As the leaves fall and colder temperatures set in, we’ll move inside to address important tasks that deserve your attention. October is a great time to get organized before the rush of the holidays, but if you can’t manage to fit in all the items on this list, just focus on the high-priority tasks denoted by an owl. You can always tackle the other tasks later in the month when you have more time on your hands.
Inspect your fire extinguisher’s pressure gauge to see if the needle is in the green, and replace or service the extinguisher if it’s outside this zone. Also, examine the hose and nozzle for cracks, because if the locking pin on the handle is missing or the handle is broken, the extinguisher will need to be replaced.
Organize Junk Drawer and Cupboards
Tired of opening a cupboard door and having everything inside fall out at your feet? Decreasing clutter cuts down on stress, so give your mental state a break by organizing drawers and Tupperware storage.
Bedrooms and Living Areas
Conduct a Home Security Assessment
Does your home security system have what it takes to keep your property safe? Look at the SafeWise Home Security Checklist to find out if there are upgrades you could make immediately for a more secure home.
Develop a Fire Escape Plan
Sit down and get on the same page with your family about a fire escape plan. Download some basic guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association
Install Fire Escape Ladders on Second Story
It’s important that everyone in your home have an additional exit in case of a fire, so install ladders for any second-story rooms.
Replace Furnace Filter
You’ll be in hot water if you forget to replace the filter in your furnace, so check it every 4–6 weeks during the winter months.
Test Sump Pump
Don’t let flood water sneak up on you. Test your sump pump to ensure it’s still connected and properly siphoning water out of your basement and crawl spaces.
Deep Clean Bathrooms
Despite the gross factor, it’s time to give your bathroom extra attention by scouring, scrubbing, and disinfecting every square inch. This is especially important if you’ve got kiddos bringing home germs from school. Fun!
Test and Change Detector Batteries
These vital safety devices don’t do much if they aren’t charged and connected, so test both your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. Stock up on those AA batteries and get it done. Earplugs required.
Turn Off and Flush Outdoor Water Faucets
It’s time to hang up your gardening gloves for the winter, so go ahead and turn off and drain any outside water faucets to avoid freezing pipes.
Cover and Store Outdoor Furniture
Find a place to stow your favorite chaise safe from the elements before the snow buries it. If you don’t have space in your shed or garage, at least cover outdoor furniture to avoid wear and tear on the upholstery.
Winterize Perennials and Clean Out Annuals
Prep your garden, landscaping, and flower beds for the cruel temps that force plants into hibernation, and clear out the dead stuff so you’ll have room for your next bright idea in the spring.
Rake Leaves, Mow Lawn
Give that lawn one last rake and mow to sweep up any remaining debris and get your grass in tip-top shape for next year’s season of growth.
Power through your to-do list this month by putting a task a day on your calendar and then get out there and enjoy fall, y’all.
Written by Kaz Weida
Kaz is a journalist who covers home security, parenting, and community and child safety. Her work and product testing in the security and safety field spans the past four years. You can find Kaz in HuffPost, SheKnows, Lifehack, and much more. Her degree in education and her background as a teacher and a parent make her uniquely suited to offer practical advice on creating safe environments for your family. Learn more