November is a busy month, to say the least. We’re at the tail end of Fall and approaching the holiday season, as well as the beginning of Winter – both of which pose different challenges. Being efficient in November is key to having a stress-free journey for the next month or so!

That’s why I want to give you a few simple tips to prepare. I don’t want to overwhelm you with checklists and to-dos because time and budget are limited, so I’ll try to keep it down to the essentials. From there, you can decide what to prioritize for your November home checklist!

Holiday planning

The holiday season coming up from now to December is extremely busy and makes getting things done last minute very difficult. Here’s how you can prepare ahead of time:

Start thinking about your gift purchases. It might seem early but Black Friday is coming up soon this November and it’s a great opportunity to purchase your gifts ahead of time and at a discount. Even better, it gives time for them to arrive before Christmas, avoiding any delays that could be caused during the holiday rush.

Prepare for travels. Many families like to travel during November to visit family during Thanksgiving, so you might have to leave your home unguarded for a while. Be sure your alarm and smoke detector systems are working, and if possible, ask a friendly neighbor to keep an eye out while you’re away.

Prepare for guests. Similarly, lots of homeowners will host their families during the holidays, so you should prepare the house for guests. Be sure the guest room is in order, that you have supplies in case leaving the house is difficult, and of course, have mattresses and pillows ready for whoever comes.

Exterior inspections

Winter can be pretty harsh on your home and it’s better to take precautions. Some regions take heavy snow and unrelenting cold, but because of the holiday rush, it can be hard to get stuff fixed quickly.

I recommend performing these inspections for your home in November in order to prepare for the holiday season:

  • Roof inspection. Snow is heavy and can damage your roofing enough to cause leaks, which can lead to severe water damage. Let alone compromising your indoor temperature.
  • Furnace/HVAC inspection. Your main heating system needs to be working if you’re to survive the winter. Make sure everything is working properly before the cold is here – it’s much harder (and usually more expensive) to get a pro during a heavy snowstorm!
  • Smoke and carbon dioxide system inspection. You’ll be spending a lot of time indoors in the upcoming months, and in December alone the kitchen will likely be used a lot. Your indoor air needs to be healthy for the family!

I mentioned some of these inspections in the Fall season guide, so be sure to check that out if you missed it!

Stock up for the winter

You don’t want to be caught empty-handed during a snowstorm. Many regions may suffer blackouts, and severe weather that prevents traversal and communication, or you may end up stranded in your car during one of these trips.

There are a few things you should keep in your home and in your car as a safety precaution for these events:

For your home:

  • A power generator
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Candles and matches
  • A first-aid kit
  • A radio
  • A supply of bottled water for at least 3 days
  • A collection of non-perishable food for at least 3 days
  • At least one week of extra prescribed medication (some people cannot drop their medication even for a day)
  • Firewood
  • A shovel for snow

For your car:

  • Flashlight and batteries
  • A first-aid kit
  • Extra blankets
  • Water
  • Tire chains
  • An ice scraper

There are even more items you can bring, such as a smartphone charger bank for emergencies, but you get the idea. You might not need any of these (I hope not!) but it’s important to have them in case you do.

Prepare the kitchen

There’s a lot of cooking to be done during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Your kitchen needs to be up for the task! In this case, I don’t refer to remodeling or upgrades because there’s barely enough time for any of that.

What I mean is that you should clean your fridge – get rid of old or expired products to make room for all the new stuff you’re using soon. The same goes for cabinets and the pantry. Use this opportunity to take inventory and write down what you’ll need to buy on the market.

Also, don’t forget to check up on your appliances. If you happen to need any repairs or extra tools (such as a new pan) it’s much easier to get those done now.

Start bringing out the winter clothes

Your winter clothing might still be stored away collecting dust. It’s time to take those out of your closet dungeon and get them ready for use. You can do this slowly by taking some of the stored clothes out and using the space to immediately store your summer clothes.

Your winter clothes will need to be washed right away, which may take some time. Now’s the perfect time to start going through them – by the time December comes around you should be good to go!

Besides, if you have family coming over, you’ll want to wash bedsheets and pillowcases anyway, so you get a lot done at once.

You can always start with inspections and plan your next move from there. Get free quotes for home inspections in your area!


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