The summer sun has faded away, so it's time to prepare for the cold winter weather.
- Clean summer furniture, grills, toys and other outdoor items.
- Store away any of these items you won't use again until spring.
- Clean gutters and downspouts.
- Inspect, drain and store garden hoses.
- Power wash (or thoroughly clean) windows and siding, if necessary.
- Recaulk windows and doors as needed.
- Check and replace weather stripping.
- Touch up exterior paint as needed.
- Vacuum the condenser coils on your fridge.
- Clean dryer vent and exhaust areas.
- Clean your oven, if you don't do it monthly already.
- Flip your mattresses — end to end and front to back.
- Move your bed and other big furniture and vacuum behind/underneath.
- Vacuum or clean window treatments, window sills, baseboards and ceiling corners.
- Wash and dry your walls.
- Clean light fixtures and ceiling fans.
- Replace your furnace filter.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Clean your computer — dust the CPU, clean your monitor, shake the crumbs out of your keyboard
- Get your carpets cleaned or rent a steam cleaner and do it yourself.
- Donate toys and clothes your kids have outgrown to a children's shelter or other charity.
- Give your closets an overhaul: Donate, sell or toss anything you haven't worn in a year.
- Clean out your kitchen cabinets to get organized and ready for the holiday season.
Call the experts
General cleaning and organizing you can do yourself, but some things are better left to the experts.
- Get a professional inspection and maintenance check on heating and cooling units.
- Have your chimney and flue cleaned and inspected.
- Get a roof inspection if your roof is old, any shingles are loose or you are in a snowy climate.
- Schedule a tune-up on your car.
More about cleaning and organizing
How to effectively schedule your house chores
How to keep your mattress smelling fresh
5 Spots in your house you should disinfect daily