The winter season is on its way and the glorious warm days are slowly fading into the rest of 2020. It’s been a tough year with the pandemic and lockdowns (national and local) and tensions are still feeling sensitive. With winter on its way, you might be dreading the increased chores that come from trying to prevent muddy shoes traipsing across clean carpets and the damp clothes that inevitably wind up forgotten in a bag.
Don’t dread the winter, embrace hot spiced drinks and getting warm on the sofa with a good movie. We’ve got some fantastic time-saving ideas to put in place now that can help reduce your chores during the winter, enabling you to spend more time doing the things you love such as spending time with friends and family or getting active.
Get Your Heating System Checked
Your heating system needs annual maintenance to ensure it runs to peak efficiency and if you haven’t had it checked by a registered gas engineer before the winter kicks in, you could face long waiting periods. Engineers books will currently be starting to fill up with pre-winter bookings so get your slot booked now and save yourself a panic should your heating system decide to cut out during the coldest days. The engineer can also point out any areas that need attention before the temperatures drop – such as external pipes or attic or basement pipes that are at risk of freezing.
Clear The Garden Clutter
During the summer, it’s likely that you spent a large amount of time in your garden and possibly even invested in some quality garden furniture. To ensure your new garden bits last more than just the one summer, it’s time to consider packing it up and storing it safely. The last thing you want is to peek outside and see that your lovely table and chairs have taken off on a windy day. Bring all soft furnishings indoors and move large furniture pieces under shelter or into storage – alternatively, make sure it’s firmly tied down if you have a light-weight furniture piece that could go for a walk when the wind picks up.
If you are worried about the kids remaining active over the winter and keeping safe during the ongoing pandemic, consider swapping your natural turf for artificial grass. This will prevent muddy footprints on clean floors and wet grass staining clothes and furniture. Artificial grass football pitches are popular with parents for these reasons and have the added benefit of requiring much less care and attention. Simply brush your artificial lawn down regularly to remove leaf litter and debris.
Maintain Your Doors and Windows
Have you ever been feeling cosy on the sofa mid-winter and suddenly felt a cold draft through your home? These drafts are often overlooked but can increase your energy bills and make your heating system work harder, reducing its lifespan and efficiency. Rather than simply closing the lounge door and laying a draft-excluder across the threshold, track down the source of the drafts – most likely to be a window or external door. While draft excluders work fine across the front door, you have to remember to replace them every day or each time you leave the house. Alternatively, you can fit a permanent draft protector to the door and a similar draft excluder to your postbox to prevent chilly air making its way indoors via any small gap.
Single pane or old, poorly maintained windows are also terrible for creating drafts and letting your pricey heat escape. If replacing windows isn’t within your budget, consider insulating your windows using a specialist glazing plastic – or cling film if you are confident in creating an airtight seal. This is a really effective short-term method of insulation during the coldest part of winter and will help you save a little more on your energy bills.
Cleaning your windows will help you spot damages that need to be fixed. Before winter sets in, do a general cleaning of your home, including the window interior and exterior. The long list of chores can be daunting, but everything will go faster if everyone in the family works together.
Quality cleaning tools and supplies can also help reduce the time and energy it takes to clean your entire home while providing better results. When you clean your windows and your entire home, you’ll be able to find areas that need repair. It’s best to get them fixed right away, lest winter should make them worse.
There’s already enough to think about this year with managing school for the kids, keeping the family safe and if your employer requires it, coming into the office. If you don’t make it through your chore list this year, don’t beat yourself up, just get the essentials covered and focus on on spending time with the people that mean the most to you.