Preparing Your Home For Fall {Things to Do Now} & A Giveaway

fall porch

This post is in partnership with FilterEasy

When we lived in our last house, we were getting pretty good about keeping up with the regular maintenance. Or so I thought. Granted, it was a newer house so there wasn’t as much upkeep since most of it was in great new condition and we had updated so much ourselves. But with all houses, there are certain things you need to keep on top of or do on a seasonal basis. There are also tasks that are much easier to accomplish before the temperature and weather changes. And of course, there are the seasonal updates that are just for fun! The fun ones are my favorite :).

Fall is the perfect time to update the paint or stain on your front door and porch. As long as the rain holds off and the temperatures aren’t still too high where you live, that is! Paint and stain can protect the wood as well as make your home more attractive and ready for seasonal wreaths and decor!.

Our front door makeover is here and you can read about our back deck makeover here.

Fall House

If you have window boxes or planter boxes, wouldn’t it be amazing to fill them fall foliage? I’ve always loved these window boxes on a house in my old neighborhood in Portland. I would love to have window boxes to change for the seasons!

Kitchen Sink and Fall Bouquet- The Inspired Room

I love planting seasonal foliage and cutting flowers outside, and its fun to bring the outside foliage in, too! A fresh bouquet will make your home so inviting and remind you of how much you love fall (you do love fall, right?).

Speaking of seasonal updates, one thing I have been striving to do over the years is to think ahead for outdoor holiday decorating! My goal is to hang my Christmas lights around the porch in October, when it isn’t FREEZING and POURING out. Yeah, it’s a little early perhaps for celebrating Christmas, but you’ll be so glad you got your lights up without freezing your fingers. So often I skip hanging lights because I don’t want to go out in the cold, so when I finish that task early I’m so happy in December when I see my twinkling lights. That’s a task worth doing early, I say!

fall fireplace

Here’s a list of five important (but less fun) fall home maintenance tasks I think are easy to forget (or put off)!

1. Remove the hose and turn off the outside water.
2. Clean your gutters and downspouts.
3. Check your roof, driveways and walkways.
4. Fireplace cleaning
5. Replace furnace and air return filters (an important task year-round!)

As the weather changes, you need to make sure your home and yard are ready for the harsher elements and colder temperatures. You want to protect your investment in your home, save money, as well as keep your family safe!

Filter Easy - Subscription Air Filter Delivery Service

I was the worst at remembering to clean the air filters at our old house. Ugh. How embarrassing is this? Truly horrible. {Shudder}. When you open the vent, it looks like giant furry rodents have made a home there. Ew.

Have you remembered to change your return air vents lately? Or your furnace vents? Go look at yours and come back to tell me if they look as yucky as mine. I bet they do! Did you know you are supposed to change filters every three months? It makes sense, just imagine breathing in that furry rat-hair like dust for months on end! Yuck. Surely your furnace can’t operate properly or efficiently with that much dust. YOU can’t operate efficiently with that much dust. Changing your filters every 90 days will save energy, keep your home clean and prevent expensive HVAC repairs so it really should be on our seasonal to do list.

Filter Easy - Air Filter Delivery Subscription Service

Just as I was moving out of my old house, I heard about a new service called FilterEasy that will send you new filters regularly, taking the guesswork out of remembering to order and change your filters! FilterEasy filters cost the same or less than those in stores and there is free shipping, so you don’t have to spend your day driving around looking for the right sized filters (or forgetting what sizes you need!).

Home Maintenance in the Fall - Filter Easy - The Inspired Room

Lately I’ve been automating EVERYTHING I don’t want to think about, don’t like to do or forget to do. It’s been a huge time and stress saver for me. Since there are so many benefits to changing your air filters on time, I’ve signed up for FilterEasy in my new house. With each filter delivery, I’ll remember it is time to change them! No more furry rodents living in my filters, thank you. That’s one less thing I have to worry about.

entry design

Once you take care of all the fall home maintenance, you’ll feel so snug and safe and ready for the season.

GIVEAWAY & FREE SET OF AIR FILTERS FOR YOUR HOME!

The first 100 readers to enter the giveaway will get a shipment of FREE REPLACEMENT FILTERS for their entire house! Click here to enter FilterEasy’s $250 Target Gift Card Giveaway! (Submit your email address, and then you’ll be directed to FilterEasy’s homepage with a pre-applied promo code for your free set of filters.) **First 100 readers only!**

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. The winner will be announced on September 23rd.

What are some of your seasonal home tasks and tips for preparing for the season ahead?

The Best Yes {and a book update!}

Fall Cutting Garden Bouquet - The Inspired Room

This week I turned in the final chapter of my first book to my editor at my publishing company! The manuscript for Love the Home You Have is complete and has been sent off for edits! I can hardly believe it! It feels like forever ago that I (reluctantly!) wrote the book proposal, so it was very exciting to think about how far I’ve come in the process. I am really happy with how the manuscript came together and I cannot wait to share it with you all when it turns into a book!

