August Checklist for a Smooth-Running Home

The dog days of summer are a great time for getting away. Before leaving on that holiday, take a look at our list and consider tackling a few of these tasks — cut that water bill, keep pets healthy and cool, and ramp up your home’s safety features — before you go. And with fall around the corner, it can feel good to get a head start on organizing and preparing for the next season. Here are nine to-dos you may want to add to your list this month.

August Checklist1. Improve home safety.With so many people going on holidays in August, it is unfortunately a common time for home break-ins to occur. Make sure your house is secure by adding deadbolt locks, trimming bushes near windows and doors, and adding motion-sensing lights outside rear and side windows and doors.

2. Fix leaks and drips, inside and out. Save on your water bill by making sure you are not wasting a drop. We tend to notice when an indoor faucet is leaking, but you may not be aware of slow drips outside. Take a tour of all outdoor spigots and outdoor showers, and fix leaks as needed.

3. Keep pets healthy and cool. Clean and sanitize pet spaces indoors, including food and water dishes and bedding. Provide outdoor pets with plenty of fresh water and shade throughout the day. Keep an eye out for ticks, which can be picked up especially easily at this time of year.

4. Get rid of lurking grime in the kitchen.You know those little cleaning tasks that are so easy to put off indefinitely? Sort of like getting your teeth cleaned, these tasks may cause dread but leave you feeling great when they’re done.

5. Weed out old summer toys and gear. Donate, recycle or toss broken and worn beach toys, umbrellas and the like rather than storing them. Take advantage of end-of-season sales to stock up on anything you need, such as fresh beach towels.

6. Check for dampness in the basement. If you live in a climate with warm, humid summers, now is the time you may notice dampness building up in the house. Make sure your dehumidifier is up to the job and clean it thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew.

7. Replace washer hoses and clean dryer vents. Cracked washer hoses can cause costly leaks — check and replace yours before they become a problem. Clean out dryer vents and hoses as well, and your dryer will work more efficiently.

8. Organize clothes closets. As summer comes to an end, weed out clothes and accessories that you haven’t worn all season and donate them to charity, or drop them off at a consignment shop. Paring back and organizing what’s left will make room for new fall purchases.

9. Get a start on back-to-school prep. Whether or not you or your kids are in school, there is something about this time of year that inspires a bit of stocking up and sorting out. Take advantage of the inclination and spend a morning reorganizing your drop zone by the door, the desk and anywhere else paper clutter tends to pile up. Treat yourself to a new message board, hooks or baskets.

August Checklist Credit: Houzz