Last week we started getting organized for winter by cleaning up the inside of our homes. We checked out our winter gear to make sure we have the right sizes and clothing for the kiddos. We switched out our closets for warmer clothing, while stored our summer clothes under the bed or in the back of the closet. And we created a winter emergency kit by finding our flashlights, blankets, and storing extra water and batteries in a safe place so we can find them quickly if there is an emergency.
Today we are getting the outside of our home ready for winter, along with prepping your car for the winter season. Last fall, I shared a free checklist printable with tasks you should do to get ready for winter. You can check out the fall cleaning checklist here. That list was for both inside the home and outside the home. I broke it into two parts this year to go more in-depth. So, to get the outside of your home ready, we will be storing patio furniture and summer outside toys are on the list, along with racking leaves, cleaning out the flowerbeds, washing the windows, cleaning the gutters, checking the snow blower, and winterizing the cars. But once everything is complete you will be organized, cleaned, and ready for the snow to fall. Although I would prefer if the snow comes a little later this year…But that’s just me!
Storing Patio Furniture and Toys:
You probably aren’t going to be using your patio furniture any time soon, so it’s time to put it away/cover it/store it…you get the idea! For us, we put the cushions in the garage and stack the chairs together on our porch. Then we cover the chairs with a tarp to protect it from the snow.
We are also cutting off the zip-ties that attached the bins to the fence with the summer toys. I shared how I organized our outside toys here. The water table is stored in our garage as well.
We also cleaned off the grill and stored all the grilling tools inside so they won’t get rusty. Then we covered the grill to protect it from the harsh winter weather.
Last year we had the best time racking the leaves and jumping in the piles. Eli just loved hearing the leaves crunch under his feet. This will be Adleigh’s first fall with the leaves that she isn’t scared of the grass. (Last fall, she didn’t want to go near the grass and would scream bloody murder if she was anywhere near it!)
Don’t look at this as a chore, but rather a fun way to spend the day. The kids love jumping in the leaves, and they might even love racking them up…and filling bags with leaves!
We pulled out a lot of our flowers earlier this fall because they were dying. I shared how we spruced up the front walkway and front door by adding some paint and mums to give the front of our house a fall-ish feel. If you didn’t pull up your annual flowers from the spring, take some time to clean out the flower beds. Maybe even plant some bulbs that would bloom in the spring. I love getting the bulb packets from Costco because they have such a great variety and they are easy to plant.
My husband is the one who cleans the windows, because he says I don’t do a good job at getting them “sparkly”. I am totally okay with that. So he recommends using Spray-X Foaming Glass Cleaner. This stuff works like magic. You spray it on the window, then, using a microfiber cloth, wipe the window, and BOOM! You have a sparkly clean window. He uses this spray and wipes it off with a squeegee for the outside of the house.
Get up on your ladder and clean all the debris and leaves from the gutters. It is recommended that you clean your gutters at least twice a year, but if you have trees close to your home, you should probably clean the gutters three to four times a year. The best times to clean the gutters are in the spring, and in November/December before the snow falls. This way all the leaves will have fallen from the trees, so you don’t risk getting more debris caught in your gutters once you have cleaned them.
I shared the reveal of our garage once we got everything organized. Now, with our newly organized garage, we have to store all the summer toys and furniture for winter. Good thing we left some room for the toys and cushions! Take some time to get the garage organized with all the summer toys stored away, and making sure you have your winter equipment ready for use.
We will be taking the snow blower in to get serviced before the snow falls, along with making sure there is no gas left in the lawn mower. Check your shovels to make sure they are in good condition, because you don’t want to have to go run to the store to find a shovel in the middle of a snow storm!
Getting your car ready for winter is so important, especially if it is like your second home! I schlep the kids everywhere; school, gymnastics, play groups, etc. So I want to make sure the car is checked and ready for driving in the snow. Get your car washed and serviced. Check the tires to see if you need new wheels or just get them rotated. Check the wipers and washer fluid while you are at it.
Make sure to keep blankets, along with extra hats, and gloves in the car. I created a car preparedness checklist last winter, and it helped keep me organized while I was putting things in the car. I got a lot of the recommendations from the DMV website. I have been stranded before during a huge snow storm, so having these things in the car is crucial, especially since I have little kiddos with me.
Take some time to get yourself ready for winter! I always feel like a bear getting ready to hibernate for the long winter months when I write up these checklists, but I would rather get everything done before there is snow on the ground, then be sorry I didn’t do it later.