November is certainly a change-over month. Gone is Thanksgiving and Hallowe’en, the warm weather from summer is a memory, and thoughts are turning to Christmas. This should be time for your home to have some changes too, so it can be ready for the coming winter. Home-ownership is an important responsibility, and even if you’re a renter, there are certain tasks that should be done regularly to keep your home running smoothly.
Last weekend, we changed our clocks back on November 2nd, ending daylight savings time until next March. With the time change, many of us use this as a reminder to take care of some tasks that should be done twice a year. We have a list of home maintenance tasks that should be done each month, starting with September and October.
Here are our suggestions of what to do for your home this November!
Each month, you should inspect your HVAC filters, replacing them as necessary.
Check all GFCI outlets and test them to ensure they’re working throughout your home. These outlets are designed to keep us safe, so it’s important to inspect them and keep them working correctly.
Take a few moments to clean your range hood filter and garbage disposal to keep your kitchen fresh!
Every month, you should check your fire extinguishers, ensuring they’re ready for action.
Set aside some time to test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Since these are so important for safety reasons, it’s recommended to replace the batteries every six months. The batteries are probably still fine, so just switch them to something else that isn’t as important to your safety.
In the bathroom(s):
- Check the fan in each bathroom to ensure they’re working correctly, and give them a quick cleaning so they work efficiently.
- Check the exterior end of the fan to ensure that it’s properly sealed and venting outside, rather than into your attic.
- While you’re in there, be sure to flush the toilet and run some water through the taps of lesser-used bathrooms.
- Go through the medicine cabinets and remove any out-dated prescriptions and medications; your local pharmacy will take unused and expired medications.
- Give the cabinet fronts a quick scrub so you know it’s been done at least once lately!
In the kitchen:
- Test the hood fan to make sure it’s working properly, and to ensure it’s vented to the outside properly.
- Schedule some time this month to clean your oven and get any repairs done if needed. Your oven will likely get some more use in the coming months with the cooler weather and the holidays around the corner, so make sure it’s ready for the job!
- Go through your pantry and throw out anything that is expired, no longer fresh, or unknown.
- Just like the bathroom, give the kitchen cabinet fronts and appliances a quick scrub. We have a little tip for you – put lengths of wax paper along the top of your upper cabinets to catch the greasy dust that accumulates there. Next time, all you need to do is replace it and clean!
- Clean out your fridge and freezer, throwing out any old, forgotten food. Wipe down the insides and wash out the drawers. If it needs it, defrost your freezer(s). Replace the baking soda boxes in the fridge and freezer, dating when you put them in. Wipe down the outside of the fridge and vacuum the coils at the back of the unit to ensure it operates efficiently for the coming holiday season.
Go through the rooms in your home and clean the window sills, inspecting the window seals as you go. Dust the window coverings for each window as you go, cleaning the ones that need it. It’s also a good time to wash any drapes in your home.
Check your hot water tank (boiler, water main, or well pump) for leaks, as well as the drain and supply line. Repair if needed. Flush your hot water tank and remove any sediment that has built up.
Take a tour of the exterior of your home and inspect it for any safety hazards. For example, trim any bushes blocking walkways, put away any lingering yard equipment or summer toys, make sure the pool surround is secure, etc. Now is also a good time to have your trees trimmed outside, if you haven’t done it already.
Bring some of the outdoor beauty indoors with some decorations. Use some pinecones as centrepieces or mantel decorations. If you have other seasonal decor, now is the time to switch to it.
Since the holiday season is around the corner, now is a great time to prep for holiday cards, update your address books, order cards, etc. It’s also a good time to review your holiday gift list that you (hopefully!) made last month and start making some headway on it if you haven’t already.
What types of things do you do in November? Are there any other tasks that we’re missing?