The trees are nearly bare, and it’s time to start thinking about Old Man Winter. He’s such a buzzkill (unless you live near great skiing). For the rest of us, here are some cleaning tips to use this season when you’re trapped indoors, hopefully enjoying oversized onesie pajamas and a bottle box of your finest wine.
🎶 We Didn’t Start the Dryer 🎶: A congested dryer vent can cause fires in the winter, so make sure you’re cleaning it at least once per year. Check for warning signs of any buildup like your clothes taking longer to dry, the machine becoming hotter to the touch or any burning smells.
From there, you’ll want to unplug your dryer and remove the dryer duct and clean that out. Vacuum out the vent as far as your hose will reach, and then simply replace the duct. Easy peasy.
Fortify Your Fortress: Seal any drafty doors or windows. To see how drafty your windows are, move a candle or lighter near the frame and see if it bends or flickers. Leave a small sticky note to mark the spot so you can come back and seal it. For doors, you should be able to either see a crack or feel the outdoor air coming in.
Just purchase a door curtain for the foot of the door, or an easier way is to have a full door stop inside the door. Not only will this keep you warmer all winter long, but it should help with your heating bills, too. That’s money you can spend on presents or, ya know, those oversized onesie PJ’s we mentioned.
Don’t be Gutter-ly Useless: Clear out those clogged up gutters! A little work on the front end of the season will definitely pay off when the rain, snow and ice appear on your roof. If rain and melted ice can’t properly drain, it can leak into your home and cause water damage.
Before winter, clear away any debris such as fallen leaves from gutters and make sure down pipes are also clear. (Please never ladder alone...lest you end up like Clark Griswold.)
Sayonara, Summer: Bid adieu to your outside patio furniture for the time-being. First thing’s first: Clean your furniture. Make sure you give it a good scrubbing (depending on the type of material), and let it fully dry before you even think about storing it.
The ideal storage space is climate controlled (a garage, a storage room, etc.), but if you don’t have that luxury, invest in an outdoor furniture cover — you’ll thank Future You in the spring.
Falling for You: Put those pesky fallen leaves to use by recycling them into your yard. Mow/mulch them and so they can decompose and improve the soil quality.
I Can See Clearly Now: For one last outdoor window cleaning, put The Glass Is Always Cleaner to work. Make sure you do this one before the freezing temperatures arrive, then you’ll be able to actually tell if there’s a White Christmas (or an army of neighborhood kids armed with snowballs).
Chim Chiminey, Chim Chiminey, Chim Chim Cher-ee! Take the time to clean your chimney this year to prevent carbon monoxide dangers. Carbon monoxide is a serious and poisonous gas that is produced when things like coal or wood do not have enough oxygen to burn.
Prevent this by making sure your chimney is clean and vents are unobstructed. It’ll also make sure Santa has a smooth descent.
It’s the final cut-down. Give your lawn a final cut before snow and ice head your way. (Oh, you live near the beach. We’re so “happy” for you.) Around 3-4 inches is the best height; if you cut your grass too short, the winter weather could damage roots and kill your grass. Leave it too long, and blades may mat under the snow, which could cause bare spots next spring. Look for that “Goldilocks” height and once again do Future You a solid.