14. Have the chimney and furnace inspected. Make sure your fireplace and heating system are ready for cooler weather by having a pro look at them now. Chimney fires are a prominent cause of house fires.
15. Order firewood. If you use firewood to fuel your woodstove or fireplace, now is the time to stock up for winter. The ideal place for wood storage is away from the house, under cover and with plenty of air. An open-sided portico or shed would be great. Set your wood on top of pallets to increase air circulation and keep the wood dry.
16. Swap out home accessories. One of the easiest ways to keep your home feeling current is to tweak a few details each season. Swap out throw pillows, add a cozy folded blanket or layer on a colorful rug. For a cheap and chic update, apples, mini pumpkins and squash.
17. Give the family room some TLC. Beef up the family room for movie night by upgrading technology, bringing in extra cushions and a cozy throw, or simply cleaning and tidying up.
18. Visually inspect the roof and gutters. Get up on a ladder or climb onto the roof (carefully!) and take a look at the rain gutters, roof and chimney. If there are sticks or leaves blocking the gutters, pull them out now — you can wait until after most of the leaves have fallen, later in the autumn, to clean the gutters out completely. Look for worn areas on the roof and patch them as needed.
19. Stock up on birdseed. The birds that stick around for the winter could use some extra help when wild food becomes scarce. Stock up now on birdseed so you can keep those feeders full.
20. Clean the laundry room. A fresh, clean laundry room can make getting chores done more pleasant. Start by cleaning out the dryer vents to prevent lint buildup, which can lead to fires. Wipe down surfaces, mop the floor and de-clutter. Are you missing anything that would make doing laundry easier? Consider adding a surface for folding clothes, better lighting, a rolling laundry basket with dividers or a garment rack.