Transitioning the garage to winter duty isn’t a monumental task, even if you let the fall pass you by without dealing with the leftover detritus of summer. So here are a few reminders about what a homeowner can do.

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Unlike most of the year when the garage is your friend — a repository for “stuff,” a place to work on small projects — in the winter months it becomes more utilitarian, mainly just someplace where you warm your car before venturing out.

Transitioning the garage to winter duty isn’t a monumental task, even if you let the fall pass you by without dealing with the leftover detritus of summer. So here are a few reminders about what a homeowner can do.

First, get the trash and clutter out of the way. If you haven’t already, wait for a nonfreezing day and drain hoses, roll them up and put them out of the way. And while you’re at it, move any remaining toys of summer (sports equipment, canoes, bicycles) into the far corners.

Tina Skinner, author of “Big Book of Garages,” points out that the garage door has become the main point of entry for most families.

“You would certainly save energy by opening the front door as opposed to throwing open a large garage door,” she says, “so using an alternative entrance or putting in a small door on the side of the garage is a good idea.”

It’s not too late to call in a professional for a garage-door tuneup. It may be working just fine now, but garage doors are notorious for getting balky when weather is at its worst. A door that won’t open properly renders a garage useless and leaves you parking in the elements; one that won’t close is a security risk and can raise your heating bill.

Skinner says that because the garage is being used for leaving and entering the home, it’s smart to have a clean place where boots, coats, hats and gloves can be piled up and kept neat.

“Consider creating a corner of the garage near the entryway to store extra winter gear for the whole family,” she says.

Your grass-cutting days are over for a while, so make sure you’ve taken care of the lawn mower, draining the gas tank and removing the spark plug, plus whatever the owner’s manual recommends.

Check your supplies of ice-melting material for sidewalks and steps, and birdseed to use over the winter. Supplement if necessary, and make sure you have them in an easy-to-access spot.

If you have a fireplace, don’t let your entire inventory of wood sit outdoors. Stock a supply of firewood in the garage. Your wood is likely to be drier and make a better fire if it’s been sheltered in the garage.