All the things you should do for fall but never remember to do.  A complete list of the tasks you need to do to get ready for fall.  Like replacing your weather stripping and eating pie!

Chili con carne recipe

The first day that kids are back in school marks the official start of fall; I don’t care what the calendar says.  Which made this year really weird.  I have no idea if it’s fall.

The shadows are longer, the streets are quieter and I’m hankering for anything made with cheese and potatoes but there aren’t gaggles of kids walking to school, there’s just the odd child standing on the street in a mask looking forlorn.

Since I just lit a pumpkin spice candle I’m going to assume it is indeed fall.  YAY FALL!!  Every season is my favourite season when I’m at the start of it.  So hello fall … you’re my favourite.

I even like the home maintenance tasks associated with autumn like raking leaves and stacking firewood. I like them for exactly half an hour and then I want to set the leaves, the firewood and my hair on fire simultaneously. Getting ready for winter can be both gross and exciting so I’ve comprised a list of all the things that you should do to get ready to fall.  Both the fun and the not so fun.

Things To Do To Get Ready for Fall

  1. Clean the gutters.
  2. Wash the windows inside and out.
  3. Order Firewood.
  4. Clean Chimney
  5. Make a batch of chili.
  6. Buy spicy scented candles. Pumpkin spice, apple spice, smoky spice, you know … any of the spices.
  7. Replace or clean furnace filter.
  8. Haul out the blankets for the couch.
  9. Check foundation for places mice can get in.
  10. Lumber. Jack. Plaid.
  11. Replace beer in fridge with whiskey in liquor cabinet.
  12. Put outdoor cushions away while they’re dry.
  13. Make a list of the indoor jobs you want to get done before spring.  Like binge watching Downton Abbey.  Again.
  14. Good bye ferns, hello mums.
  15. Pull out the big, fluffy duvet.
  16. Surround every inch around your house with yard bags and watch as the leaves fall right into them.
  17. Throw away your razors. It’s hairy season.
  18. Cover up your outdoor air conditioning unit.
  19. Empty any ceramic or clay pots outside that are too large to bring indoors. If you don’t they’ll freeze and crack.
  20. Book an appointment to have your winter tires put on.
  21. Sign up for a fall class.  I’m leaning towards yodelling.
  22. Make some healthy delicious baked apples, then feed them to someone else and eat an entire pumpkin pie with whipped cream yourself.
  23. Plant your spring bulbs like tulips, crocus and daffodils.
  24. Wanna be the hit of the street for Halloween?  You’d better start figuring that shit out now. Here’s inspiration.
  25. Throw away those 3 dead plants you bought in the spring and never planted.
  26. Can, can, can.  Tomatoes, peaches, chili sauce, hot peppers, pickles.
  27. Ask an elderly or single neighbour if they need help with anything.
  28. Kids preventing you from getting stuff done?  Send them out to play and tell them not to come home until they have at least one bruise.
  29. Clean out your fridge to make room for the winter cheeses.
  30. Buy a puzzle. Or do a puzzle online – I use Jigidi.
  31. Cozy up your porch or front door.  This post (photo below) has some inspiration …
     Fall porch decorated with a huge wheat sheaf, pale peach dahlias in an antique crock and a basket of apples.
  32. Read all of the classic Charlie Brown football cartoons.
  33. Haul out the flannel pajamas that have been in hiding for 4 months and now smell like drawer.
  34. Pumpkin. Spice. Latte.
  35. Sweep, roll and store outdoor carpets.
  36. Blow out sprinkler lines.
  37. Rake, rake, rake. Curse the neighbours tree.  Rake again.
  38. Drain and store hoses
  39. Divide hostas, lilies, peonies, rhubarb and other overgrown perennials.
  40. Check and install weather stripping.
  41. Apply nematodes to lawn for grub control in October.
  42. Then relax.

All tasks guaranteed to be enjoyable for at least half an hour.

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  1. Carole says:

    Winter cheeses??? Do tell.

    Some things I’d add to the list:

    Make sure your vehicle has the necessary winter driving supplies stocked – a snow removal brush, perhaps a can of deicer, a small shovel, a bag of kitty litter, a blanket, a phone charger … just in case.

