1. Preparing for the chill
In many places around the country it’s starting to get chillier and thoughts will turn to digging out the heater or preparing the first fire of the year. For those of us who don’t enjoy eternally warm weather May is a good time to start preparing for the chill so it doesn’t take you by surprise.
The main priority is your lighting and heating. This comes at a cost, even though the most recent Consumer Price Index from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows a decline in electricity prices. By preparing in advance, and following our tips below, you stand a good chance of making the most of your winter expenditures without resorting to wearing a woolly hat indoors!
2. Prioritise the lighting and heating
Make sure your heating is economically viable, if you’re warm and cosy in the first months of winter then get hit with an unmanageable bill the winter will become miserable. The federal government’s YourHome website reports that heating can account for 40 per cent of energy costs, so it’s important to use your heating economically.
To ensure efficiency heat only the rooms you need to heat at the times they need heating. Adjust the temperature in each room so it suits its use, for example if you don’t use the dining room often don’t heat it unless you have to. Use what you need then turn your heating off once the indoor temperature has reached the right level.
Being economic with your lighting is equally important. Using eco-friendly bulbs and making sure everyone turns off lights when they leave a room will save money. You’re likely to put the lights on as soon as the sun goes down, which can seem very early, so make sure you’re only lighting the rooms you need at the times you need to use them.
3. Deep clean the kitchen
May is a good month for cleaning and sorting out the jobs that become more difficult during the winter months. A deep clean of the kitchen will ensure you’ve eradicated any sources of mould or decay and made space in your freezer for winter dishes.
Pull out your fridge and clean both the back of the fridge and the wall behind it. You’ll be amazed at what you might find, possibly even new species!
Empty out any old food or food you’re unlikely to eat, as well as any utensils or crockery you never use. Local homeless shelters, women’s refuges and food banks might be able to put your extras to fantastic use over winter.
4. Go under the covers
Linen and blankets are a key staple during the winter months but they often get stored away during summer. It’s likely that months of being folded up in a dusty cupboard will give your linen musty a smell which can take over the whole house if you’re not careful. Before you use these covers again give them a wash and air them so that they are clean, fresh and hygienic for the oncoming season.
5. Trim the trees
Wild weather can wreak havoc in the winter and it’s important to protect the outside of your house as well as the inside. Most of the leaves will have fallen by now so it’s a good time to tidy your lawn, prune your plants and trim your trees. When tackling your trees remove weaker and rotting branches before these dislodge and find their way to destruction. This also protects the rest of your tree removing any limbs which are rotting or diseased. Get the main garden jobs out of the way before winter hits as they can be much harder to deal with during winter months.
6. Clear the Gutters
It may feel like you’ve just done this job, but with the falling leaves it’s never a bad idea to do it again. Blockages in the gutter can damage your pipes and, if not dealt with properly, cause household leakages. Prevention is definitely better than the cure in this case so get out the ladder and dig out those leaves.