Spring cleaning is a well-worn ritual for most of us. After taking refuge from the often bitter cold of winter, the arrival of spring feels like coming out of hibernation—it’s a natural time to take stock of things and renew your living spaces.

Fall is a little different. People are often more concerned with clinging to the waning days of summer than with thinking too much about the coming cold weather. However, it’s a great time to take care of some oft-neglected housekeeping tasks to save yourself some headaches in the coming winter. Here is a fall cleaning checklist for the inside and outside of your home to ease you into the cooler months.

Secure the premises

Secure the premises. The bulk of your fall cleaning will take place inside the home, but there are a few things on the exterior that deserve some attention. Fall is a great time to clean and store outdoor furniture, drain and store garden hoses, and clean out your gutters. If you have a pool, close it down for the season—you’ll want to have it drained or covered before the never-ending onslaught of falling leaves. If you have large trees in your yard, it may be worthwhile to have an arborist come out and examine them; vulnerable branches and limbs can be removed in advance of dangerous snow or ice storms. Any plants that are sensitive to cold weather should be moved inside.

Turn up the heat. The arrival of fall means increasingly cool weather. While the weather is still mild, take some time to ensure your home is ready for winter, and get any preventative maintenance out of the way well in advance of inclement weather. If you don’t already get regular HVAC maintenance, have your air filters changed and your unit inspected to head off any potential problems. Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned out so that they’re ready for use in winter. If you use natural gas for heat, make sure to have your furnace serviced, and arrange to have your gas service set up—some companies will allow you to schedule the turn-on months in advance and offer great deals early in the season.

Save your energy. Now that you’re confident you can turn up the heat, make sure it sticks around. Consider getting an energy audit of your home; a more energy-efficient home can lead to significant savings on future heating costs. This will help you determine the status of the weather stripping and insulation in your home, and whether maintenance or additions are needed.

Prepare to entertain. During the colder months, people naturally tend to spend more time indoors. Doing some thorough cleaning will allow you to enjoy the extra time inside, and it’s a great way to prepare for holiday visitors. If you regularly entertain guests during the holidays, fall is the best time to make sure your guest rooms are in order; deep cleaning, changing linens, and even updating the décor are things to consider.

Downsize your wardrobe

Downsize your wardrobe. Everything has its season, even clothing. Whether it’s too small, too big, or just too ‘90s, fall is a good time to take stock of your wardrobe and make sure you have weather-appropriate clothing. Donate things that don’t fit, but set aside old sweaters for that ugly Christmas sweater party. If you have a tendency to hoard, use fall cleaning as an opportunity for a mini purge.

If fall cleaning is treated like a smaller version of spring cleaning, it makes spring cleaning that much easier. Following these fall cleaning tips will get you well on your way to a warm, comfortable, and inviting home as the days grow shorter.

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Sources: Apartment Therapy; Household Management 101; Psychology Today.