The Outsides of Windows
One of the most delightful parts of snow is how clean it makes everything seem. You look out your window and the whole world is a crisp landscape of fresh, glistening snow, that is unless you forgot to clean the outside of the windows. This is a task you definitely don’t want to do during winter – the cleaning solution you apply on the window might freeze before you even get a chance to wipe it off! Not to mention how difficult it would be to attempt this task in several layers of clothing that prevent you from reaching your arm all the way up. Get this task done before the snow settles in and you can enjoy a clean view of it from the warmth of the indoors.
Fall is the dirtiest time of year for gutters. They fill with leaves and become very heavy, making it easy for them to fall down or crack when the winter snow adds to the weight. Gutters full of leaves will also have a difficult time doing their job of dealing with the melting snow from your roof, instead allowing the water to overflow in places where it could cause problems around your house. If allowed to stay accumulated for too long, some kinds of leaves can also eat away at metal gutters, stain siding, and rot the edges of your roof.
This one is fairly obvious, but you might not think to do it until you’re getting ready to have a fire and the cleaning must be done in advance. Chimneys need to be cleaned seasonally to prevent a chimney fire from all the residue buildup, which can easily be accomplished with a creosote log. Ashes should be removed as well because when they fill the area under the log basket, they block air from circulating under the base of the logs, which makes it difficult to keep a fire burning. This is also a good time to test the damper to ensure it’s working properly.
Porches don’t always get covered with snow, but once it’s snowy outside, you definitely don’t want to be out trying to sweep your porch or wash off dirty railings. Most of the dirt would probably be frozen in place anyway, and if it wasn’t, you would just make the situation worse if you tried to sweep it onto clean snow right before guests arrive. Instead, just give the porch a good once-over in late October or early November and you can invite guests over all winter long without them cringing over the frozen cobweb in the corner.
The Inside of the Car
You don’t want to try to clean out trash from your car or vacuum the carpeting when you’re so bundled up that it’s difficult to move and the cold is making your eyes water. So that leaves you with two options: clean it before winter, or put up with the dashboard dust and floor crumbs until spring. The better option is just to do it before winter of course. This is a great time to clean the inside of your headlights as well to ensure you get all the light you’ll need to see through the snow. Stock your car with all the winter supplies you may need as well: an ice scraper, emergency blanket, etc.
- See the guide How to Store your Summer Supplies for tips on storing patio furniture, grills, lawn care tools, and even how to easily create a firewood storage area on your porch.
- The Complete Household Handbook by Good Housekeeping
- Cleaning Plain and Simple by Donna Smallin