Autumn isn't all spiced cider and lounging in front of the fireplace. You've also got to roll up your sleeves and prepare your space for the colder weather so that you'll be ready to meet the dropping temperatures and shorter days.
Switch To Heavyweight Bedding
Lightweight cotton sheets can see you through spring and summer well, but come fall you want to switch to something heavier. Invest in a set or two of heavy flannel sheets and a thick fleece blanket to stay warm and comfortable even on the coldest nights, and cozy for relaxed weekend mornings when you sleep in.
If you need extra warmth, or just want to add some style points, add a quality wool blanket on top of the bed. They'll give your bedroom a sense of woodsy sophistication while also keeping you toasty.
Pick Up a Mud Tray
They only cost a few bucks and stop you from tracking mud, slush, and debris past your door. Just deposit your shoes when you come inside to keep the entranceway clean and stop yourself or guests from tracking a mess anywhere else.
Clean Out the Fireplace
If it's been a while since the last time you cleaned it, now's a good time to give your fireplace a good once-over. Remove, scrub, and rinse the andiron and grate, scour the walls with a coarse brush, and vacuum or sweep all of the collected ash and debris.
To take it a step further, get yourself a fireplace cleaning solution (you can buy it at a hardware store, or make your own with 1 gallon of warm water, 1 cup of bleach, and 6 teaspoons of Trisodium Phosphate). While wearing rubber gloves, use a nylon brush to scrub the fireplace walls and floor with the solution until clean and free of stains, then rinse down with clean water.
Stock Up on Candles
If your fireplace is bricked up or you don’t have one at all, you can use a candle stand for the same (albeit less intense) ambiance as a roaring fire. They come in all shapes and sizes, but ideally you want something that can hold at least half a dozen candles in whatever kind of design that matches your decorating. It may not be as good as the real thing, but a big enough arrangement will give off enough ambiance for a cozy evening at home.
Fill Your Cupboards with Drink Supplies
Once the weather drops, you're going to want to spend plenty of cold nights with a warm mug of tea or hot chocolate, so stock up. You can also pick up flavored syrups, peppermint or cinnamon sticks, bourbon, liqueurs like Kahlua or Baileys, and any other add-ins to have on hand.
Get Cozy with Wool Blankets
An extra-soft blanket or three is a smart investment -- so long as it's not a Snuggie. They'll keep you nice and warm for lounging around the house on colder days, and heritage brands like Faribault, Woolrich, and Pendleton make stylish and historical versions that are plenty masculine.
Break Out the Slow Cooker
This is your kitchen's best friend for short, brisk days when you want a warm and hearty meal (like one of these cold-weather recipes) that doesn't take too much time to prepare. It's best for tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, which you can put in along with vegetables, lentils, broth, beer, spices, or just about anything else in your pantry.
Start it in the morning before work, let it cook low and slow for the entire day, and come back to a house filled with a tantalizing aroma and a moist, tender dinner. Plus, if you have one that's big enough, you can make extra large batches and eat the leftovers all week.
Ward off Pests
Bugs and other pests are going to start looking for a warmer place to stay once the outside gets cold, so make sure they can't get into your space. Seal any cracks in the molding, establish a first line of defense with perimeter spray, and set sticky and/or poison traps in inconspicuous places to make sure the ones who do manage to get in don't last long.
Polish Your Heavy-Duty Boots
Ok, so this isn't technically related to your house or apartment, but if you're in an area that sees a good amount of snow, your boots are going to be in heavy rotation. Give them a tune-up to keep the leather in good shape and ensure your fall/winter getups are just as sharp as your spring/summer ones.
Once you’re done with all that, grab some sweatpants and a beer to enjoy the cozy, clean, aromatic fruits of your labor.