10 Things To Do Right Now to Prepare for Fall

Usher in a new season with this handy to-do list. 

The first step on your fall to-do list: Clean up some leaves. 

Jeffrey Schwartz / Shutterstock

As the weather cools, fall for free museums, winning Halloween costumes, and clever car names. But first, clear some leaves.

Clean Your Gutters

Admire the color-changing autumn leaves for a few days, then get to work. Stay ahead of blockage— and subsequent flooding—by clearing gutter debris at least twice a year: once in fall and once before the rains begin in spring. Need help? Learn about AAA House Manager services at

AAA House Manager services are currently offered in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in California. 

Expand Your Mind

Sept. 21 is Smithsonian magazine's Museum Day, which means free admission to art and cultural institutions across the country. Reserve tickets to visit participating locations, including the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito, California, and the Tucson Desert Art Museum in Arizona.

Walk Your Dog

Strike that: Have someone else walk her for you! AAA Members receive a $30 credit when they sign up for Rover, a service that will connect you with trusted local pet sitters and dog walkers. Visit

Name Your Car

Herbie, Lightning McQueen, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang… a great vehicle deserves a great moniker. If you haven't yet bestowed one on yours, this is a prime time: Oct. 2 is National Name Your Car Day.

Create Your Disguise

A Halloween costume contest demands a unique getup—but be sure your kid's ensemble is correctly sized, flame resistant, and free of sharp accessories. For more holiday tips, visit

Thank Your Neighbor

National Good Neighbor Day is Sept. 28, but you can observe it anytime. Send around freshly baked cookies to lift neighborhood morale—and you’ll boost your chances of borrowing a power drill or finding a cat sitter when you need one.

Light Your Night

Help keep the kids in your life safe while trick-or-treating this Halloween by adding strips of retroreflective tape to costumes and candy totes. It’s sold at most hardware and office supply stores. Glow necklaces and flashing tags also improve visibility.

Book Your Trip

Now is the time to snag discounted Caribbean cruise tickets. While prices drop during hurricane season, cruise lines pay close attention to weather and safety, so you can relax and enjoy the tropical sunshine.

Change Your Batteries

An easy reminder for twice-annual battery replacement in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Change them with the clocks—this fall on Nov. 3. Don’t forget that hardwired devices have backup batteries, too.

Get Your PSL

Starbucks spent three months testing recipes for the original pumpkin spice latte. Save a trip and a few bucks by making your own version at home.

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