Now's the time to tackle those little (but important) home chores you've been procrastinating.

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End of Daylight Saving Time 2020, clock with leaves
Credit: Getty Images

You know all of those little home maintenance tasks we tend to forget about or put off doing? Yes, including flipping mattresses and checking the smoke detectors. The start and end of Daylight Saving Time is our twice-yearly reminder to tackle that to-do list. As we prepare for the end of Daylight Saving Time 2020—when the clocks fall back an hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 1, 2020 (turn them back to 1 a.m.)—we're also drafting up our list of chores to tackle with the extra time we'll gain. While these little chores aren't exactly fun, most of them only take about 15 minutes, and they promise to make your home safer and help your belongings last longer. Plus, just think, once you finish the to-dos below, you won't have to worry about them for another six months.

Want another idea for what to do with your extra hour? Check Out the Ultimate One-Hour Speed Cleaning Routines.

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Check Your Fire Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Take 10 minutes and test the fire and carbon monoxide detectors around your home, replacing the batteries as needed. To make the task easier, prep by getting the step stools or ladders you'll need, and consider grabbing a set of headphones in case you accidentally trigger the alarm in the process.

Flip Your Mattress

You've probably heard before that the start and end of Daylight Saving Time is the time to flip or rotate your mattress. While some consider this advice outdated, depending upon the type of mattress you own, it's still a good way to extend its life. If you have a newer mattress made with memory foam, it may not need a full flip, but you can give it a 180-degree rotation. If you have a classic spring mattress, consider sticking with the full flip-and-rotate so that all sides of the mattress wear evenly.

While you're at it, go ahead and clean your mattress.

Clean Your Coffee Machine

If you have a Keurig, follow our Keurig cleaning guide. And for a traditional drip coffee maker, watch this step-by-step video. With more sunlight in the morning and better-tasting coffee, your morning routine is about to improve. 

Clean Your Furnace Filters (and AC Vents, Too)

As your home switches from blasting the AC to cranking up the thermostat, now's a great time to check on both your air conditioner and your furnace. After cleaning the furnace filter, follow our tips for dusting the heating vents and radiators.

Typically, it's best to check your air conditioner in the spring before the hot weather starts, but if you haven't inspected yours in a while, follow our air conditioner maintenance tips so the unit will be ready to go in the spring.

Clean Out the Dryer Vent

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 2,900 clothes dryer fires are reported each year, with more of these fires occurring in the fall and winter months, and peaking in January. To prevent a fire, clean out your dryer vent ductwork this weekend, then be sure to clean out the lint filter every time you use the dryer.

Take Stock of Your Medicine Cabinet

Typically, this is the time of year when we recommend getting ready for cold and flu season. During the pandemic, you may have already decluttered your medicine cabinet and stocked up on cold meds—but if you haven't or if it needs a refresh, take the time to tackle it now. Toss out (safely, of course) any meds that are expired. Then, stock up on the basics, as well as tissues and vapor rub.

This year in particular, check if your local drugstore or health clinic is offering flu shots (they're often free or available for a small fee). 

Clean the Gutters

Once the leaves have fallen off the trees but before it gets too cold outside is the ideal time to clean out the gutters. In the months ahead, icicles serve as the telltale sign that the gutters haven't been cleaned, and while icicles may look cute, those clogged gutters could cause water to pool, potentially damaging the foundation of your home. If you don't want to do the dirty work yourself, here's everything you need to know before you hire a pro.