Now that we've all had a taste of some cooler temperatures, even if just in the overnight hours recently, it's probably not a bad idea to do some leg-work in advance of fall and winter actually setting in, so that we're not caught with our pants down, so to speak. I think we can all agree that this year has just been THE WORST!

I don't know about you, but I'm getting a jump on my preparations for colder weather, just in case, because we just don't know what's around the bend these days. And it's better to be safe than sorry at this point. No one wants to mess around with winter in Maine.

So, here's a list of 10 things you should probably start to think about taking care of, before the leaves start to change color! And some of them are pretty simple...

1.) Check and clean your gutters. With all the rain and wind we've seen this summer, it's likely there's some gunk in your gutters. Put in an afternoon of cleaning those suckers out, and it could prevent ice build-ups and possible leaks when the weather starts to freeze.

KaraGrubis

2.) Clean and check your windows. Cleaning your windows now, while it's still warm during the day and it won't bother anyone to have them open for a little bit, will give you a good jump on letting a little more light into your home during the winter months. Letting the sun do some of the work when it's cold is never a bad idea. If your windows are clean, they'll let more light in....so spend a day doing that chore now, and reap the benefits later. And while you're cleaning them, check for spots where the seals may have worn down. If you can fix a drafty window now, it will help keep you warm in the long run this winter.

Ryan McVay

3.) Check your thermostat and see if the furnace comes on. If you're like me, you probably haven't had to change the setting on your thermostat in at least a couple of months. Better to make sure it's still working, and connected as it should be. A summer set to 50 isn't that bad. But when it's below freezing outside, you're going to want that dial to move smoothly, and do it's job!

JerryB7

4.) For that matter, it's a really good idea to have your furnace serviced and cleaned before the winter heating season comes. The technicians that do this type of work tend to get really busy, really quickly during the winter months, so an ounce of prevention before it gets too cold could really save your rear-end in the long run.

Jupiter images - Thinkstock

5.) And while you're thinking about heat, it's a good idea, while the prices are still fairly reasonable, to fill the oil or propane tank or stock up on firewood now. Especially this year...with things as uncertain as they've been...if you can take care to prepare for the cold, at least maybe you can check that off your list of 2020 stuff to worry about?!

Iakov Filimonov

6.) Get your chimney cleaned, and prep your wood stove and fire place. If you have either in your home, chances are you may have lit that last fire of the season in February, and walked away from it, forgetting that there's a bunch of ash and soot waiting for you now. Don't let that be what you find when you open that puppy back up for this season. Tackle it now. And when that's clean, call a pro to take a quick peak down your chimney to make sure there's been no damage these past few month. It would suck to light the first cozy fire of the year, only to find out you just torched a family of squirrels in the process.

7.) No one likes to look for stuff they need in the cold, so before the snow flies is a great time to pull out those hats, mittens and winter wear and give them a good wash before you'll need to be wearing them on a daily basis.

Sarah Bossert

8.) Locate things like shovels and ice melt, and move them to a more accessible spot.   Save yourself the headache of being caught off-guard by a moody Mother Nature, who's apt, at this point, to throw snow our way tomorrow. This is 2020, after all. All bets are off!

DenisePohl

9.) Changing the oil and getting your snowblower tuned up would be wise, as well. You may not need to use it right away, but you'll rest easier knowing its there and ready to go, when you do need it.

bvb1981

10.) Check your house for leaks, and then fix them. It's not just windows that can cause you to loose heat in the winter months. Getting an energy audit done now can give you an idea of where you might need to plug some holes with insulation or foam. That will save you some money and the hassle of feeling chilly when those temperatures drop.

Olgasun

There are plenty of resources out there that can give you an idea of where to investigate for drafts and such, and plenty of companies locally who specialize in this stuff.

There are some good tips and resources here, too.

Good luck.