Writing a book was hard. And crazy. And challenging. And so many more things. Every step of the way I had to make decisions about how to spend my time and how to maintain my life outside of book writing. It wasn’t easy. I had help at home from my family and help with the blog from my daughters and said no to more things than I wanted to. I was determined that my blog was not going to suffer any more than necessary because of the book and my blog readers would still know I was here and present on the blog. Even though I didn’t get it all right and I had to check out of life more often than I wanted to, I feel good about the fact that the blog is still going and the book was written without me having a total breakdown (the BOOKS, lest I forget to mention I was working on two other books at the same time!).

But even more than juggling my work (even though I love what I do and I love you all), I’m most relieved with the fact that my home and life is still intact! I’m not super woman by any means, but there are so many little choices every day that have to be made in order to keep priorities straight and continue to be productive in a season that requires an enormous amount of emotional and physical and mental energy.

Stumptown Coffee in Seattle - The Inspired Room

Every yes meant an automatic no somewhere else. I had to say no to many things I really wanted to do, but I also continued to say yes to my most important priorities and find a rhythm of productivity and rest that worked for me.

My husband and I still went on dates! I never missed a Sunday at church or serving in the church nursery. I still spent time with my family. But yet there were many things I didn’t do and things I had to say no to that bummed me out. But in order to write the book, I had to make tough decisions in order to stay on task and keep up with the deadlines.

In the year preceding starting The Inspired Room, eight years ago, I read a book that inspired me. It was called When Women Say Yes to God, by Lysa Terkeurst. I was in a season of wanting to do more with my life and her book gave me the encouragement to step out of my comfort zone, seek out my purpose in life and say YES to opportunities that came my way.

In the years that followed, whenever I was tempted to be afraid of challenges or stay safe and comfortable, I remembered Lysa’s words and gave my biggest, bravest YES even when I wanted to shout, NO THANKS and run to hide under the covers!

So I guess you could say Lysa is at least in part responsible for the fact that I’ve run this blog for the past seven years and now I’m writing EIGHT BOOKS. That is a lot of YESSES! But I don’t regret a single one of them. Honestly, those yesses changed everything in a million good ways.

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst

Recently I received a copy of  Lysa’s newest book, The Best Yes. You better believe I was going to read it (nervously though, I mean, if her other “yes” book was responsible for all of the hard work I’ve done and lessons I’ve subsequently learned in the past seven years, then this yes book could be risky, heheh). But not only did I read it, I was once again inspired by how much her words spoke to me.

While I had already nearly finished my first book writing season by the time I read her book, I so appreciated her wisdom and encouragement to know the difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to the things you feel God has called you to do. I feel like so many people are in a season right now of feeling the desperate desire to say no. People are tired and burned out from doing so many things. Too many things.

Lysa says this about her book, “I wrote this message because I need this message. I wrote it because I’m tired of rushing and stressing and missing out on the sweet parts of life. When I set my life to the rhythm of rush, I just quite honestly don’t like who I am. Rushing robs me of the parts of life that feed my soul. When a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.”

Yes. That.

The Best Yes - Lysa Terkeurst - The Inspired Room Blog

To be honest, when you are in ministry (as we are, our family started a church five years ago, I’ll be sharing an update for our 5th anniversary in September!) hearing a YES from someone who wants to serve or do brave things in the world is a pretty rare but beautiful thing these days. Everyone is busy, stressed out or not able to juggle life. And  yet, at the same time, so many people are in search of their purpose and want to make a difference in the world. They just don’t know how to get there.

Knowing what to say YES to and what to say a small no to is a life-changer in so many ways! There is so much to learn in the journey.

“It’s not the activities or accomplishments we string together that make lives well lived as much as it is the hearts of wisdom we gain and use along the way.” –Lysa Terkeurst

Fall Cutting Garden Bouquet

I know first hand that those big brave YESSES change everything in amazing ways. YESSES change lives. YESSES do amazing things in the world. But you have to be pretty brave to say YES to the right things, because those YESSES will not only change your life and the lives of others around you, but they will give you the courage to do even more things you might never have been brave enough to do.

I know when I said my first YES in starting The Inspired Room and then the blog, each subsequent YES required me to be more and more brave and step way outside my comfort zone. I often tell my husband to not talk to me about what I might have to do next year because agreeing to write eight books was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I can’t imagine what my next yes might look like and honestly, I don’t even want to know right now! Heheh. Sometimes my philosophy is just to say yes to scary things and take the rest a day at a time.

Saying yes to the right things and no to the rest makes all the difference in my ability to stay sane, to be so happy with what I do, and my ability to feel like I’m not just spinning my wheels. I still get tired. I sometimes say yes to the wrong things and regret saying no to other things and when I do, I really make a mess of things. Distinguishing where to say YES and when to say NO is sometimes difficult, but Lysa’s advice is insightful, empowering and inspiring.

My scary season of book writing isn’t done yet. While my first manuscript is in, I’m working on several other books so the learning process continues. But I can say for certain that one scared-out-of-your-mind YES in the right direction can set you off on a life and soul adventure you might never have dreamed of!

What are some yesses you are afraid of and nos you should offer more often?

  • This post is part of Lysa TerKeurst’s “The Best Yes” Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other bloggers.  To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE. (http://goo.gl/bQVJW0)

Read more about my book writing adventure and 7th blogging anniversary here.
See this post about my blogging journey and tips for bloggers here.

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