That beautiful time of year is upon us again, and whether you're more a summer lover or a winter warrior, autumn touches the hearts of most people. It's a perfect balance of warmth and chill. It's relatively warm days and cooler nights. It's still-lush foliage in a palette of gorgeous hues. It's shorter days but with enough natural outdoor light to satisfy our physiological needs.
It's slow-cooker meals, hot cocoa by the fire, brisk walks, crunchy leaves beneath our feet, and fresh cool air against our cheeks.
Autumn is also a time to get those seasonal related tasks done. You might be thinking, ugh –– We're with you. Household winter prep can feel like a big mountain to climb, and if you don't love climbing mountains then you're probably putting those tasks off as long as you possibly can.
Indeed, maintenance is always the most unromantic and necessary of work in pretty much anything we do in life. That said, its completion usually delivers a good degree of satisfaction and accomplishment. May that be the motivation to get started!
We're big believers in making the most of the journey, so rather than slog through, let's have some fun in the process, shall we? Here's how:
Tips For Tackling Those "UGH" Outdoor Tasks
Choose some jamming tunes to fire up your physiology.
Research shows that lively music with a steady beat increases endorphins and inspires the body to move. If you have a great deal of sweeping and scrubbing to do, then a pumping playlist of tunes might be all the push you need to get the job done.
Enjoying the process means you're not working in Mach 4 speed. Do one task then take a break. Have a yummy snack or drink lined up as a reward. Then hit repeat until all jobs are done. Oh, and did we mention that you don't have to do it all in one day?!
Choose the right day(s).
Knowing you have adequate time to devote to these tasks can make all the difference. Distractions or too many things going on just creates additional, unnecessary stress, so select a day or two where you have nothing else going on. No kids to pick up from school. No meetings. No laundry. Just you, some great tunes, and a little elbow grease.
Now, let's get down to business!
5 Ways To Prep & Prettify Your Patio For Fall
Sweep & Power Wash Your Patio
Before you do anything else, such as rearranging patio furniture or adding fall decor and foliage to your patio, start at base level.
Slap on the elbow grease and sweep the debris in preparation for a good old fashioned scrub down. Or, if you're lucky you have a power washer that'll do the grunt work for you.
However you manage this part of patio prep, make sure your patio can tolerate the particular type of cleaning, as some methods are more abrasive than others. Weatherproofing, such as slapping on some fresh sealant, is also wise if you're able to get to it early enough in the season.
Clean The Grill
Your grill probably got a lot of action this summer, which means it may need a little more mean in your clean than usual this fall. Regularly cleaning your grill can minimize wear and tear, and come spring, it'll be ready to fire up without too much fuss.
Heat the grill to burn off any baked-on foods. Then use a handheld brill pad or brush to scrub the grates. Once the grill has cooled, remove it and wash it in warm, soapy water and leave to dry. Now you can clean the rest of the grill before replacing the grates. Store under a weatherproof cover in a dry area.
Cover The Patio Furniture
Wondering how to weatherproof outdoor furniture cushions? The short n' easy answer is you don't have to! Weatherproofing with a spray is not only finicky and time-consuming, it's also an unnecessary air pollutant. Instead, we recommended covering your patio furniture with waterproof coverings. Before you buy, ensure you select a reputable brand with good reviews and look for the following features: tie downs, non abrasive backing, appropriate dimensions, and breathable design to prevent inner moisture build-up.
Add Fall Foliage
Adding fall foliage to your garden and planter boxes surrounding your deck or patio not only lends aesthetic value, it also acts as a gentle barrier to protect your cozy sitting area from winds and frost.
What are good outdoor patio plants for fall and winter?
Ornamental cabbage & kale offer striking hues and robust foliage to your fall and winter planter boxes. They're robust and edible! Camellias, winter jasmine, holly bush, and Japanese maples offer incredible visual splendor that sticks around throughout the season.
Bedeck The Deck With Light, Color & Warmth
Now we're getting into the fun stuff! You've done the maintenance side of things, now it's time to get creative with the "deck-or". Consult some home design magazines if you're stuck on ideas, and keep these three fundamentals in mind: light, color, and warmth. With the right lighting scheme you can combine all three!
Outdoor string lights are great for draping pretty much anywhere and they're made to withstand the weather. Hurricane lanterns with pillar candles give an extra romantic touch and don't cost anything in electricity. Check out your local hardware or home design store for more options.
Color is easy! Toss some vibrant throw cushions on your furniture and call it a day! Fall foliage (in the next section) is a great way to add splashes of color too.
For warmth, you may consider installing a retractable awning or a heat lamp. These are big projects though, and somewhat expensive, so a more budget-friendly option is to create a bit of shelter with dense foliage or positioning your patio furniture close to a wall to protect it from the wind and moisture. Blankets do the trick too, but keep them tucked inside a weatherproof box when not in use.
Get A Blanket Box… And Blankets!
Who says you can't enjoy the cozy feeling of being indoors outside on your deck? There's something truly special about wrapping yourself in a thick, warm blanket while feeling the cool autumn air kiss your face.
You'll find tons of options online for blanket boxes, but ensure you choose one that is properly weather-proofed, large enough to stash pillows too, and complements your deck furniture of course!
Finish The Job Right…
Phew! When you're done, allow that feeling of accomplishment to settle in and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Switch on the lights, pull out a blanket, and cozy into your clean and beautiful outdoor sitting space. We recommend fixing yourself a hot toddy (2 tbsp rum, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 slice of lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice, 1 cinnamon stick – add all to a mug of boiling water). Or, if you want a non-naughty version of a warm drink and one suitable for the kids, try heartwarming cacao.
By the way, with colder weather, you're likely spending a lot more time indoors, making any kitchen odors more noticeable. If you’re dealing with a nasty smell in your kitchen, even a mild one, check out our free guide on knowing and solving kitchen odors to clear it up.
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From our kitchen to yours, enjoy sitting out on your cozy autumn-ized patio!