Prepare Your Home for Autumn
Autumn brings the change in the weather: on a good day this can mean clear skies and crisp, fresh sunny days. Unfortunately in Scotland, we also see lots of rain, damp and cold! Whatever the weather, getting your home ready for autumn and the drop in temperature requires a bit of forethought, organisation and planning. Here are some jobs you can do now to prepare your home for the autumn months.
Since lockdown we have all spent much more time at home. In particular, our gardens have been a place of importance as it has been the only place we could socialise with friends and family. For those without a garden, an increasing number have decided to either buy their first home or move up the property ladder causing the highest level of demand we have ever seen.
For those who already have a garden, if you have used it a lot this summer, packing up and storing patio furniture and garden tools can seem like a chore, but it is essential to protect items from the harsher autumn and winter weather, especially when it comes to wooden items. Sweeping and cleaning any decking – a constant job to keep on top of whilst the autumn leaves gather (a slippery safety hazard!) – is a good task for those dry weekends. You can also weather protect decking by giving an extra coat of paint. Check if any paths and paving need repaired too. It’s a good time to cut the grass one last time before it becomes too wet and cold. Evergreen plants and trees are about the only thing that will last through the winter, so planting a few of these in autumn will help to keep your garden attractive and interesting. Hanging some bird feeders will also help to keep the garden birds happy when nature offers slim pickings in winter.
There are plenty of less glamorous jobs and property maintenance efforts to get in order before the winter sets in, such as replacing any damaged facings or soffits, replacing or clearing out gutters, getting your roof checked for damages and potential leaks and ensuring seals on windows and doors are in good condition. The aim is to ensure your home will be as air and water tight and therefore as energy efficient as possible during the winter, with the usual high household energy use. Do you have enough exterior lighting and is it in working order for coming home during the darker nights? A good clear out of the garage will also help make room for storing garden tools and furniture, as well as any cars you want to protect from frost and snow in the winter months.
Autumn may be a good time to organise a boiler service if yours is due one – better to identify any problems now before the winter chill sets in. How is your loft looking and could you install more insulation? Hallways and vestibules may need reorganised to accommodate for bulkier autumn and winter outerwear, boots and umbrellas. Storing away what you don’t need and using things like hooks, coat and shoe racks and umbrella stands will help to keep everything tidy and the hallway from becoming wet and trailed with mud! If you have a fire or wood burning stove, it’s time to clean it out and stock up on fuel to burn again.
Similarly, summer clothing can be stored away in bedrooms and your autumn and winter woollies brought back within easy reach, helping to keep drawers and wardrobes less cluttered and more organised. The cooler night times might mean bringing the heavy tog winter duvet back out too, as well as any extra bed throws or blankets.
With an increasing chill in the air, autumn is all about making your home cosy again and preparing to spend more time indoors. Collecting a few candles to place around a living room can really help to heat up a space as well as creating a cosy atmosphere. You may have extra throws and blankets to bring back out for snuggling under too. To reflect the changing colours outside, you may think about introducing reds, oranges and golds in to your home interiors – think bowls of seasonal fruits and autumnal flower bouquets. Festivals like Halloween bring their own home décor ideas too, such as carved gourds and pumpkins.
Having a think about what needs done for your individual home and following some of the steps above will help to keep your property in tip top condition during the autumn and throughout winter too.