    Clean and store garden tools in a large tub filled with sand and some used motor oil. The sand keeps the tools standing upright and also removes dirt from tools (especially if you slide the tool up and down before you “park” it), and the motor oil keeps the tools from rusting.

    I like to keep ice melt in a plastic trash bin with a lid near an exterior door. I keep a scoop inside so it is ready when I need it.

    It is a great time to get your outside lights up, before snow and cold makes it no fun to nigh near impossible. (Where I live, we got 5 inches of snow last week!)

    If you are responsible for others, make sure their winter gear is accessible, in good repair, and it still fits…

    If you are a winter sports enthusiast, again, it never to earlier to drag it all out and make sure it is good repair.

    Be ready! Make up a favorite hot chocolate recipe mix and a batch of your favorite cookie dough to freeze now. On the first cold day, take the cookies out of the freezer and bake and enjoy them with a cup of hot chocolate.

  2. Marna says:

    Great list.

  3. RitaChiquita says:

    you know, it would be kinda neat if you made that list like a recipe so we could print it off….!

  4. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Anybody want a palm tree or gorgeous Boston fern in a pot from my deck? I have 2 palms & 5 huge ferns that I cannot be bothered to bring indoors and later have to put up with the fern mess or sticky honey dew on the palms. At this time of year I always feel guilty for abandoning them but once a frost hits, I blame them for their lack of hardiness and chuck them out. Still…. a nice kind home would be good.

  5. Vikki says:

    Because I am a responsible, dutiful Adult I will get right on that. I’m off to buy a pie. (Ummm—I can’t remember anything else on the list.) Oh well…….

  6. Roylyn parks says:

    Karen, would the nematodes harm earthworms? They, as you know are beneficial. My problem is moles doing damage to new sod and they feed on grubs and probably earthworms too. Some people use grub killer but that kills earthworms too.

  7. Gail Neumann says:

    I love reading your post, this list was no exception, had me laughing out loud.. Thanks for the great tips!

  8. Beth W says:

    Love this! I’ll have to try and remember to loop back to it on Labour Day weekend. I only have 17 days before the Christmas Pledge starts this year!

  9. LeeAnne Bloye says:

    You need a mulching mower – no more leaf raking! Feed your lawn and mow at same time.
    I got a leaf blower/chopper thingy and now chop spread the neighbours raked leaves on the garden.

    • Karen says:

      I only have about 2 square feet of lawn so I use a push mower. :) All my leaves are outside my fence, stuck in and under my boxwood hedges and tangled up in the garden beds. :/ ~ karen!

    • Dd51 says:

      Actually, most lawnmowers just need mulching blades put on. Not. Terribly. Expensive. Saves on fertilizer, easy as compared to raking leaves. Just mow the leaves twice and your job is done.

  10. Deb says:

    My woodroom is full the rest is stacked, windows washed outside, inside today, gardens are cleaned up, just strawberries to cover after freeze up, hoses to blow out today, RAIN BARRELS emptied. I think I’m almost ready. Oh, I’m already in my flannel pj’s and the duvet is out. I can now sit and eat that pumpkin pie all by myself. Yippie!!!!!

  11. Darcy says:

    Karen, if you moved to California you could halve your list.

  12. Katy says:

    Great list! I feel accomplished, we actually did most the outside stuff today. Plus I’m currently wearing flannel pajamas that smell like drawer!

    • Karen says:

      I’m getting ready to host a Thanksgiving dinner tonight so I have accomplished none of the list things this weekend, lol. Well that’s not true, I raked the leaves in the backyard. But my house is going to smell like turkey and stuffing in a few hours so that’s basically the most important fall task. ;) ~ karen!

  13. Letty Regan says:

    #35 I couldn’t figure out what sweet rolls had to do with rugs-as I was SO looking forward to a link to a recipe- but then I realized it was supposed to be “sweep” and was very disappointed. Any sweet roll recipes anyway?

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Sorry no sweet roll recipe today. ~ karen!

