Make a fall home to-do list
Before you consider hibernation
By Jerry Reising
Winter will last a long, long time. You can put your feet on the hassock and kick back with a book while the weather rages here in tropical Minnesota.
But, before you go into hibernation mode, there's a ton of jobs to do to get ready for winter. Right now, lawn care is on hold until we get some rain and things start growing again. But, that gives us the chance to do the other things that need to be done.
o Clean and oil your hand garden tools. The season is about shot anyway.
o Prep the bird feeders, clean them and get ready for the prime feeding season. Squirrel guards?
o Turn the mattresses on the beds for that long winter nap.
o Wash, ugh, the windows. Caulk and weatherstrip windows and doors.
o Clean the garage so there is room for your summer stuff.
o Make deck repairs and caulk patio and sidewalk cracks and open seams.
o Resist the urge to clean your gutters until the leaves have fallen. However, it is a good time to patch seams that leak.
o Plan spring flowering bulb plantings.
o Service your lawn mower and the snow thrower. It is easier to do when your hands are not shaking from the cold.
o Put in some fall lettuce and radishes.
o Clean and lubricate your garage door. Check the reversing mechanism on the opener and put a new battery in the handset.
o Install some additional duplex outlets to make holiday decorating easier. Make sure the outlets are ground fault interrupters.
o It gets dark earlier and earlier. Mount some motion detector lights for winter safety.
o Edge your lawn so you are blowing snow, not dirt and grass.
o Check smoke alarms and CO detectors. Replace batteries.
o Check or have your furnace checked by a professional. Lay in a stock of furnace filters. Lubricate the furnace fan bearings or pump.
o Disassemble and clean your box and oscillating fans.
o Deep-water trees and shrubs.
o Slide a mirror under the bottom of your exterior doors to check the condition of the weatherstripping and replace if necessary. This will save you in heating costs.
o Visit the Olmsted County Household Hazardous Waste site and drop off your accumulation of poisons, paints, stains and cleaners you don't need anymore.