That autumn chill is in the air and winter is definitely coming. It’s time to prepare your home, and there’s a few things that you should add to your to-do list to make sure that you’re completely ready for the colder weather ahead. And we’re not talking about just raking leaves (although you should do that too).

Here are some things that you can do to help prep your home:

Double check your outdoor lighting situation

It’s getting darker earlier and earlier and you’ll want to make sure that your yard is well lit for the winter months. It’s best to make sure bulbs are changed now then making the trek out in the freezing cold later on! Make sure that there’s enough lighting in the front area and in your backyard and install any extra lights as needed. It is so much easier to do this before the really cold weather hits!

Check your windows and doors

If you have any summer screens on windows and doors, it’s time to take them off, put them into storage, and bust out the storm doors. Be sure to double-check the window and door frames to ensure they’re still in good shape and replace any that are deteriorating. Also, double check your weatherstripping and replace if needed.

Make sure your emergency kits are restocked

Winter weather can get nasty, as we’ve all probably learned from past ice storms. It’s always good to keep some extra supplies on hand for the next big snowfall. Plus nothing is worse than trying to fight the crowds trying to pick up emergency supplies before a projected winter storm. Stock up on extra batteries, bottled water, non-perishable items, and all the other essentials for your emergency kits.

Bring in seasonal tools and get weatherizing

When the temperature starts to drop, it’s time to bring in the summer gardening tools to keep them from getting damaged over the winter. It also helps to prevent rust by coating tools with a light oil (you’ll thank yourself for doing this later!). Make sure that your exterior faucets are turned off and roll up your garden hoses to store away for the winter. It’s best to do this before the first freeze to keep your pipes protected.

Clean out your kitchen

Bet you didn’t see this one coming! Spring may be the typical time for cleaning, but it’s great to check in a few times a year and do a big cleaning sweep. When was the last time you went through everything in the pantry and fridge? Double check expiry dates and toss everything that’s past it’s prime. Don’t forget to double check your spices to make sure they’re all in good condition. While they may not expire, they do lose some of their taste over time. So make sure that things are fresh and replace anything that may have been sitting around a bit too long.

How are you preparing for winter? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook!

Cover photo via Unsplash