      • Tamara says:

        Also, if they’re outdoor carpets why not leave them outdoors?? It’s their calling.
        Also, buy suet blocks for the birds & hang them so the dang squirrels & misc. rodents can’t get them.

        • Karen says:

          For the same reason you wouldn’t leave anything else out in the winter. They get ruined twice as quickly because they’re outside in the elements for twice as long as they need to be. ~ karen!

    • Elaine says:

      I know, Letty! I was anticipating the next word to be “cinnamon” then back tracked and saw the comma between ‘sweet’ and ‘roll’. I think I smell your turkey from over here, Karen. Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

  14. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Great Autumn ideas Karen!…I could use a bit of help…I’m elderly you know…and single too!

  15. Lisa G. says:

    Empty the rain barrels so they don’t freeze and crack.

  16. Benjamin says:

    Combine #6 and #23… Buy spice scented candles and take one over to your neighbor.

  17. Dale R Lacina says:

    Sounds good. I’ll have a freezer full of grapes that I cannot process now. Hopefully it has an easy way to deal with the seeds in my concords.

  18. Dale R Lacina says:

    Harvesting Concord grapes from a 40 foot set of vines that overachieved this year. I have already made 20 pints of grape jelly. Am setting up to do 50 pounds of grapes into a 5 gallon batch of Concord wine. I will need ideas or recipes of what to do next with the remaining half of the grapes on the vine.
    Any offers will be accepted.

    • lyn says:

      Grape pie is incredible. Google a recipe. The grapes can be prepped and frozen to be baked later. My mom used to do that. Mmmmmmm.

      • Mia Pratt says:

        I make Grape Meringue Pie with the Lemon Meringue Pie recipe that came from the back of the old yellow Argo cornstarch box…just replace water in the recipe with grape juice and leave everything else just the way it is. It’s fabulous!

  19. ElenG says:

    You are LOL funny, Karen. I forgot to hit send the first time. Hee!

  20. Meg says:

    I love this list! I’m so excited for fall this year, as I’ve moved back from Los Angeles to New England. Holy crap I’m going to make apple pies and step on crunchy leaves and curl up inside in plaid flannel shirts.

  21. I believe it is only fair to add to this marvy list ~ chili is the perfect accompaniment to a binge-watch of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix. A perfectly sumptuous combination.

  22. Alena says:

    I am not even done yet with the summer chores (like those plants that I bought and never planted) but at least I just finished edging my yard (not sure if edging is the proper word – the front yard is sloping down to the sidewalk and it is covered with assorted groundcover which always pours over onto the sidewalk and before each winter, I have to hack away half a foot of it with my ice chopper tool.

    Unlike you, I loved the spring but summer did, indeed, suck big time. No rain for 4 months – I am sick of that. Why could not we get 4″ of the Harvey rain.
    I have a friend in Florida but she safely made it to North Carolina so I am relieved. But I think of all Floridians – I had goosebumps when I listened to Irma coverage on Anderson Cooper last night.

    • Karen says:

      Anderson does that to me all the time. But yes, it’s terrifying. I really do hope everyone in Florida knows all of Canada is thinking of them and hoping they evacuate when they’re told to evacuate. (who are these people who say … Nah. Apocolyptic Hurricane? I’m gonna stick it out with my toddler and newborn.) I understand there’s always the thought that it won’t be that bad. But what happens when it is?? O.K. not sure why I laid this all on you, lol. ~ karen!

  23. Jody says:

    Reading this great list while cozily wrapped in a hoodie and quilt on the front porch. Also contemplating list of crafts to get done before spring planting

  24. Pam B says:

    Hiya Karen!!! I am soooooo in favor of #23. I am a single, elderly neighbor, so come on down and help me out. Been minimalizing this year, and am too tired to do any fall stuffs. LOL Thanks for the list and the grins. Have a great weekend. Hugs!!!

  25. Kathy says:

    Never would have thought to set out the bags to capture leaves. There’s a product called Bag Buddy. It’s a folding frame to support large trash bags. I have some shrubby things in two rows just far enough apart I have to clean between them. But could I line up bag buddies in there? I just may well try. I’m not the last house on the block but I am where the wind decides it can’t carry these damn leaves another foot. Love a good list.

