Your Fall House Cleaning To-Do ListFall is a season of renewal just as much as spring, although in the fall we’re looking forward to events like the upcoming holidays and to hunkering down for the winter. Early fall is an ideal time to do some inventory around your house, and to get some cleaning tasks out of the way while the weather is still relatively warm. Consider putting each of the following tasks on your fall to-do list so that you can relax once winter—and your holiday guests—arrive.

Clean and Store Patio Furniture

One of the first items to check off the list is to clean and store any outdoor furniture and accessories like patio umbrellas or cushions. These items can age quickly as a result of exposure to the elements, so keeping them indoors for half the year—when they’re not in use anyway—is a great way to lengthen their lifespan.

Clear Out your Gutters

Another good task to tackle early in the season is cleaning out your gutters. As leaves fall from trees—as they are wont to do in autumn—they can clog your home’s drainage system, and that can lead rain water to not flow properly away from your house. This can result in water damage and all kinds of structural issues. You can clean your gutters yourself if you feel sure-footed on a ladder, or else hire a professional. You might also consider revisiting this task at the end of the season once all the leaves have fallen.

Take Inventory of Holiday Decorations

In light of the approaching holidays, you should take a thorough inventory of your seasonal décor to determine what to keep—the ornament from your first year of marriage, your heirloom menorah—and what to throw away—anything chipped or broken, unrecognizable children’s art projects from decades past. There’s no better time to do this than late summer or early fall, since holiday decorations and artificial Christmas trees are all on sale. Discard what you don’t need and take advantage of money-saving sales to restock now.

Filter, Heat and Humidify

Pull out any humidifiers or stand-alone air filters you use in the winter time and check to make sure they still work. Change filters on these items, and stock up on new filters for the coming season. It also doesn’t hurt to stock up on items like furnace filters or even a space heater or two to keep drafty older homes toasty throughout the winter months. And don’t hesitate to schedule a seasonal tune-up for your furnace; doing so might save you money on larger repairs in the long run.

Caulk and Insulate

Check for cracks around the edges of your home’s windows, and fill them in with caulk if necessary. Also, consider bolstering the insulation in your walls or attic. These steps will help your home retain heat better in the winter, which could make for lower utility bills throughout the season.

Taking a few small steps in the fall can make your home a more pleasant place to live throughout the winter. Follow the above tips and you’ll be well on your way to autumnal domestic harmony.