Fall is officially upon us. And while it’s important to take the time to enjoy the changing leaves, mild temperatures, and all-things-pumpkin-flavored, it’s also important to keep in mind that winter is right around the corner.

Fall is the perfect time to tackle the home maintenance tasks that will protect your home when the temperatures dip into freezing territory. According to a recent article from Realtor.com, there are six maintenance tasks homeowners should plan to tackle in the fall to prepare their homes for the winter, including:

  • Properly store your yard equipment. You won’t be mowing your lawn in the snow—so before it gets too cold, make sure to properly store your lawn equipment for the season.
  • Protect your pipes. Pipes can burst in the freezing winter temperatures—so fall is the perfect time to take steps (like wrapping your pipes in foam insulation and closing foundation vents) to protect your pipes.
  • Clear out your crawl space. If you have a crawl space, now is the time to clear it out—so that if your pipes do happen to burst in the winter, you can access them more easily.
  • Close your vents. Leaving your crawl space vents open during the winter can lead to cold floorboards—which is not exactly a comfortable way to start the day.
  • Start a compost pile. If you’ve been thinking about composting, fall—with all the dead leaves and plants—is the perfect time to start your compost pile.
  • Protect your trees. If you have thin-barked trees, winter temperatures can cause their bark to crack. Take precautionary measures (like wrapping tree trunks in paper tree wrap) to make sure your trees make it to spring.

Bottom line? You want to winter-proof your home before winter actually hits—so tackle these maintenance tasks before fall is over.