  26. Patti Kears says:

    Thank you God….I am not the only one who has to complete # 21.

  27. Sabina Missana says:

    But I’m still waiting for summer to start!!!

  28. Mary W says:

    Your chili looks like a porn queen with softly lit background, enticing! I have always wanted to learn to yodel – we even have a plastic yodeling pickle that we play when things are really intense and we need to it break up. You missed one fall duty that we in Florida appear to have become too well practiced at doing. I’m packing everything up in plastic garbage bags to lay in the floor, putting the most valuable (to me) things in plastic in my car, collecting medical records for me and the animals, and drinking my last cup before I commence again this morning with these duties. I hope to read you again very soon but planning on no electricity for a number of days. There is no gas, water or bread, the highway through town is bumper to bumper as lower FL drives through and I’m tired already. Wishing everyone well and thanks to all the people that will be doing way beyond work at the shelters where I will be headed.

  29. LINDSAY CUDINI says:

    I love your comment about throwing away the razors!!!!!!!!!

    I also can throw away plants I bought in May/June that I didn’t plant, glad I am not the only one!

  30. Jenni says:

    Thanks. That was funny. And motivating.

  31. Julie says:

    Smells like drawer.
    I thought I was the only one who ever noticed that about the seasonal clothes change over.

    • KimS says:

      Me too! Number 33 Haul out the flannel pajamas that have been in hiding for 4 months and now smell like drawer. Cracked me up!

  32. Jenny says:

    This reminds me that I need to switch out my summery yellow wreath on the front door for my burlap and fall foliage wreath!

  33. Jenifer says:

    Also, put away hammock…only used twice this summer and start regimen of antidepressants to get through the winter.

  34. Christie Cokely says:

    Those are all so brutally true and I love them all! Happy Fall!

  35. danni says:

    Throw away razor made me laugh. My husband would beg me in the winter months to either keep my legs shaved or let it grow out and leave it alone! In my younger days I had very aggressive stubble!

  36. leisa says:

    Excellent List!

  37. Fonda says:

    Keep the bird feeders filled, even the hummingbird feeder until you finally noticed they’ve moved further south, then retire it until spring.

  38. susan says:

    Give the lawn one final cut and put gas stabilizer in both lawnmowers. The rains are finally coming and it’s still hot so the grass will need to be cut right up until Christmas. (It’s been so hot and sunny here in PEI all summer I think I only had to cut it 3 times!) Run out of gas, get more, give the lawn one final cut and put gas stabilizer in both mowers. Repeat.
    The chili is made and in the freezer but the leaves don’t seem to fall off the trees into my gutters until it’s cold enough to make it truly miserable trying to scoop them out.

  39. Sandra Lea says:

    I’m off to a good start, I’ve already completed # 26.

  40. Carrie says:

    Karen, I am shocked! A house isn’t a home unless it contains beer and whiskey! I mean who doesn’t like a whiskey chaser?? Lol 🍺🍺

    Ya know, I think I’ll throw caution to the wind and toss my razors,though i may be divorced or sleeping alone. (Another reason for the whiskey😳)

    Also great minds think alike. Yesterday I was thinking about making slow cooker pumpkin chili. Definite sign of fall! Not a fan of the season, hate the idea of saying goodbye to my pool but I live in NY so……
    Let us know how the yodeling goes! I think you’ll be great!👍👍
    Have a great weekend😀

  41. Marna says:

    Cool! I did about 10 of the things you listed! Even though in Texas it is still close to or in the 90s. At least I am not in the south where clean up is still taking place, poor Florida and islands are getting it now.

    • Karen says:

      Yikes! I’ve been thinking about my Texas readers and how many of them have been affected. And I’m constantly thinking about the Floridians. At least it seems like they’re getting a way better heads up to get OUT. :( ~ karen!

      • In FL I think we are all affected. We are staying at my husband’s office 30 ft above sea level. Pitching a tent inside for the grands. Our home is on the water. I am not motivated to clean today. I have hurricane headache. Yuck.
        I hope everyone stays safe!

