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Back to standard time: Use the extra hour for fall tasks

The clock is your reminder: As standard time resumes, it's time to line up semiannual tasks

Sometime late in the day on Nov. 1 or upon waking on Nov. 2, you'll turn the clocks back an hour to resume your life in Pacific standard time. You may fantasize about that extra 60 minutes of downtime, but it's also an opportunity to conquer semiannual home chores and maintenance.

What? You were thinking sleep?

You'll reset your clocks and perhaps remember to change the batteries in the smoke detectors, but there are a number of other tasks that might be on your to-do list, and now is as good a time as ever to make them part of a semiannual routine.

"I'm not suggesting you do all of this in one day, but you can pick a few [tasks] to make your extra hour work for you," says Los Angeles professional organizer Nonnahs Driskill.

Ready?

"Flip your mattress," Driskill advises. "While you have the bed apart … vacuum all around it. Get the nooks and crannies you never get to."

The organizer believes it's also a great time to assess your wardrobe, especially in Southern California. "The change of seasons happens right around the time changes. See if there are some seasonal items you didn't wear at all this year that you can donate."

Los Angeles-based professional organizer Deron Bos suggests PST is a great time for changing online security passwords.

Home inspector George Baral suggests homeowners head outside for a DIY inspection of the exterior. "Clean the rain gutters and check the downspouts to make sure they're not clogged," he says. In addition, you might want to inspect the pipes that drain from the house or yard to curbside. "Sometimes they get clogged from leaf blowers." Someday it will rain again in California.

Also on Baral's checklist: Test all the water valves (rotating them helps prevent them from getting stuck); exercise the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) buttons on electrical outlets (turn them off and on); make sure exterior lights work; and look to see if foliage needs to be trimmed away from the roof.

Other good habits?

Dispose of expired prescriptions.

Refresh emergency supply kits — or make one. Consult http://www.ready.gov for lists.

Change water filters on the refrigerator if necessary.

Change air/heating filters.

Drain water heater, inspect flue.

Have your furnace inspected.

Check/clean outdoor lights.

Have your chimney inspected.

Have the roof inspected.

home@latimes.com

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