It's almost November, and the cold — really cold — weather will be here before you can snap your fingers. Get a jump on winter by taking care of a few things in and around the house now, while it's still bearable temperature-wise, and you aren't knee deep in snow and ice. Here are seven things to make for an easier transition into the cold...
1. Swap Out Bedding: Launder and store your warmer weather bedding, and reach for the down comforter or wool blankets instead. Layer on some throws for extra comfort and warmth come winter.
2. Do a Seasonal Conversion in Your Wardrobe: Just like lakes have an autumnal turnover, so should your closet. Prep it for the season to come by taking out your stored sweaters, and packing up your shorts and tank tops. Put flip flops towards the back, and bring your boots front and center.
3. Clean Your Gutters: Stay on top of leaves this fall, and once the last one has fallen to the ground, it’s time to clear out your gutters. Either hire someone, or climb up the ladder yourself, and get rid of all the build up and any blockages.
4. Put Away Outdoor Gear: You’ve been pushing it and lingering outside in your backyard as late as possible into the season. It’s now time to scrub down all your patio furniture and either cover it, or store it away. Similarly, your grill might need a good cleaning. You don’t want to wait until it’s 30 below and your hose is frozen solid.
5. Get Your Windows Ready: Do what you have to do to get those holes caulked up, and prevent cold air from coming in. Upgrade to heavier curtains in anticipation, or seal up windows with one of the many temporary products designed to increase energy efficiency.
6. Maintenance Your Fireplace or Wood Stove: If you rely on wood to stay warm, or just love the feel of a real fire, now is a good time to clean out last year’s ashes, and stock up on new wood for the winter. Have the chimney cleaned once a year as well.
7. Buy Winter Essentials: The snow and ice will be here before you know it, and you don’t want to wait until the first storm of the year to buy your snow removal gear and salt. You'll be prepared when the initial flakes come down, and you won't have to vie for the last shovel on the shelf at the hardware store.
(Image credits: Lindsay Tella; Jacqueline Marque for The Beautifully Strange World of Miranda Lake; Kim Lucian; Tara Bellucci; Lindsey Kay Averill; Marie-Lyne Quirion; Natalie Grasso; June Bhongjan)