Checking it Twice: Winter Prep Checklist

Every year my winter prep “to do” list grows.  Just when I think I have a good handle on what needs to be addressed, I am reminded of something new.  In the past few years, I have begun to compile a list of things that must be completed.  There are other things, of course, that crop up, but I now have a fairly good list with which to begin the season.

The winter months will be here sooner than you think.  Considering the colder months ahead, we thought that now might be a good time to offer up a list to help you better prepare. Our list won’t cover everything, but much of what you need to get started.  If you have other ideas, please share them here with the rest of the Nesters.

savour… chestnuts roasting

Get the rest after the jump…

Winter Prep Checklist

Before you start:

Complete all outdoor tasks requiring a ladder on the same day.  Choose a day when the weather conditions are favorable and the ground is dry.

Use this list as a guide.  Add, change, or delete as necessary and make a checklist you can complete in about a week to be fully prepared for the upcoming season.


  • Make sure all air vents are clear.
  • Check windows for caulking and re-caulk as necessary.
  • Be sure bird and rodent screens are in place on all appropriate openings.
  • Install storm windows if appropriate.
  • Drain and store garden hoses.
  • Clean gutters.
  • Make sure house number is well lit and readable from the street.
  • Prune shrubs and trees.
  • Get snow and ice tools out or purchase as necessary.
  • Clean and stow grill.
  • Apply winter fertilizer to lawn.
  • Mow and rake the lawn one final time.
  • Turn the soil in your garden as appropriate.


  • Test your furnace before the weather gets very cold.
  • Adjust ceiling fans and vents as necessary to get better air circulation.
  • Have your heating system checked by a professional.
  • Replace air filters.
  • Inspect insulation in attic and replace as needed.
  • Vacuum all around and under refrigerator.
  • Have chimney swept.
  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Have drapes and upholstery cleaned.
  • Ensure smoke detectors are operational.  Replace batteries.
  • Check for flashlight and test batteries.  Replace as needed.
  • Update first aid kit.
  • Pack away summer clothes and get out winter clothes.
  • Take necessary winter items to dry cleaner before wearing.
  • Perform toy purge to make room for new toys.  Donate old things as appropriate.
  • Test humidifiers and vaporizers.
  • Stock up on lip balm.
  • Get out blankets and quilts.  Launder or dry clean as necessary.
  • Order firewood.


  • Check anti-freeze
  • Check battery
  • Check tires for proper winter air pressure.
  • Update emergency car kit as necessary.
  • Update first aid kit as necessary.
  • Get snow and ice tools ready and replace as needed.
  • Put blanket in trunk.
  • Make sure jumper cables are in the trunk.