Some of us ponder the long weekend ahead and think, “ahhh, a chance to get in some primo R&R.” And some us clap our hands together, eagerly contemplating all the home projects we can get accomplished with that extra day.
If you fall into that last category, this list is for you! Of course, there’s more to it than satisfying your itch to get your home in order. Labor Day weekend is an excellent opportunity to kick off your fall projects and repairs. These jobs will serve you well when the colder weather makes its first appearance and there’s no time for outdoor projects. After all, you’re an ant, not a grasshopper!
Purge Your Garage
Our ancestors worked hard to give us the gift of an extra 24 hours this weekend—the least we could do with it is do something useful. Luckily, that’s just about all the time you need to reorganize and clean out the garage from top to bottom.
Before you start groaning, remember: winter is coming. You aren’t going to want to tackle this project once the weather dips below freezing, so take advantage of the milder temperatures and the extra day this weekend to whip yours into shape.
Don’t want to work hard this weekend? Make garage cleaning fun! Turn on some of your favorite tunes, or get inspired by one of these cute, quick organization ideas. Or sort your stuff into three piles: ‘To Toss,’ ‘To Donate’ and ‘To Keep,’ and stay motivated by thinking about all the good your donations will do later. Sell high-ticket items like bikes and power equipment on Craigslist and do something fun with the money you make—you deserve a reward after all that hard work!
Fix Up Your Fences
Summer thunderstorms can do a number on fences. And the sun beating down on them all day doesn’t help. If it’s been awhile since you’ve checked yours out, you may want to capitalize on the temperate weather to give your fences a good once-over.
If you don’t have any visibly leaning or damaged pieces, look around for rails that are pulling away from the posts and keep an eye out for cracked boards, rust, and rotted boards. The former can sometimes be fixed with a few metal braces, while the latter may require new boards or entire replacement sections, depending on the severity of the damage. Watch this video to learn how to replace wooden fence pickets by yourself and this one to realign a leaning fence.
Weatherize Your Windows
Labor Day is pretty much the unofficial end of summer, which means colder weather isn’t all that far behind—not fun to contemplate, if your home is prone to drafts.
But even if you don’t suffer from phantom winter breezes, you still may be losing a lot of heating—and spending a ton of unnecessary money on your energy bills. For example, experts estimate that a quarter-inch gap under your door is equivalent, heat-loss-wise, to a four-inch diameter hole in your wall.
Keep your windows and doors protected by sealing and re-caulking now, before the weather turns bad. Scrape loose any old caulk around the glass panes with a razor blade and then spread silicone caulk around them in the manner described by this video. Add a door sweep and some weatherstripping foam to your doors, and you should be all set. Let the winter do its worst!
Perk Up Your Pantry
With fall cooking and holiday treats on the horizon, your pantry is going to be getting plenty of use. And that means it could probably stand for a little reorganization before you begin stuffing it with autumnal staples.
First thing’s first: take everything off the shelves and wipe down every surface and drawer. Toss any food or spices that have expired (you can use the search field in EatByDate.com to help with any mystery products). Next, give everything you intend to re-shelve a once-over with your sponge. Finally organize everything in a way that makes sense. If you need help figuring out what that is, The Kitchn has a pretty helpful list of organization strategies to get you started.
Lighten Up Your Landscaping
Not sure if you’ve noticed, but the days aren’t as long as they used to be. Pretty soon, you’ll be coming home from work when the sun is setting and stumbling up the porch steps in the dark.
You can probably see where we’re going with this. Landscape lighting doesn’t just improve your home’s evening curb appeal, it also has the functional purpose of lighting your home’s exteriors. Use this weekend as your chance to install pathway lighting, floodlights or recessed stair lights for your deck—and make coming home at night that much safer!
How awesome will it feel to end the weekend knowing you really accomplished something? Now that’s the way to celebrate Labor Day!
Need a bigger dose of home repair ideas? Check out our archive of maintenance articles and get ready to get your weekend warrior on!