Don’t leave jobs out in the cold. Get them done before the first snowfall. Last year in New England that meant Halloween, so don’t delay. Moms spend so much time taking care of their families and a home’s indoors that we don’t always get to tackle the outdoor jobs in the fall.
1. Assess your equipment
Did you break your rake or the broom handle on the large broom you use to clear the driveway? Maybe it was your husband. In either case, you may need to buy a replacement. Consider buying a rake with an adjustable handle, making it easier to rake either dry or wet leaves. Don’t forget to buy a rake for each family member, so there will be no excuses for ignoring the leaf piles outside.
* Purchase extra-large lawn and leaf bags.
* Choose a spot in the back of your yard to dump the leaves, if you have the room. Otherwise, make a plan to take advantage of any leaf pick-up services or drop off locations offered in your town. There may be a schedule on town’s website.
2. Use the hose
Before the hose gets put away for the winter, put it to good use. Garden hoses need to be stored indoors for winter to avoid cracking. It’s easier to store it than to hope that all of the water has been drained out of it.
* Clean out the recycling, trash or compost bins.
* Power wash the house near the end of fall to remove tree debris.
* Clean hummingbird feeders and let them dry before storing.
* Rinse out stored bird feeders to get them ready for fall and winter.
3. Replenish bird seed
You may not have fed the birds all summer because it’s easier for them to find food. Or maybe you had a lingering bear or two. Purchase your bird seed and store it in a large, metal garbage can with a scoop.
4. Clean your gutters – Cluttered gutters will not let water drain, damaging your roof or wood rot.
If you purchased some type of gutter guards, inspect them. Leaf shields can also help against colorful leaves, small twigs and acorns. Pine needles may still find their way into your gutters.
* Ensure that the gutters are secure.
* Check the drainpipes and buy extensions if you need them, to direct water away from your home.
5. Winterize the lawnmower – Use up the rest of your gas for one last lawn mowing session. Clean the lawn mower and store it in the garage, shed or basement.
6. Plant your fall bulbs – Harvesting the bounty of fresh vegetables will soon be a pleasant memory. Keep on gardening by planting some fall bulbs. Consider:
* Ornamental onions
* Apricot daffodils
* Botanical tulips
* Snowdrop (great for ground cover)
7. Get salty – Replenish your supply of sidewalk salty or ice melting pellets. Store them inside a plastic or metal container with a large scoop or cup. Keep the container near an entryway for easy access in the winter.