Real Estate December 6, 2016

Prepare for Winter and the Holidays With This November Home Checklist

With Thanksgiving approaching and the winter holidays just around the corner, there is a lot to look forward to (and prepare for) at this time of year. Batten down the hatches for winter weather and get a jump on holiday hosting prep, so you can relax and savor the many simple pleasures of the season, from big family dinners to walks in the crisp air outdoors.


November Checklist 1: Cummings Architects, original photo on Houzz


Get a jump on holiday prep. If you plan to host this holiday season, take a bit of time now to prepare a few things in advance. Launder and iron the fancy linens (roll up freshly ironed linens on old wrapping paper tubes to prevent wrinkles), drop off the kitchen knives for a professional sharpening or polish some silver — you’ll thank yourself later.


Related: Daylight Savings Time Ends This Month – Adjust Your Clocks


Replace floor protectors on chairs. Don’t let dining chairs do damage to your hardwood floors: Check their feet and add or replace floor-protecting pads if needed. Felt pads come in self-adhesive and nail-in varieties; if you’re using the self-adhesive type, be sure to clean the base of each chair foot thoroughly and allow it to dry before applying.


November Checklist 2: Anne Sneed Architectural Interiors, original photo on Houzz


Deep-clean bathrooms. Aim to schedule a deep cleaning of the bathrooms a week before entertaining, so that a quick surface wipe-down will be all you’ll need to get things looking spotless again on the big day. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, goodness knows there are plenty of other things to worry about — like how you’re going to fit a turkey and five side dishes in the oven!


Check the sump pump. If you have a sump pump in your basement as protection in case of flooding, be sure to check it and make sure it is working properly before the rainy season really gets going, and repair or replace it as needed.


November Checklist 3: Bohler Builders Group, Inc., original photo on Houzz


Show some kindness to feathered friends. Nonmigrating birds can use some extra help when wild food becomes scarce and water sources freeze. Stock up now on birdseed so you can keep those feeders full, and consider providing a water source as well —refresh it daily to prevent mosquitoes.


Related: Give Backyard Birds a Home This Winter


Remove the last of the fall leaves. Aim to fit in one final raking and gutter-cleaning session once the last leaves have fallen — but before the first snow.


Inspect the home’s exterior and cover gaps. Cover any gaps you find around the exterior of your home that may be large enough for a mouse to enter —it doesn’t take much space for these little critters to sneak in. Cover exterior vents with hardware cloth, and attach door sweeps to the bottoms of exterior doors to stop furry creatures from squeezing in when the weather turns chilly.


November Checklist 4: Wright Design, original photo on Houzz


Stock up for winter. If you live in a region with cold, snowy winters, taking the time now to stock up on winter gear and supplies will mean less stress when that first big storm hits.

●Check snow shovels and ice scrapers; replace as needed.

●If you use a fireplace or wood stove, order firewood.

●Pick up a bag of pet- and plant-safe ice melt.

●Restock emergency kits for car and home.

●If you use a snow blower, have it serviced and purchase fuel.

●If your home has an emergency power generator, review safety standards (the American Red Cross has helpful tips) and check that it’s working properly.


Check paths, stairs and railings for safety. Slips and falls on ice and snow can happen anywhere, but they’re even more likely if the footing is uneven or a railing isn’t sturdy. Take a walk around your home’s exterior, paying special attention to walkways, stairs and railings, and make repairs as needed.


By Laura Gaskill, Houzz