Fall Planning

By: Carin, Administrative Assistant

It’s that time of the year – leaves are turning, temperatures are falling and there’s a crispness in the air. Grass cutting and weed pulling are coming to an end. We can put away the lawnmowers, trimmers, pruning shears and weed killer, but, alas, here come the rakes, leaf bags, snow shovels and salt. We turn off the air conditioner and turn on the heat. The shorts and tank tops disappear, sweaters come out. It’s time to winterize.

So, what does that entail? Here, we hope, is a list of helpful reminders:

1)      Turn on your furnace – before you really need it. Put in a new filter and make sure that the air blowing through is warm.

2)      Check out your fireplace – the damper, the flue, the mortar.

3)      Test your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. Change your batteries if necessary.

4)      Change the direction of your ceiling fans so they circulate air upwards. (For most fans that is clockwise; check your         ceiling fan’s directions if necessary.)

5)      Inspect your attic – check the insulation and look for water stains.

6)      Check the pipes and faucets to prevent freezing.

7)      Make sure the caulking, weather stripping, thresholds and windows are in good condition.

8)      Stock up now on salt, de-icer, and ice scrapers.

9)      Prepare a “stuck on the road” bag for your car: extra change of clothes, an additional heavy sweater, hat, extra gloves, a couple pairs of socks (wet, cold feet is not a good thing), an extra coat and a blanket. Don’t forget about stable foods such as chocolate bars and granola bars in an air tight container – just don’t put it in the sun! Liquid in the car in the winter can be a good thing or bad – it could freeze so the choice to keep it is up to you.

10)  Don’t forget your rosebushes – cover them with leaves to help protect against the cold. You may have other plants that also need additional protection. Check with your local nursery if unsure.

11)  Keep your gutters clear regularly during the fall to prevent weighted gutters when it snows.

12)  If you have a doghouse for your pets, make sure it’s in good condition – no holes or cracks. A rug or blanket to help protect against the cold ground may be in order.

13)  Don’t forget about the birds! If the winter is cold and snowy, food would be sparse for the non-migrating creatures.

Last, but not least, how are your taxes looking? If you are required to make estimated tax payments and your income has changed from the previous year, are you still on track? Do a little tax planning now to avoid a surprise come tax filing time.

Hopefully, these reminders are useful and have a great Fall and Winter!