Jobs to do in autumn
The worst of the hot weather is behind us and the worst of the cold is yet to come. There’s no denying that autumn is a fabulous season. The milder weather is also a fabulous chance to prepare for your home, family and self for winter so all you’ll have to do come the middle of the year is snuggle up under your blankies with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book or your favourite movies.
1. Clean fans
If you use pedestal fans during summer, then it’s time to put them into storage. But remember to give them a clean before you put them in a corner of the garage or you’ll find yourself dodging flying fluff balls come spring. Detach the blades and give them a wash in warm soapy water. Run a dry cloth over the rest of the fan before tying a large garbage bag over the motor and blades to keep the dust out.
Ceiling fans gather a lot of dust that tends not to be seen as their whirring around above your head. Unless you plan to run them on reverse cycle to draw cold air up to the ceiling and displace the cold (an excellent strategy by the way) the muck on those blades is going to become embarrassingly obvious. Do NOT spray anything on the blades or you’ll not only risk it getting into the motor, you’ll end up with a greasy mess dripping down to the floor. A moistened cloth with some dishwashing detergent will do the job. If the dust has become too sticky and greasy, try a cloth moistened with some eucalyptus oil.
2. Wash exhaust filters
The filters in the exhaust over the stove are the forgotten heroes of the kitchen. They work hard to remove moisture and smell but are often neglected because we simply don’t see them. Most filters will just pop out from the underside of the range hood. Place them a sink filled with boiling water, 1/4 cup of bicarb soda and a good de-greasing dish soap. Let them soak until the water cools, rinse and leave to dry. YOu can also try popping them into the dishwasher for a really deep clean.
3. Cook ahead
Cold weather means soups, stews and casseroles – and the great thing about these is you can cook them in large batches then freeze them until they’re needed. If you get started now, you’ll have even more time to enjoy cosy winter evenings.
4. Get organised
Speaking of stews, soups etc, you may not need those salad bowls for a few months, but you WILL need your casserole dishes and deep pots. Now is the time to arrange your cookware storage to make sure the things you need for the winter air at the front and easy to reach.
5. Organise the household
A change of season is a great opportunity to change to get more than the pots and pans organised. Now is a great chance to put up a whiteboard or chalkboard in the kitchen you you can keep track on where everyone needs to be, what they need and what needs to be bought at the supermarket and any other jobs.
6. Pull things out of storage
Don’t wait until the first really chilly night to start looking for the blankets and doonas that have been packed away since last year. Get them out of the cupboard, black plastic bag or space bag and give them a good airing on the clothes line while there’s still some warmth in the air. Ditto for the flanalette sheets.
7. Air the mattresses
Speaking of airing bed clothes, the warm (but not baking) days of autumn are an opportunity to air the mattresses too. Not only does sunlight keep the invisible creepy crawlies, lit fights odours too. Strip the bed then move the mattress so that as much sun as possible reaches it through the preferably open window.
8. Seal the cracks
If you have any draughty windows and doors or leaky roofs, now is the time to repair them. Other simple ways to keep the wind from howling through the house is to use draught stoppers (also called door snakes) and hang heavy curtains over the windows.
9. Bring the outdoors in
Once it gets cold, there won’t be a lot of fresh air being allowed into the house. Plants not only create oxygen and remove carbon dioxide, they also have a calming effect.
10. Clear the gutters
Falling autumn leaves may look pretty, until your gutters overflow during a storm. If you keep your gutters clear, water will be able to flow away from the roof more quickly and efficiently. Water that pools near the roof will eventually find it’s way inside the ceiling and wall cavities and will cause a lot of expensive damage in the long run.