Bob Vila’s 5 “Must-Do” Projects for September
This month, get a jump on fall home maintenance; add some seasonal color to your garden and get organized.
September is a catch-up month! It’s a time to finish projects begun in the summer that were never completed. And it’s an excellent opportunity to see what can be improved, replaced, or repaired while the weather is still nice enough for outdoor projects. This is is also the perfect month to begin your fall home maintenance checklist, add seasonal color to your garden, and bring organization to your home—and your life.
1. GET A JUMP ON FALL HOME MAINTENANCE
While you were having fun in the sun this summer, it was no vacation for your house. A fall checklist will tip you off to little problems before they become nasty mid-winter surprises. The easiest way to do it is to check from top to bottom. Start with the roof—are your shingles worn? Check for leaks around skylights, vents, and chimneys (and have that chimney cleaned). Clear out your gutters and check for leaks there, too.
If you live where pipes can freeze, drain your outside hose spigots. Switch your screens for storms and seal any drafty windows or doors. Same goes for paint and siding: Make sure you caulk or repair any gaps, cracks, or holes and re-point any brick surfaces that need it. Paint over your repairs while the weather’s still warm enough to do it, so you’re not looking at them all winter. In the basement, check for dampness, change filters, and have your heating system serviced. Also, check for cracks in the foundation.
Do the top-to-bottom check this fall and you’ll avoid expensive surprises this winter! For more tips on fall home maintenance and a printable checklist, click here.
2. WINTERIZE YOUR OUTDOOR FURNITURE
As sad as it is to move indoors after enjoying your outdoor furniture all summer, taking a little extra time to care for your patio set now will keep everything pristine for spring’s return. While most patio and lawn products are manufactured to remain outside for the winter, some precautions may still be required for harsher weather conditions.
Plastic, vinyl, and synthetic wicker can all be easily maintained with some soapy water and a garden hose. But metal, wood, and natural wicker will have more specific maintenance requirements. You can find out how best to care for your outdoor furnishings here.
3. ADD SEASONAL COLOR TO YOUR GARDEN
With summer blooms fading, this is the perfect time to boost your garden’s color sense. Mums are a popular choice, and for good reason—they are abundant, easy to care for, and colorful. But consider some other “stars” of the fall landscape, among them Black Eyed Susans, Leedplant, Ornamental Kale and 15 other colorful options.
4. ORGANIZE YOUR GARAGE
If your garage has become a catch-all for miscellaneous storage, leaving little to no room for the family car, then now is the time to restore order. Purge items you no longer need and create a plan that will allow you to store more things you do need in a logical way that allows for easy access later on. Look for smart solutions that take advantage of the walls and ceilings and free up valuable floor space. Also, take the guesswork out of locating stored items and be sure to label everything.
5. HOST AN END-OF-SUMMER YARD SALE
Looking to clear the clutter (perhaps from you garage)? Make the most of the mild weather to host an end-of-summer yard sale. While it may not put a lot of change in your pocket, it will certainly free up some storage capacity and put your unused goods back into useful circulation.