November Homeowner’s Checklist

Here are this months tips for keeping your home in shape, and remember, these are just some broader, forgotten items on your list as a homeowner. For smaller and more regular items, see Keeping Up Your Home. And as always, if there’s something I’ve missed that is a November regularity at your house, I’d love to know in the comments below or on social media. Enjoy!

  • Clean and check dryer vents and hoses. This is a huge fire hazard and with static from dry winter air, this is a huge safety precaution. 34% of all house fires are caused by dryers according to the US Fire Administration.
  • Clear debris from air ducts. With your heater kicking up in the cold, debris and gunk can also be a fire hazard, and if anything it just makes your house smell musty and gross. Get out the vacuum hose and get to work on cleaning out your vents. And for goodness sake check your air filters! I check mine every month just to see how they are since we have dogs.
  • Inspect hoses on your washer, dishwasher, and ice maker. This can apply to other hoses as well such as water softener, etc. This is to double check before things start to stay cold that nothing is dry rotted or busted. The last thing you need anytime of the year is a water leak, and it’s a sure fire way to ruin the holidays.
  • Check your sink and toilet plumbing. Most people’s homes are more heavily used in the colder months and during the holidays. You don’t want visiting family members to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so make sure you’re plumbing is running smoothly. And in case you haven’t noticed, there’s definitely a theme here for the winter with the water and fire, two of the most common causes of home destruction that increase in the winter.
  • Clean out those holiday decorations and donate what you don’t use. This doesn’t protect your home, but it may help your organization. Halloween is coming down, thanksgiving and Christmas are coming out. During this time, I like to go by the rule of thumb that if I haven’t used it in 2 years (aka this year and the year before) then it gets donated. Plus it’s fun to keep your decorations refreshed from year to year!
Organized bedside from

Nightstand Stand Off

So I’ve been trying to make #bedsidesunday a thing, because I absolutely love a cozy inviting corner of a space. BUT…do you ever look at a picture like that of the cleanest, loveliest, most put together bedroom and think about how your own looks like a hot mess? And no matter how often you clean, it always ends up in the same disarray? Hopefully this post busts some of your doubt of thinking you will never enjoy a clutter free and sanctuary like bedroom, because even for the messiest or busiest people out there, it is achievable. Try abiding by the following rules, not to keep your bedroom picture perfect, but to keep some sanity and peace in the place where you’re supposed to get the best rest:

1. Keep it under 3.

This is a design “rule” that I frequently apply other places (which you’ll find is true about most of these suggestions) because it keeps your spaces from becoming overloaded. Try to keep no more than 3 items on your nightstand. If you’ve got a lamp, that DOES count as 1. Minimizing the number of things in the area makes a huge difference in how put together it feels. Now if you have a super long nightstand, there’s more room for possibility, but don’t view it as having to fill up all the space. Split the length in half and do the “under 3” rule on both sides, fill with larger items, or you can just go 4 items if your really feeling crazy. Y’all may be thinking “but how the hay do I do that, I basically live from the items on my nightstand?” This next point which helps you abide by the “under 3” rule while not losing your important things.

2. Love your basket or bin.

Everything needs a place to go, and let’s be real: you’re gonna have stuff you need and use everyday on your nightstand. Go get some kind of cute container, and THAT is now your designated “stuff” spot. Doesn’t matter what the stuff is, mine contains some books, ear buds, vaseline, medicines, pens, and probably some random junk that got shuffled to the bottom. Point is, your free-for-all space is now contained. Feel better already?

3. Get a stand with some drawers and use them.

Enough said. If your night stand doesn’t have drawers, get creative. You can do another bigger basket underneath. And for all the people who value aesthetics over functionality, I hear you, I feel you, and honestly if you’re that brave you’re probably making it work already. However, the rest of us need some drawers or lower storage space to hide the rest of our junk. Even if you use the item frequently, if it’s not an every. single. night kind of item, put it in the drawers.

4. Make the darn bed.

I know, it’s the most overused statement in housekeeping history. “Didn’t your mother teach you”, “All the most successful people do it”, “That should be the first thing you do when you get up”… all of these are annoying, but all are true. It feels SO good to get into a made bed, and even when it seems like the most begrudging task, try to do it. It will make you feel more put together all day long right up until you settle in for the night. There’s no trick or key to getting this done, just a habit you have to create.

4. Option: Wall sconce over lamps

I put optional here because not everyone likes these or is able to do it. If you own your home, a wall sconce or hanging lamp is a great alternative to a bedside lamp, AND it does double duty by freeing up more space on your nightstand. I’m a huge fan of a pretty wall sconce or hanging light, it’s a fun way to add some character and beauty and still be functional. Anywhere that your objects can do double duty on aesthetic and function, take advantage of it!


That’s it! Are there a million other ways that you can improve your space? Yes,  but that’s not the point of this. A comfortable space is achievable for everyone, and you don’t have to be a designer to achieve it. Sometimes all we need is a little organization help and a fresh perspective. If you think this post helps you move a little closer towards having a bedroom sanctuary, let me know in the comments below or anywhere else you can find me (phone, IG, facebook, Home Goods, etc.) Thanks for reading.

From my home to yours,

Mary Allison