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Pretty soon, we’ll start to see pumpkin spice everything, and college football will be in full swing. To allow yourself more time to enjoy those glorious fall weekends, use this list to prepare your home for winter.

Trim the dead areas of your trees

Fall is the perfect time to do this because trees go dormant.

Rake the leaves

Removing leaves from your lawn helps your grass grow in the spring. We generally mulch ours with the mower and skip the bagging.

Clean out your gutters

This is one of the yuckiest exterior jobs around, in my opinion. Cleaning out your gutters will help prevent water build-up and ice dams, which can ruin your gutters and possibly damage your siding.

Seal areas pests and cold air can penetrate

Once you’ve located areas where pests and cold air can penetrate, seal them with caulk, mortar, weather strips — whatever the job calls for. This will help your home’s overall efficiency and, as a result, could improve your utility bills. While you’re improving efficiency, change your furnace filter, too.

Flush out irrigation systems

If you have exterior faucets or an irrigation system, flush them out and turn off access.

Check your fireplace

If you have a fireplace and us it, now is the time to get it checked and make sure it’s safe to use. Be sure to check that your chimney cap is secure, too. Doing so will help keep pests out.

Check your shovel and ice scrapers

Make sure those two winter essentials will make it through another season.

Clean your dryer vent lines

Doing so will increase efficiency and reduce fire risks.

Create a winter box for your car

Mine has a blanket, matches, candles, ice scrapers, extra hats and mittens, snacks, and a portable battery pack. A battery pack can jump-start your car when nobody else is around, which can give you peace of mind when on the road.

The list isn’t long, but the rewards will be great, I promise!

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