It’s that time of year when you need to start thinking about closing up your summer home.

cleaning the gutter and closing up the summer homeFall is just around the corner and in its wake comes all your favorite holidays. Better to get your home closed up now before you get side tracked and have to go fix a broken pipe or pay a hefty electric bill in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner.

Below is quick check list.

1. Take stock of the inside and outside of your house. Note any damages or repairs that need to be made now as opposed to next spring. Don’t forget to check the chimney, roof, gutters, siding, window and door seals and over hanging tree limbs or branches.

2. It’s better to turn off the water at the main source to prevent freezing pipes even if you do keep your thermostat set. You never know when there is going to be a power outage or furnace malfunction. Open all the faucets to drain the water, including your washer and dishwasher and toilet.

3. They have the coolest monitoring systems for your home on the market. If you do leave your water or heat running during the winter, you might want to consider getting a system that will send a message to your phone alerting you to excessive water flow or if the temperature drops below a setting.

4. Don’t leave any open food, cardboard-boxed food or sugary items on the counters or in the cupboards that might tempt little critters. Clean out the refrigerator and freezer and wipe down the shelves with a mild bleach solution. Leave the doors ajar to help stop mold from growing.

5. If you have a gas stove close the valve.

6. Unplug all appliances, lights, gizmos and gadgets in case of an electrical surge.

7. Put a capful of bleach into your washing machine – but don’t forget!! You wouldn’t want to start a load of wash in the spring and ruin your favorite new summer outfit.

8. Put away outdoor furniture, grills, bikes and tools in a garage or shed. If you don’t have either, store them on your porch close to the walls so that they are out of the elements.

9. Take inventory of your home. It’s so much easier to make a list when everything is right in front of you.

10. If you have neighbors close by that live in your area year round get to know them. Ask them to keep an eye out for you.

11. Now is also the perfect time to de-clutter. Call your local roll-off container service to schedule your dumpster rental. Clean out the garage, the storage shed, back bedroom or the huge pile of limbs and debris that you’ve been meaning to burn all summer.

Just think how nice it will be to arrive in the spring to a clean home that has been well kept over the winter.