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November Home Tips-Trial Run for the Holidays and Winter

Think of November as your dress rehearsal for the impending Michigan winter and the upcoming holidays. Now is the time to make your home warm and cozy, stock up on supplies, and prepare for a safe winter season.

Laugh at mother nature’s bad sense of humor from the warmth of your kitchen, dining, living, and bedrooms! Batten down the hatches and stock up so you can relax and enjoy the simple pleasures of the season like entertaining guests and enjoying cozy evenings at home.

With supply chain issues and returning crowds in stores, waiting until the Holidays, or for a big storm to hit will mean some of your needed items will be sold out or you may be visiting multiple stores to find what you are after.

5 Home tips for November

1. Seal Up the Exterior of your Home

This is your last call for getting things done outside before it’s too cold. Remember, pests and critters can get in your home with a hole as small as a quarter-inch! Caulk any gaps and holes around foundations, windows, and doors.

  • Take one more trip around your home looking for the smallest gaps and holes.
  • Check, repair, or replace door seals especially the door sweep which is often out of sight. Look for any gaps where the door meets the door frame. Adjust or replace seals to eliminate any gaps.
  • Look for gaps and entry points near dryer vents and along the soffits. Seal these up.

2. Check walkways, stairs, and railings for safety and lighting

Slips and falls on ice and snow can happen anywhere, but they’re even more likely if the footing is uneven or a railing isn’t sturdy or well lit. Take a walk around your home’s exterior, paying special attention to walkways, stairs and railings, and outdoor lighting, and make repairs as needed.

  • Consider adding exterior lighting fixtures with motion detectors.
  • Repair loose railings, steps, and uneven walkway surfaces.
  • Get new door mats – This 2’ x 3’ coir natural fiber mat with latex backing from Ikea is a great choice, get several to help keep dirt out of the house.

3. Stock Up on Holiday and Winter Staples

Think like the squirrels and stock up for winter! Get your favorite items in good quantities now, when they are in stock, so you don’t have to go out when the weather is bad or during the holiday rush. Stocking up now will mean less stress when that big storm hits and avoiding holiday crowds. Fill your pantry with cooking staples, specialty foods, spices, meats, bread, water bottles, pet food, toilet paper, or anything else you’ll need over the next few months that you can comfortably store!

Winter home

Get stocked up on winter supplies

4. Prepare for Winter Snow and Ice

Prepare your cars for Winter — Have a fall or winter service check done — check the battery — remember, if your car battery is marginal, your car will choose not to start on the coldest day of the year. Keep a winter car kit in your car to help be prepared for emergencies. Here’s a list:

  • Ice Scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • tire changing tools and a good spare tire
  • Emergency flashers and flashlight
  • A pair of heavy gloves
  • An emergency blanket
  • A bag of salt (great to put under your tires if you get stuck)
  • If you are traveling in snowy weather, keep a pair of winter boots in the car in case of emergencies.
  • It’s worth checking to be sure you have your updated and accurate proof of insurance and registration along with the phone number for emergency road service.

If you have a snow blower, run it to be sure it is ready to go. Have your snow blower in for service now if needed. Don’t wait! For service I have had good results with Weingartz in Ann Arbor. Also, if you have an electric snow blower, I would recommend investing in a gas-powered one instead. Gas snow blowers should generally be your go-to, especially in Michigan. Although electric snow blowers are quieter and relatively healthier for the environment, gas snow blowers allow you to clear more snow efficiently, and quickly!

Stores sell out of ice melt when a big storm hits, get some now. I like the Tractor Supply and Carpenter Brothers Hardware or other local hardware stores because they are so much easier to get in and out of plus solid service.

Check your snow shovel and replace it now while there is a good selection.

If you have lawn equipment, drain the gas or run the gas out of engines and store.

Warm and inviting!

5. Get ready for Company

Perhaps you will be entertaining guests or having family members home for the holidays this year — wouldn’t that be great! Consider investing in good bedding for your bedroom or your guest room. Get quality and it will last for years.

  • Wash all bed linens and pillows.
  • Update your guest room. Add a new mattress, new sheets, a down comforter, or wool blanket to make any bedroom cozier and more inviting and make your guest room fit for royalty — your company will appreciate you!
  • Repair plumbing. With Thanksgiving coming up quickly, it’s likely any plumbing issues you have will be magnified. A semi-clogged pipe can turn into a big issue if you have visitors over or plenty of dishes to be done. Get the fix you need now before it’s too late.
  • Replace floor protectors on chairs. Don’t let dining chairs damage your hardwood or hard surface floors: Check their feet and add or replace floor-protecting pads if they are worn or have shifted. Self-adhesive felt pads work great. Get them in bulk online or at Costco. Be sure to scrape clean the base of each chair foot before applying.

As always, if you are in need of a contractor or have a question about a repair or upgrade, we are here to help. Please reach out directly by completing the form below.

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