Ahead of the autumn and winter time, there are many steps you may want to take to best prepare your home for these times of the year. Let’s explore 7 specific tips!
1. Declutter Your Home
After perhaps a busy summer, you may want to spend time decluttering your home. Entering the autumn or winter can act as great times to clean and reorganise your home, while perhaps introducing new items to fit the season.
When it comes to decluttering your home, you need a plan. You’ll probably want to set aside two days (presumably the weekend – but any set of two days would suffice) or more to declutter your place.
Here are some ideas for decluttering effectively (including key safety notes):
- Set aside 2+ days or spread out the work over an extended timeframe (e.g. some cleaning for a few hours one Saturday and a few hours more the following Saturday)
- Make a rough schedule for any given day of decluttering. You’ll want to limit your efforts to 8 hours a day and include two breaks of around 30-60 minutes each. Essentially, treat it like a work day.
- Also, during your breaks be sure to eat plenty to keep your energy levels up while remaining hydrated throughout the day and not just during your breaks.
- For cleaning your spaces, have several bin liners with some way of colour coding them and labeling them. You might want to have one bin liner for items you wish to keep in the attic, another for items you want to recycle and one more for items you want to donate to charity. Just be sure to very clearly label these bin liners and double and triple check they are correct before say putting a bin liner in your recycling bin.
- Not all items need to go in bin liners, of course. Sometimes you’ll just need to put items away or move them or rearrange them in some form or another.
- Do not overwork and do not be disappointed if you need to spend an extra day or two decluttering as the process can often take longer than expected. Be good to yourself.
2. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Note: If ever in doubt in how to use and treat (i.e. test, replace batteries, replace units, etc.) your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, check the manufacturers’ manuals or simply consult with a professional.
Frequently testing your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors is essential to keep you and everyone in your home safe.
If you haven’t tested smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms recently, be sure to test them very soon. In fact, you should test your smoke alarms at least once more (weekly is ideal). The same applies to carbon monoxide alarms. Test your carbon monoxide detectors monthly or even weekly.
Testing them ahead of the autumn or winter is a great idea but then you should stick to the habit of testing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms weekly or monthly at a bare minimum from thereon for the rest of your life, and therefore greatly protecting it in the process.
Other notes worth considering include:
- Replace smoke alarm batteries every six months or whenever needed*
- Replace carbon monoxide batteries every 2-3 years or whenever needed*
- Replace your smoke alarms every 5-10 years or sooner if necessary
- Replace your carbon monoxide alarms every 5-7 years or sooner if required
*Some smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors may allow you to replace batteries less often if they have high-quality or/and sealed batteries. See the manufacturer’s instructions for advice and regardless, you should still replace batteries or the entire unit sooner if needed.
3. Improve Your Heating System’s Efficiency
There are many ways to up the energy efficiency of your home’s heating system. This includes having your boiler serviced annually. Of course, an annual boiler servicing is important primarily for safety reasons to ensure your boiler and heating system is working properly and safely.
One way or another, make sure to have your boiler serviced each year. It is not required legally in most cases, but it’s highly advised.
Beyond that, other measures to enhance your heating system’s energy efficiency include:
- Bleeding your radiators *
- Hiring a professional to power flush your heating system (this cannot be done DIY)
- Installing a British Standard jacket to your hot water cylinder
- Fitting thermal curtains to help keep the heat in
- Moving furniture away from radiators to allow your radiators to heat rooms properly
*This can be done DIY per the manufacturer’s instructions or, if in doubt, by hiring a heating engineer.
4. Spook the Halls and Deck the Halls
Note: Whether it be decorating your hallway (or any space in your home for that matter) ahead of Halloween or Christmas, just be sure to take all safety measures into account (e.g. not having decorations too close to lights).
You’ll also want to spend time turning your hallway into Halloween central and then festive/Christmas central at the right times of year.
This can mean adding decorations and ornaments to mark Halloween in October (e.g. fake cobwebs, skeletons (not actual skeletons), floating ghosts, and Halloween door cover) are great ways of introducing spooky vibes to your hallway.
Okay, November 1st, time for Christmas decorations? Maybe. Or perhaps you’d rather wait till Mariah has taken over your local shopping center from December 1st. Whatever, the case there are many ways to deck the halls ahead of Christmas 2023.
Some top-notch Christmas decoration ideas to look into include in your hallway this winter season include a wreath on the door, stockings, Christmas tree in the hallway, festive artwork, and, of course, suitably placed Holly.
5. Clean Your Gutters
The autumn time brings with it plenty of falling foliage. Therefore, the mid to late autumn can be a great time to clean your gutters.
To clean your gutters, the following steps should suffice: *
- Set up a ladder. Ensure a second person is there to hold it from the bottom as you ascend and the entire time you are using the ladder until you are at the final rungs upon descending back to the ground.
- While using the ladder, you could scoop up debris with a small spade and put it into a plastic bag. Once the bag is full, carefully descend the ladder and place the bag on the ground. You may need to go back up the ladder with a second bag and repeat the process. If doing so, again don’t forget to have a second person to hold the ladder from the bottom.
- You may also want to use a garden hose to wash away remaining debris. However, it’s essential to make sure the garden hose is not at a high enough power as to cause damage to the guttering. If in doubt, check with the manufacturer of the guttering for advice or hire a professional if still unsure in any way whatsoever.
*If working at four feet above a lower level, scaffolding would be required. If this is the case, you’ll need to hire a professional to set up the scaffolding and perform the work.
It’s also worth noting that your guttering may need repairing/replacing. Hiring a professional to repair guttering or/and replace guttering may cost somewhere between £60 and £200.
6. Add New Scents to Your Home
You may also want to introduce fresh scents to your home entering autumn or the winter time such as that of baked apples, warm cinnamon and pumpkin spice for the autumn. As for the winter, you may want to consider scents like vanilla, gingerbread, cedarwood, pine or orange spice.
Regardless of the season, introducing fresh and exciting scents can be achieved with diffusers, room sprays and candles. Just be sure to put the candles out before hitting the hay.
7. Put Away Garden Furniture
With harsher weather conditions arriving, you’ll also want to put away garden furniture to prevent them being damaged (or carried away entirely!) on especially stormy and wintry days. Even just the cold weather can do them harm.