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Tricks to start getting ready for the fall

Date posted:  9/30/16 04:17:00 PM Preparing for fall

When fall arrives and the weather starts to cool, a lot more is required on your end than simply putting on a jacket or snuggling under a blanket.

Whether you're a homeowner or renter, there are some items you need to mark off your checklist now that fall is officially here.

The earlier you start prepping for the fall, the better position you'll find yourself in. You may even come across some issues in your home or apartment that require major maintenance, and you'll be glad you spotted these problem areas well ahead of the winter.

Here are some ways you can prepare for the fall so you can comfortably enjoy the changing colors of the leaves and crisp air.

Maintenance around the house
It never hurts to spend a few hours on a weekend to walk around the outside of your home inspecting various areas.

As the leaves start to fall onto the ground, your gutters will inevitably fill up with them. Remove all the leaves you can to ensure the gutters don't become clogged. Put on a pair of durable gloves, safely climb up a ladder and toss them to the ground. Ask another family for help with raking to speed up the process.

While you have the ladder out, it doesn't hurt to take a look at your roof to see if any shingles need to be replaced or if there is more serious damage. Only do this if you feel completely comfortable doing so. After all, heights are not for everyone. Otherwise, consider calling a roofing service to come out and conduct the inspection.

Better Homes and Garden also recommended you fix the cracks in the sidewalk, steps or driveway. If not treated before the winter, the combination of snow, ice, cold weather and salt can make cracks expand.

More outside prepping
Once you've taken care of some of the basics, you may want to consider some other measures. You've already noticed the sun setting earlier and before you know it, it'll be dark as you leave the office at 5 p.m.

With less sunlight comes a greater need for outdoor lighting, and This Old House said installing lighting along walkways can come in handy. There are more benefits than helping you see in the dark.

Outdoor lighting can add an extra layer of security to deter potential burglars and also increase your home's curb appeal.

Once the temperature starts dropping, you'll want to consider seeding your lawn and anything else to ensure the grass, trees and plants don't die between now and the spring.

Last but not least in terms of outdoor fall maintenance, prevent pipes from bursting by freeze-proofing exterior faucets.

Prepping the inside
Preparing your indoor living space involves a bit of creativity and craftsmanship. First, check every window and door for drafts. You can apply weather stripping or caulk to these areas. Renters who spot these issues should call their landlord to see what fixes are possible.

Once drafts are dealt with, head to the furnace. Replace any filters even if the current ones aren't that dirty. Afterwards, give the furnace a test run to make sure everything works properly. In the early days of fall, you may not use it all that much, but that will quickly change.

While checking the furnace, there is the possibility you may encounter some issues. Call a professional service and have them come out to see what the issue is. It may turn out you may need a new furnace, which undoubtedly will cost quite a bit of money. Luckily, this is where an emergency savings account can come in handy as you can make the purchase without creating debt.

Moving throughout the home, the living room or similar gathering area may have a fireplace. But, since it went unused during the summer, you have to prepare it for the colder weather. This Old House stated you'll want to hire a professional cleaning service, check for any damage, and now is a good time to start collecting firewood.

Personal tips
Thus far, these tips have been geared toward the home or apartment, but as for yourself, now is the time to start thinking about swapping out your summer wardrobe for the clothes you'll wear in the fall and winter. Dust off the jackets, check the boots and bring out the sweaters.

If you have the space, consider storing your summer clothes so your closet doesn't become too crowded.

With the right amount of preparation around the home, you can ensure the fall becomes an enjoyable experience because your to-do list is done and you can sip a warm drink and relax.