The dog days of summer are a great time for getting off. Before leaving on this vacation, have a look at our list and think about tackling some of the tasks — reduce that water bill, keep pets healthy and cool, and creep up your home’s security features — before you go. With fall around the corner, it may feel good to get a head start on preparing and organizing for another season. Listed below are nine to-dos you might want to add to your list.

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1. Boost home security. With all these people going on holidays in August, it’s unfortunately a frequent time for dwelling break-ins to happen. Make sure your home is protected with the addition of deadbolt locks, trimming bushes near windows and doors, and adding motion-sensing lights outside back and side doors and windows.

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2. Fix leaks and drips, inside and out. Save your water bill by making sure you are not wasting a drop. We are apt to notice when an indoor tap is leaking, but you might not know about slow drips outside. Take a tour of all outside spigots and outside showers, and fix leaks as necessary.

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3. Keep pets trendy. Clean and sanitize pet spaces indoors, such as food and water dishes and bedding. Provide outdoor pets with plenty of water and shade throughout the day. Keep a look out for ticks, which may be picked up especially easily at this time of year.

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4. Get rid of lurking dirt in the kitchen. You know those tiny cleaning tasks which are so easy to put off indefinitely? Sort of like getting your teeth cleaned, these activities might cause dread but leave you feeling great if they’re done.

A half an hour is all you should probably speed through those less-than-glamorous kitchen cleaning tasks: Wipe out kitchen trash cans and recycling bins using warm water, run a specialized coffeemaker cleaner or white vinegar throughout the coffeemaker (complete by running plain water throughout), and wash down kitchen lighting fixtures and fans.

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5. Weed out old summer toys and equipment. Donate, recycle or throw worn and broken beach toys, umbrellas and the like instead of storing them. Make the most of end-of-season sales to stock up on anything you require, such as fresh beach towels.

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6. Check for dampness in the basement. If you reside in a climate with hot, humid summers, then now is the time you may notice dampness building up in the home. Make sure your dehumidifier is all up to the work and clean it thoroughly to reduce mould and mildew.

7. Replace washer hoses and clean dryer vents. Cracked washer hoses may cause costly leaks — check and replace yours until they become a problem. Clean out drier vents and hoses as well, along with your dryer will operate more efficiently.

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8. Organize clothing closets. As the summer comes to an end, weed out clothing and accessories which you haven’t worn all season and donate them to charity, or drop them off in a consignment shop. Paring back and organizing what is left will make room for new fall buys.

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9. Get a start on back-to-school prep. Whether or not you or your kids are in college, there’s something about the time of year which inspires a bit of stocking up and sorting out.

Make the most of the inclination and spend a morning reorganizing your fall zone from the doorway, the desk and anyplace else newspaper clutter tends to pile up. Treat yourself to some brand new message board, baskets or hooks.

Tell us : What is on your home to-do list?

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