Autumn Spring Clean – Where do I start? – By Penny Lynch

We’ve all heard of spring cleaning, but did you know that getting your home ready for winter is just as important.

It’s the last time you’ll be able to hang the duvets and pillows outside to air. Take the opportunity to change the bedding and as it’s bedding free, give your mattress a good vacuum and turn it over.

If you’re going to be using your tumble dryer more, during the winter months, then it’s time to clean the lint filter, empty or replace the dryer hose, and regularly check the vent and exhaust.

Make sure door mats are in place for the inevitable mud!

Give windows a good clean inside and out, and be sure to clean out the locking mechanism. It always amazes me how much muck finds its way into those nooks and crannies. While you’re there, fill in any gaps around doors and windows to stop the winter draught coming in.

Pack your summer wardrobe away into the loft if you have the space. Instantly decluttering your wardrobe and drawers. It’ll mean you’ve got room for your winter jumpers without having to hunt through the shorts and flip-flops first.

If you have an open fire or a log burner, make an appointment for the chimney sweep to come. And if you’ve got a log burner, clean the glass door and rub-down and paint any rust spots that have appeared.

Start up the central heating to make sure it’s working properly. Bleed the radiators, so they are working efficiently, and if there’s a fault, get the professionals in to service the boiler. Nobody wants a cold shower on a chilly morning!

Test smoke alarms and replace batteries as required.

Tidy away garden equipment that won’t be used until next spring. Give the BBQ, table and chairs a wash down before storing.

Drain your garden hose and disconnect for storage. Turn off its tap, from indoors, and leave open your outside taps, so it won’t freeze during the winter, that could cause a pipe to burst.

Before the heating comes on and stirs up all the dust, wipe down those forgotten crevices. These can harbour dust and allergens, aggravating your airways. So light fittings, behind the radiators and the tops of wardrobes will all need a good dust. Use a high quality microfibre cloth to attract and keep hold of dust, not to mention the handful of dead bugs that have accumulated during the summer months!

While it’s still warm enough to go outside it’s a good time to give your vacuum cleaner a clean. It sounds silly but is very necessary. Empty or replace the bag and give the container a clean. Put in a new filter, or clean it, depending on brand. Check the roller brush for long threads and other debris. This will all help to prolong it’s life, not to mention make it more effective. And it goes without saying, always unplug the appliance first.

Once your vacuum is working effectively, use it to clean your whole house, top to bottom. Leave no sofa cushion unturned! You want to pick up as much debris as possible. Higher indoor temperatures can turn carpets into “mini tropical rainforests” where bacteria and moulds can flourish. With this in mind, also be sure to ventilate your home regularly to avoid humidity building up.

Happy cleaning!

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