The October To-Do List

YP Editors

The harvest season is upon us, with all its bounty and orangey-gold beauty … but also its fall squalls and leaf piles and lengthening darkness. It’s time to bring long sleeves and long pants out of storage, prep your home and car, and contact the cool-weather home/yard contractors.

But on the fun side, this season is many people's favorite: colorful leaf-peeping, fall-flavored drinks and desserts, holiday decoration and cute new boots! Here's our checklist to do October right.

October To-Dos With Pumpkins
  1. Organize Your Fall Wardrobe: Pull the storage boxes from the attic or closets, and give everything a good wash. Take stock of the cool-weather wardrobe, and consider donating anything that no longer fits (especially children’s clothing) to your local charity shop.
  2. Gear Up for Rain and Snow: Even if you're being a thrifty household CEO, it's important to round out everyone's fall wardrobe in the season of rainstorms and plummeting temperatures. Check out everyone's coats -- make sure pockets, lining, belt loops and hood are in good enough repair to withstand another season. Likewise, boots: Are they warm? Are they waterproof? Also -- you can never have enough warm socks or sturdy umbrellas.
  3. Prepare School Sideline Equipment: If your kids are playing sports, make sure you know the game schedule and have the car trunk loaded with your sideline essentials. From pennants and sweatshirts. to hand warmers and portable chairs, you want to be fully prepared for game day — whether it's raining or you totally forgot — without having to think about it the morning of.
  4. Lighten Up for Shorter Days: Make sure the light bulbs around the porch, lawn and yard are changed, and their fixtures intact. As the nights get longer and days gloomier, you want your home to be welcoming and well-lit. And it’s far more pleasant to be checking the porch lamps on a sunny September afternoon than a stormy November night.
  5. Get Your Brakes Checked: Good brakes are always important, but especially heading into the rainy season; roads are especially slippery during the first storms. While you're at the mechanic, buy new floormats, get the wiper blades checked, and top off your wiper fluid.
  6. Clean Leaves and Gutters: Many people increase their scheduled landscaper visits specifically to deal with excessive fallen leaves. Even if you don’t normally have a landscaper, it may be worthwhile to engage someone’s services just for fall. Ask about seasonal services, and if they clean gutters and downspouts while you’re discussing.
  7. Decorate for the Season: Have fun with fall motifs, with scarecrows, giant pumpkins, and friendly ghosts in the front yard. Check local listings to see who’s offering pumpkin-carving classes or holiday decorating workshops. Stores started stocking Halloween decor and candy before Labor Day, but if you haven't got yours don't worry, it'll be in stock through November 1 ... and if you wait till a few days before Halloween, you might get some closeout deals.