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Tradition is that when it comes to giving our home a good ‘spruce up’, we do it as the months begin to warm us from our winter hibernation. And while some theories relate it to particular religious holidays (such as the Jewish holiday of Passover, or the Catholic ritual of cleaning the church on Maundy Thursday, before Good Friday), others simply say it’s because most homes used to be heated by open fireplaces, so it made sense to clean up all the dirt, soot and ash once the fire was no longer needed for the year.
But whatever the reason, there is actually a good reason to get a head start on your spring cleaning by doing it in a different season altogether – autumn! Why? Because there are actually some important things we need to do in order to ‘winter proof’ our homes. Plus, if all the hard work is done early, that means we can put up our feet and relax when the weather outside is less than appealing.
And to help you out, here’s our top autumn cleaning tips to get underway before the 1st of June rolls around.
1. Prevent pests arriving in the cold
We’re not the only ones who like to stay indoors when the temperature drops – all sorts of pests do too! So to make sure they know they are not welcome by cleaning up around your garden and throwing away rubbish, weed and remove building materials (which can provide nice little homes for rodents). Got a wood pile? Keep it away from the side of the house and get yourself a rubbish bin that seals tight to keep unwanted visitors away.
2. Clear the gutters
The last thing you want during a heavy downpour or winter storm is an overflowing gutter, so make sure you get someone in to clean out leaves, debris and mould. Blocked downpipes can also cause water to leak into your home.
3. Clean your windows
The sun isn’t around so much in the winter, but when it is, we want to make the most of its warmth! So get your windows clean to ensure you can capture every last ray, without dirt and grime getting in the way.
4. Refresh your heating source
Whether you have a heat pump or fireplace for warmth in winter, it’s important to give it a thorough clean before it gets back into action. Get that chimney checked and book someone to give the heat pump a once over (to inspect the filters, gas levels, ducts and coils). Having it refreshed gives it the best chance of doing what it’s supposed to, when you need it most. And don’t forget to test the smoke alarms too!
5. Wash the bedding
We all spend a lot more time in bed during winter, or on the couch with a blanket for warmth. And giving all your bedding and covers a wash before the cold arrives is a delightful way to really maximise that cosy feeling (especially if they have been stored away in summer).
Turning the mattress is also a good idea at this time of the year.
6. Vacuum and dust
The doors and windows spend a lot more time closed when it’s chilly, meaning clean air indoors is more essential than ever. So vacuum and dust behind all that furniture that hardly ever gets moved (especially the bed and side tables), to remove dust, dirt and allergens that you’d otherwise be breathing in all winter long.
7. Store and reorganise
Declutter your home by putting away all your summer things. Cover up or store the patio furniture so it doesn’t get ruined by winter weather, and reorganise your wardrobe so your clothes for warmer weather are kept out of the way till they are needed again. There’s no point in having to wade through t-shirts and shorts when you’re trying to find jackets and pants!
8. Freshen up the fridge, freezer & pantry
We tend to ‘eat in’ more in winter, so make room for all those homemade soups and bread by clearing out expired food, herbs and spices. And any food that is still good, but not to your liking, could be donated to a local food bank.
Other little jobs to take care of around the home this autumn:
- Deep clean the microwave
- Dust the venetian blinds (tip: use an odd sock on your hand to wipe them clean)
- Hot cycle the washing machine
- Descale the dishwasher
- Give the oven a once-over
- Wipe down ceiling fans
- Soak your chopping boards
- Degrease range hood filters
If external house maintenance is becoming a stressful part of each season, a retirement village may be a good option. At Greenview Park Village, we take all external maintenance off your hands so you can enjoy the changing seasons stress-free. If this sounds like a good option for you, we would love to get in touch.