When the weather gets to the point of “not too cold to be outside”, but “cold enough that you know whatever work needs to be done outside you should do relatively soon”, it’s time to clean up the outside. Here in the Northeast it’s that time of year. I don’t know about your house, but our warm months end with a lot of randomness lurking in our grass and bushes. Chairs end up in a crazy sort of circle around the fire ring and the garage…well the garage is it’s own problem. It’s time.
A few weeks ago we posted about 10 Easy Things to Refresh Home for Fall.That list, though short, is sweet and will freshen things up inside in order to get ready for the inside days of winter.
This list, which I have to admit I’m hoping Jeremy does most of…. #ifimwrong #idontwanttoberight #whoswithme will really freshen the outside, get it ready for snow or frozen ground and pave the way to outside holiday decorating.
- Basic yard cleanup-look around your yard…anything sitting in the grass that doesn’t belong? Yesterday alone I found two dog toys, a plastic bowl (?), a plastic cup that had been run over by a car tire, the newspaper and an umbrella. The dog toys I can explain. The bowl is the result of procrastination after collecting corn from the back already harvested corn field behind our house and feeding the squirrels. The newspaper simply hadn’t been brought in yet, but the umbrella and plastic cup I can give no account for.
- Outdoor Living-Clean and pack away any outdoor furniture, fixtures or plant pots that aren’t winter/snow ready. Our picnic table, grill (covered) and fire ring stay outside year round, otherwise chairs, umbrellas/canopies and flower pots head back into storage.
- Garage general clean up– At the end of a busy few months of outdoor living our garage gets, let’s say…disheveled. A good hour or two and some solid 1980’s rock roll played on a cassette through our old turquoise tape player and a cold drink will get the job done. Bikes need to go back to their place, toys need to be put away. Items for donation need to be delivered, basically the car needs to have a space to avoid direct snow fall.
- House: Review door frames, window frames, windows and touch up, paint, repair, or wash any of those that need to be done before cold weather sets in. Remove screens or screen doors. Power Wash house if needed.
- Check outside light bulbs and fixtures. Repair and replace as needed.
- Trim bushes and cut back any perennial plants who’s leaves don’t last through cold months.
- Garden: We are still growing some plants, despite that we’ve already had a frost. Our herbs, peppers, kale and cabbage, and sedum are still doing fairly well. We will leave them in until they can’t survive anymore. Otherwise it’s time to plant fall bulbs, pull any remaining stalks or garden plants that aren’t thriving, cut back perennial plants (flowers, herbs, shrubs, ferns), and plant a cover crop OR add fertilizer to renew nutrients in garden beds from summer use. Toss pulled plants and leaves to the woods, the compost bin or leave them in the garden area for natural decomposition (a technique called Cut and Drop). Wrap hoses up and put away. Clean bird baths (leave these out if you can…birds still need water in the winter!)
- Tune up yard equipment and prepare them for winter storage.
- I’d say put the trampoline away…a lot of people do…but my kids think it’s cool to jump in the winter so we leave it up!
- Lastly, but hardly a chore…Rake up those leaves and jump!