How to Prep Your Home for the Winter Season

Prep your home for the winter season and get your home ready once the cold starts hitting! Planning ahead is always a good idea.

How to prep your home for winter

Getting your home ready for winter seems to be something that you should have perfected by now. But every winter season, you get to learn something new that you have to add to your to-do list for the next wintertime.

If you often have this dilemma, then look no further. Here’s a one-stop to-do checklist to prep your home for winter and get it ready for the cold season!

1. Tune up your heating system.

Prep your home for winter - tune up heating system

Get an expert to check up on your home’s heating system whether it is a heat pump or a furnace. A lot of heating systems break down and malfunction during winter. It may take forever for experts to get to yours.

So, beat the line and have your heating systems checked before winter arrives so repairs can be done immediately if necessary. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

2. Deal with drafts.

Prep your home for winter - deal with drafts

Keeping warm is very important during winter. But that is impossible to do if you have drafts all over your home. Hence, before the temperature drops, prep your home for winter by dealing with all the drafts.

Check for it on every door and window. Repair any cracks that can let the cold air in.

Also, without any drafts, your heating bill would not go up like crazy this winter and your home will be nice and toasty.

3. Turn off outside water source.

Prep your home for winter - turn off outside water source

This is important if you live in an area where you get freezing temperatures during the winter.

Turning off outside water sources like outdoor faucets or sprinkler systems will prevent the pipes from bursting. This will save you from a hefty repair and replacement bill.

Also, make sure that there will be no water trapped in the pipes.

4. Clean the rain gutters.

When fall season is over, it’s time to clean out your rain gutters. Remove the leaves so that the gutters are not clogged up.

This is important since clogged gutters can make water pool on your roof and cause a leak.

5. Check your roof.

Prep your home for winter - check your roof

It is important to clean and check your roof before winter starts. Look for shingles that are damaged, loose, or missing. Have them replaced right away to avoid leaks.

If you have a flat-surfaced roof, get rid of any debris that can hold in moisture as they can let water pool and cause leaks.

6. Declutter and organize winter decor.

Prep your home for winter - declutter and organize winter decor

Most of us end up buying new holiday decor every year without considering what we still have at home.

Hence, before you go out for some holiday shopping, take the time to bring out your stored holiday decor. Assess what you still have.

Take the chance to declutter and donate the things that you barely use. There are many organizations that could use your old winter decorations for their events.

7. Seal your deck.

Prep your home for winter - seal your deck

If you have a wooden deck, it is best to start sealing it before the temperature drops. Sealing your deck before winter protects it from the extra moisture that will surely come.

Make sure to pick a weekend when the weather is great. It helps if you work when the weather is above 50 degrees.

8. Clean your refrigerator.

Prep your home for winter - clean fridge

Food is a central part of the holiday season. Whether you are hosting a party or receiving food gifts from friends, everyone’s fridge usually gets stocked full during the holidays.

So, prep your home by cleaning your fridge and make some space before the winter festivities hit you! Get rid of expired food products, have everyone in the house eat food items that need to go, and give your fridge a good cleaning.

9. Update your medicine cabinet.

Prep your home for winter - update medicine cabinet

Flu-like symptoms increase during winter because of the weather, and also because of digestive issues due to all the holiday eating. You better be prepared for it!

Declutter your medicine cabinet and get rid of all expired products. Then stock up on all the general medicine that you may need over the winter season. This way, you do not have to rush to a pharmacy every time somebody gets sick in the house.

10. Switch your wardrobe from warm to cold.

Switch your wardrobe from warm to cold.

It doesn’t make sense to have your warm-season clothes occupy valuable space in your closet when it’s winter and the temperature is freezing. So, take out and store your warm clothes somewhere else for the meantime. Then let your winter clothes take over.

Make sure to do the same for your footwear! Also, take the chance to declutter your closet while you are at it.

11. Check your chimney sweep.

Check your chimney sweep.

We actively use the chimney during winter. But before you start heating up your fireplace, make sure that the vents and chimney are clean and in a good state.

This is to prevent any chimney fires or to avoid carbon monoxide from getting into the house.

12. Clear out the yard.

Clear out the yard.

If you spend a lot of time out in the yard, then it probably has lots of stuff that need to be cleared before winter settles in.

Close up the swimming pool, deflate the inflatables and store them, set aside any outdoor seating and tables, keep away gardening tools, and cover the grills. You won’t be using these over the winter anyway.

If you have space in the garage, use it for these items, or rent out a storage room in the meantime.

13. Store liquids properly in the garage.

Store liquids properly in the garage.
Image from Family Handyman

If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, it is best to properly store any liquids such as paint, wood stain, weed killer, oil, in the garage. Keep them in an area where they will not freeze, but also far from the reach of children and pets.

If you have a lawnmower or other tools that use gas, drain them so that the gas will not freeze inside during the winter.

14. Protect your air conditioner.

Protect your air conditioner.
Image from Family Handyman

During wintertime, falling branches, ice, and other debris can damage the outdoor part of your air conditioner. This is why it is important to protect it.

However, avoid using waterproof air conditioner covers since small animals can use them as the chance to take residence in your AC unit during winter. Instead, place a piece of thick plywood above the air conditioner unit to protect it from falling debris.

15. Prepare for snow.

Prepare for snow.

If you live in an area that gets a lot of snowfall during winter, be prepared for it. Stock up on rock salt and get a snow shovel or a snow blower.

Nothing can ruin your day like being stuck in the house because you are all snowed in, or having accidents happen on your front steps.

16. Back up your photos and files.

Back up your photos and files.

Most of us may not think about this, but you should start making a backup of your photos and files. Give your phone memory a lot of space before winter.

Wintertime calls for a lot of memorable and photogenic moments that you would not want to miss. And it would be too bad that you can’t take a video of your child making his first snow angel because you do not have enough memory. So, make sure you are also prepared to capture some memories!

17. Set up a mudroom.

Set up a mudroom.

A mudroom is most valuable when everyone is wearing winter gear like coats, scarves, gloves, boots, and many more. To keep everything in one place, it helps to have a mudroom set up near the entrance, so people won’t be tracking in snow and dirt all the way inside the house.

If you haven’t set up a mudroom yet, here’s a related post to give you inspiration – 20 Mudroom Designs & Ideas You will Love!

18. Prepare a winter emergency kit.

Prepare a winter emergency kit.

Winter weather can be unpredictable sometimes. You will never know when a winter storm hits so it is always best to be prepared.

Have well-stocked emergency kits and extra supplies ready. It also helps to have an evacuation bag ready for every family member in case things get worse.

Ready to prep your home for winter?

Most people think that preparing their home for winter is an unnecessary thing to do, but this actually saves you a lot of space and money.

It is always best to plan ahead. Once the Fall season comes, everything will go by like a blur with all the holidays coming in one after the other.

Hence, if you know you will be busy once the holidays start rolling in, try to prep your home for winter as early as Fall!

Need more tips & ideas for the winter season? Check these out!

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Not sure how to prep your home for winter? Here's a simple guide to help you determine what to do!

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