  42. MrsChrisSA says:

    Sorry to you all………………….here it is spring and I am over the moon happy she has arrived.
    I am so not a winter person – leaving home in the dark, coming home in the dark…all makes my mood dark for the winter months!!

    On the other hand, chores include lots of spring cleaning and refreshing!!!

    • Karen says:

      I think we in the Northern Hemisphere should get a do over. This spring and summer SUCKED. ~ karen!

      • Kmarie says:

        It did kind of jip us didn’t it? I feel I had a few days between winter/cold seasons. Boooo. Ok so if I broke up with Telus and had to change my email addy – do I just re subscribe on here or do I have to unsubscribe first? Also with the drawer bit- I put a fresh bounce in my seasonal and switch it out once a month… usually I end up washing them anyway as I feel itchy in old clothes and smells bother me but it’s nice to open a drawer and smell toxic bounce 😉

  43. chloe crofton says:

    …a lot of your suggestions I need to do, here are a few more I plan to do
    repair poultry pen so you don’t have to bend wire when your hands are too cold and gloves only make the job harder
    prepare or try to plan for impending branches that may fall from autumn storms by trimming those near any roof- shed, house, coop etc
    look at the garden hose every time you walk past it sprawled all over the yard and remind yourself to pack it up soon before it freezes- there will be a first time!
    make lots of plans to eat healthy this season with full meal plans, recipes and commendable ingredients in your pantry, then reward yourself with a twix or a snickers or even a kit kat for making all the lists:)
    fix car while you can, before the icy driveway will make it a circus performance to go under it I will not personally be doing this but will be watching and helping and its always worse for me as standing still being actively helpful while doing nothing gets you cold fast,
    look at the snow shovels and fix the broken ones, understand that snow will come and there is nothing you can do but cry or stay in bed, you don’t need to shovel if you asleep right?
    throw a ball in the air in slow motion then catch it while it is still warm enough outside and you can pretend it is still spring or mid summer
    try and get excited for the caffeine boost required at several intervals in the day especially in the fall winter days, even though you gave up creamer last week and you meant it
    gaze at the one of many calenders you have laying around in sheer disbelief another summer is waning and soon it will Christmas and the New Year
    attempt to get into a fall and winter mindset of being focused and an active and motivated indoor person- by doing absolutely nothing of significance all day then feeling immense guilt and rushing to get chores and errands done when it is already dark and everywhere is shut
    keep checking email for the next art of doing stuff post to give extra positive pep ups through the next forever months!

  44. Tina says:

    This is my first fall without a secondary, large freezer. I’m surviving on only the freezer attached to my fridge. It’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen but still not enough. But it was rainy and cold tonight so I made steak and barley soup with garlic bread. Yum!

  45. Phylicia Mann says:

    Yes I will be starting with chili and lava cake…then washing the windows and ….wait what???? I have no fireplace in my house?????first time in ten years and I JUST noticed…😩
    Ok….well I guess that strikes a few things off my list.

  46. TucsonPatty says:

    I’m just binge watching anything to stay out of the stinking heat! The kids are back in school, but it is still summer here! Yeesh. I’m just glad I’m not having to do a majot remodeling job in the tropical heat and moldy humidity of Houston or Florida! I have first world problems and I know it. Cheers to chili!

  47. Valerie says:

    Add to list:
    * re:# 9 – acquire coarse steel wool for this project or expanding insulating foam
    * take up mats at outside doorways so they aren’t solidified and frozen in place
    * watch for snow tire sales/replace worn wind shield wipers front and back
    * make blackberry jam as they are coming into season
    * if you live rurally and have lots of apple trees that attract bears take your pitching wedge out and drive the apples away from your house into the wild blue yonder
    * plant lots of bulbs/collect poppy seeds and rebroadcast these in a month for next year bloom

  48. Kate says:

    Made your Pumpkin Spice Latte mixture yesterday, I’m all ready for Fall!

  49. Robert says:

    “or single neighbour if they need help with anything.”??? Karen! 😏

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