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Falling into Winter

Your seasonal home-prep checklist
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By HOLLY VERBECK  |  Moonshine Ink

You want to savor every last day of Tahoe summer, but lose focus on the coming fall/winter, and you risk being caught off guard when the weather shifts. (Remember Aesop’s The Ant and the Grasshopper?) No, you don’t need to put away the patio set or scrub the BBQ just yet, but work these home care tips into your to-do list as you relish the warm summer days and you’ll experience a seamless, unhurried transition into fall:

Prepare for cool summer nights outdoors. Put out blankets and space heaters, and keep patio furniture covers at-the-ready for the first sign of serious weather; Soaked things don’t store well.

Sort kids’ summer toys. If they’ll outgrow them before next summer, sell or donate now.

Get garage-ready. You’ll need to park there sooner than you know!

Make seasonal decor swaps. Replace door wreaths, living room pillows, and bedroom linens to reflect the change of weather and color.

Schedule tune ups. Biking may be good through November, but don’t delay pulling out and tuning up your winter gear or you’ll be waiting in line with everyone else.

Order your firewood now. Yes, now’s the time for best prices and delivery options. (And get your indoor fireplaces ready, too. We usually light our first evening fire by Oct.1.)

Set a day to work in the yard. Tending to the yard now makes preparing for the first snow a lighter task.

Prepare your garden for season’s change. Check with your gardener, landscaper, or local nursery to determine the special care needed so your plants can thrive.

Avoid infestations of pests who want to be indoors when cold weather arrives. It’s easier to fix these things now than to do it with frozen fingers.

Locking up your summer home or planning to rent it out? Sketch your summer-home’s floor plan and indicate the shutoff valve, fuse, and power source for everything that uses water, gas, or electricity. Color code the plan based on each utility. Keep the map on hand for yourself and others.

Plan ahead for priority access. With just three months until Christmas, now is exactly the right time to schedule holiday lighting installs and Christmas tree set-ups. Send out your “save the date” reminders for holiday gatherings.

And, as you tackle this list, create a custom checklist for yourself so that next summer you can simply hand it off to a caretaker or assistant. Now that’s the way to enjoy every last day of summer!

Holly Verbeck is a certified household and estate manager, and runs HeyChef!, a private chef staffing company that specializes in helping you be a guest at your own party.

 
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November 8, 2018