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5 Tasks Every Homeowner Should Do in November

December 2nd, 2021



With guest season (also known as THE HOLIDAYS) coming at you fast and furious, you want to be sure your home is cozy, but with that fresh-as-spring feel -- as opposed to that musty-damp-winter feel.

Heres how to make that happen (along with a few other timely tips):

#1 Wash Bed Pillows

You love your trusty, old, perfectly-snugged-to-your-head pillow. But guess whats also snug against your head? Fungus -- 4 to 16 species to be precise. Gross!

With fall being the height of guest season, youll want your guest pillows fresh, too. Pop them in the washing machine and dryer for an all-over clean feeling. (But check manufacturer advice, too. Some pillows shouldnt be washed, but replaced instead.)

#2 Clean the Mattress, Too

Sleeping soundly gets even better when you know youre lying on a clean and fresh mattress. The yuck factor: Skin cells and sweat get into the mattress, then dust mites show up for a dinner party featuring those tasty skin cell morsels.

Youll want your guest mattress to be at its freshest. Its easy to do: Vacuum it and then wipe it down with a cloth dampened with an upholstery shampoo. But be sure to let it dry; otherwise, youre inviting mold. Also, be sure to rotate it 180 degrees to help keep it lump-free.

(Another option: if youve got a flippable mattress, go ahead and flip it. That, too, can help kill the yucky mites.)

#3 Insulate Windows

Bone-chilling drafts seriously detract from the cozy vibe you want. Keep it cozy by hanging drapes as close to your windows as possible to help you keep the heat inside.

You can even add clear Velcro strips or dots to the back of the drape and attach to fasteners on the wall to help insulate. Be sure to cross one drape over the other when you close up for the night. Insulating shades can do the trick, too.

#4 Stock Up on Snow Supplies

If snow is a given where you live and youre lacking supplies, take advantage of seasonal sales now to make sure youre not the one rushing to the hardware store at the last minute -- only to find out they just sold out of ice melt.

If you have a snow blower, be sure to have it serviced and fueled up before the first winter storm arrives -- and with it, price hikes on all the snow stuff.

#5 Trim Tree Branches

The last thing you need is a winter storm loosing the wrath of that mighty tree whose branches are angling over your roof. Long limbs invite pests to explore your roof for excess water to seep into cracks in the roof or siding.

Keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from the house. Plus its easier to trim branches after leaves have fallen. (If its an evergreen, well, sorry about that. Itll be a prickly job, but the bonus is youll have greenery for the holidays!)

#6 Get a Chimney Sweep to Inspect the Fireplace

Its time to dust off and sweep the chimney! Best to hire someone who knows wood-burning fireplaces. A professional chimney sweep will ensure your wood-burning fireplace burns more efficiently and will help prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning during the winter. So yeah, its pretty important. Tip: If you dont already have a chimney cap, this is also the time to add one to stop wild outdoor critters from crawling down it -- and (yikes!) into your house.


Stacey Freed writes about homes, design, remodeling and construction for online and print national trade and consumer publications, including Better Homes & Gardens. Previously, she was a senior editor at Remodeling magazine.


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Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Houston Association of REALTORS®

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