Can you believe it is Autumn already! Anther summer done & dusted. Here are some great ideas to keep your house clean and ready for the cooler months.
10 Key Household Jobs to Do in March
We all know how easy it is to get in a bit of a state after the hectic couple of months that kick off each new year. The to-do lists keep piling up, kids’ school books need covering and the house needs ‘putting back together’ after the long summer break. Now that the first full month of school is done and dusted, take some time to get organised and undertake some key tasks around the house. Trust me, it’ll make everyone’s life a little bit easier.
1. Clean fans and filters
This must be one of the most overlooked jobs in the house, yet it’s also one of the most important. Kitchen exhaust fans, for example, draw up a tonne of airborne grease and muck that lingers on the blades, vents and filters. If you don’t clean them regularly, they will lose their effectiveness.
Most filters will just pop out from the underside of the range hood. Submerge them in a sink filled with boiling water, 1/4 cup of bicarb soda and a good de-greasing dish soap. Let the filters soak for about 10 minutes, or until the water is cool enough to put your hand in. Give the filters a good scrub with a non-abrasive brush, then rinse and leave to dry.
Tip: Once you’ve done the deep clean, try washing the filters in the dishwasher once a month as ongoing maintenance.
2. Prepare cookware and meals
Rearrange your kitchen storage or pantry so that your casserole dishes and deeper pots are easily accessible. With the change in seasons and the cooler evenings, the summer grills and salads start to transition into heartier food more easily pre-prepared. Slow cook some meals and soups and freeze them for those evenings when you have many hungry mouths to feed, but not quite enough time or energy to start from scratch.
Extend the summer vibe by buying and hulling berries, peeling and chopping mangoes and other stone fruit and piling the lot into zip lock bags. Throw them in the freezer and use them for smoothies throughout autumn and winter.
3. Track your family
If you haven’t already done so, it’s not too late to install a whiteboard or chalkboard in a high-traffic area of your home, so you can be across everything now that the school and work year is well underway. Use this as your visual cue for what needs to happen each day. It doesn’t have to be too detailed, but everyone needs to be able to see it and access it.
4. Organise the study zone
Even teenagers need help at times, so if the study area is in close proximity to the living space, you can keep an eye on them and interact if required.
Wherever the space might be, make sure it’s a dedicated zone that doesn’t require set-up each time. Organise the space with filing trays for each subject and load up jars with pens and pencils. This concealed space is just the ticket for keeping the chaos behind closed doors.
5. Sort out storage
Chests of drawers in kids’ rooms must be some kind of sick joke visited upon parents. Instead of trying to convince young ‘uns to actually use them, stick with hanging or boxing up their clothes and assorted debris.
It’s so much easier for kids to reach for something hanging in a cupboard than for them to pull everything out of a drawer in search of a favourite T-shirt or skirt. Hang the school clothes together and for the little ones, hang a full day’s outfit together. Use open boxes or baskets for underwear and socks, and under-bed boxes on rollers for shoes.
6. Freshen the bathroom
Okay, this task is so easy you could do it weekly. Fill a plastic bag with enough white vinegar to completely submerge the showerhead and secure it in place to soak overnight. In the morning rinse the showerhead and it’s done!
For a sparkling glass shower door, make a paste of white vinegar and bicarb soda. Apply it directly to the door and let it sit for an hour before wiping the door down with a wet microfibre cloth. Rinse and buff dry with a fresh, dry cloth.
7. Air out the mattress
While the weather is still warm and the sun shining, take the opportunity to air all your mattresses. Harness the natural sunlight to disinfect and eliminate lingering odours.
TO DO WEEKLY: When you change the bed sheets, run the vacuum over the bare mattress and leave the bed uncovered for at least an hour. A couple of times a year, sprinkle bicarb soda onto the mattress and allow it to sit for a few hours to draw out odours.
TO DO TWICE A YEAR: Move the mattress to a dry, sunny spot, preferably outdoors, and leave it there for three to four hours. If you can’t move the mattress outdoors, open all the windows on a dry, breezy day and let nature do its job. When you move the mattress back, rotate and flip it.
8. Seal up cracks and leaks
Now is the time to inspect and repair draughty windows, leaky roofs or anything else that no longer protects you from the elements.
Check your windows for defects, like loose joints, warping or cracked glass. Check the hardware and the sealer for faults and leaks, and make the necessary repairs with caulk or sealant.
If you don’t have window coverings, consider installing layered curtains for insulation and placing draft snakes along the bottom of the doors.
9. Bring plants inside
It’s time to enliven your living spaces by transferring some of your plants inside. Just one plant in each room can clear the air of some toxins emitted from carpet, furniture, paint and even some cosmetics. Palms are natural humidifiers, releasing moisture into the room, perfect for the coming colder months. Style plants up by mixing a variety of foliage textures, using pots of the same colour.
10. Let it flow
Falling leaves in autumn can lead to blocked gutters. Avoid having to climb a ladder in the colder months by regularly clearing your gutters of debris before winter sets in.
Clear gutters channel water away from your home and deposit it far from the foundations. Neglecting this task can result in damage both inside and out by allowing water into your home’s walls. It’s not a glamorous job, but it is one of the more important ones.
Need help with the above? Contact us on 4959 6577 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can put you on to some local tradesmen who can help you out!