Get a Jump on Holiday Prep
Organize and purge your holiday décor now to make room for fresh décor and smoother decorating when the time comes. Consider washing serving dishes and table linens now to lessen the load when Thanksgiving arrives. For those of you who spend the holiday season baking, gather your favorite recipes now, virtually or on paper, to keep things organized and easily on hand.
Bonus Tip! Are you planning to remodel in 2023? Give us a call at 847-836-2600 or schedule an appointment now with one of our talented designers to get on our project calendar and get started on your plans before the holidays arrive.