Today officially marks the start of the winter season even if the weather may have us thinking differently. It’s time for colder temperatures, holiday celebrations, longer nights, and the welcoming in of a New Year. It’s also time to tackle some new items around the house to keep it in well functioning order. Keep reading to find out what tasks we think should make your to do list this winter.
Prep and Maintain the Fireplace
There is nothing quite like curling up in front of a warm fireplace on a cold winter’s day. But if your fireplace isn’t ready to go then those plans could easily go astray. First and foremost, have your chimney inspected each year if you plan to use the fireplace. Next, have your chimney professionally cleaned if it has been a while since its last professional clean or if your inspector recommends it. Finally, stock up on firewood now so that you’re ready when the mood or cold weather strikes. The last thing you want to do on a cold day is run to the store. Plus, you can bet everyone else will have similar plans and you don’t want all the wood to be sold out before you get there.
It’s another season which means it’s another time to clean out your gutters. Once the leaves have finished falling you’ll want to make sure your gutters are clear so that they’re able to handle any impending winter weather. This is also a good time to check all the safety devices in your home such as your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. Another task to add to your list is to inspect all the caulking around the home and replace any that has degraded or is missing. Key areas to check caulking is in bathrooms, the kitchen, and around windows.
Chances are that you’ve got at least one bookshelf in your home. You might be using it to store books or as a place to display decor. Regardless of how you’re using it most bookshelves overtime seem to become more and more disorganized. Take some time to give your bookshelves a little love and organization. If you store primarily books consider organizing them in a new way, such as alphabetical by author or even by the color of the book itself. If your bookshelves are being used more for displaying decor then consider swapping things around a bit. At the very least, regardless of how you are using your bookshelves, take the time to remove everything from the shelves and give the shelves a good dusting.
Plan Home Projects for the Next Year
Winter brings with it the end of the current year and the beginning of a new one. This is the perfect time to sit down and really think about any remodeling or maintenance projects that you want to tackle in the new year. Perhaps your kitchen needs an upgrade or you want to upgrade your bathroom to feel more like an at home spa. Or maybe what you need isn’t quite as fun but just as important to a well functioning home, such as a new roof, hot water heater, or windows. Now is the time to get those plans in motion, especially since many home improvement companies are already booking jobs for the start of the new year.
Keep Exterior Cleaned and Well Lit
Winter brings with it colder weather and longer nights, two things that can make the outdoors a bit more dangerous. When it comes to your home’s exterior make sure that the front of your home is well lit. This will not only help you if you are returning after dark in the evening but it will also give your home some added safety. Also keep an eye on walkways at the front of your house to make sure they are clear of debris. If bad weather hits it is easier to clear sidewalks and pathways that aren’t littered with tree branches, rocks or other such objects. Finally, keep watch over your landscaping. If a tree branch is hanging on precariously then get it down sooner rather than later before wind and weather gets to it and can cause more damage.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
The colder weather of winter can be quite the risk for your pipes, both inside and outside. If you want to prevent frozen pipes and the damage that comes with them then be sure to take preventive steps. Make sure any outdoor plumbing has either been winterized or is properly insulated to keep it above freezing when the cold temperatures hit. Inside your home make sure any pipes that aren’t in well heated areas (by windows, exterior walls, or rooms that get rather cold) are insulated as well. If freezing temperatures are in the forecast leave your faucets dripping and the doors to under sink cabinets open. Finally, as tempting as it might be to save money and leave your heater set to a low temperature, make sure that temperature does not get below 55 degrees. Spending a little extra money on heat could save you from spending even more money on busted pipes.
Complete a Home Inventory
If you had to sit down right now and make a list of everything that was in your home could you do it? And not just a list that says things like refrigerator, couch, desktop computer, etc. But a list that includes specifics, such as the brand or where you purchased it or even how much you paid for it. If you can’t do that then this is a great time to put together a home inventory list. Who knows, maybe you’ll even discover something that had been hidden away and forgotten about. No one plans on bad things happening to their home, but if you have a completed home inventory list (with details) it will be a lot easier for you to recoup your losses should something bad ever happen. And don’t forget, once you’ve started a home inventory be sure to keep it updated as you acquire new things.