When the cold weather sets in there are a number of household tasks you should get into the habit of to prepare yourself and your home to withstand the next few months of wintry weather.
Here are five jobs to add to your to-do list for a healthier, tidier and cosier home this winter.
- Neaten up the garden.
In chilly weather it can be easy to lack the motivation to do outdoor chores and, as a result, the garden can be left to run wild. Winter is actually a great time to work on a lot of different gardening tasks. So layer up and try to keep weeds at bay, aerate the lawn with a garden fork (to allow moisture into the soil), prune back roses and deciduous trees, and remove any invasive plants or potentially dangerous tree branches.
The winter months are also a good time to enlist the help of garden professionals to boost your garden’s appeal and value. By adding upgrades such as decking, a pergola or an outdoor room, you will be preparing for the summer months ahead, and also take advantage of professionals’ increased availability.
- Clear out gutters and drains.
When heavy rain storms hit you want to avoid flooding and water damage to your home that can result from blocked gutters and drains. Clean out gutters, down pipes and drains and rake up leaves and bark to avoid further blockages, adding them to your compost pile or green waste bin as you go.
Before adding leaves to your compost pile rip them up or shred them with your lawn mower to speed up the decomposition process. The leafy compost you’re left with makes for a great nutritious mulch for the garden beds come spring.
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- Heater maintenance.
If you use an open fireplace don’t forget to clean out the fireplace before its first use, ensure the flue opens and closes properly for ventilation and have the chimney swept by a certified chimney sweep if needed, to rid the chimney of any hazardous residue from past fires.
With gas heaters, it’s important to have them serviced every one to two years and checked for gas and carbon monoxide leaks, faults and dust build up in filters. Having regular maintenance checks will give you piece of mind that you’re heating your home as safely and efficiently as possible.
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- Fire safety check.
With the increased use of heaters, dryers, fireplaces and electric blankets in the winter time, the rate of electrical and unwanted household fires also increases (RACV). For you and your family’s safety, it’s so important to check that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are operational. It’s best to change the batteries in all your detectors once a year and update the unit itself every five years or so.
- Banish nasty bugs.
Unfortunately, winter and cold and flu season go hand in hand. Good hygiene is the best defence against nasty viruses every flu season. So, when winter rolls around it’s a great idea to be extra cautious and regularly clean surfaces in your household that you and others frequently come into contact with that can harbour and spread nasty germs.
Wipe down your mouse, phone, tablet, laptop and door handles with an anti-bacterial alcohol wipe or a lint-free cloth and detergent. It’s always a good idea to keep a hand sanitizer within easy reach at home and when your out and about.
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By carrying out these tasks your household will continue to run efficiently, healthily and smoothly all winter long. All that’s left to do is put up your Ugg boot clad feet, snuggle up to a hot water bottle and roast some marshmallows in front of an open fireplace, at a safe distance of course!
Larissa Gardner is a blogger, social media strategist and marketing coordinator at arguably Australia’s best looking real estate website Homely.com.au. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.