10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Autumn

A new season is here, and it’s time to make a few fall updates. Now is a good opportunity to make a checklist and attend to a few chores which need to be taken care of before the first chill. Where do you begin? Here is a list of 10 things you can do to maintain your home. Feel free to add more and share them with us.

Clean Your Gutters

Especially as the leaves begin to fall, it’s important to make sure the gutters are doing their job before the cold weather arrives. An overflowing gutter can cause damage to the house and turn your walkway into a frozen slip and slide.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

A simple trick to cut your heating cost is to reverse the blade direction on your ceiling fans when the air turns chilly. Rotating them from counterclockwise to clockwise will push the warm air down from the ceiling instead of generating a breeze. While you are up on the ladder, clean the blades with cleanser and a soft cloth.

Check Your Heating System and Fire Alarms

It’s a good time to do some maintenance and protect yourself in the process. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning and up to code.

Go Through Your Medicine Cabinet

Look for expired prescription meds and outdated over-the-counter drugs. However, before you toss or flush the medication, carefully check the FDA website in order to see how to dispose of your particular medications properly.

Toss Your Spices

There is no need to get rid of spices which still have a pleasant smell and taste, but after a period of time, spices lose their potency. A good rule of thumb is to date your spice when you purchase it so you will have an idea of how long you have had it in your cabinet. Ground spices such as cinnamon, clove, cardamom and turmeric are usually good for up to 3 years. Let your nose and taste buds be your guide.

Throw Out Your Toothbrush (or Electric Toothbrush Head)

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush or brush head every three months. If the bristles have frayed, replace it sooner.

Clean Your Bath Towels

It is recommended that you wash your bath towel often, every second or third use. Keep in mind hand towels are used more often and need to be replaced with a fresh one every day. If your towels are starting to fray and feel more like sandpaper, it’s time to replace them.

Flip Over Your Mattress

A good rule of thumb is to air and flip your mattress every season. If your mattress has a “no flip needed” tag on it, simply rotate it 180 degrees each season.

Dry Clean Your Wool Coat

Once a year, or more if it gets soiled and muddy. In between cleanings, use a clothes brush and keep the coat on a strong, padded hanger in the closet.

Wash or Dry Clean the Bedspreads in Your Home

While your sheets should be laundered once a week, your bedspread can be cleaned at your discretion based on the fabric, as well as wear and tear. Wash the bedspread in a large or an industrial washer. You may opt to have it dry-cleaned to keep it fresh and comfortable.

For more of Diane’s etiquette tips, you may enjoy reading Change of Season: Closet Organization Ideas. You can also visit Diane’s blog, connect with her here on HuffPost, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on PinterestInstagram and Twitter. Buy her new book, Modern Etiquette for a Better Life.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.