With temperatures falling, fuel costs increasing and wages pretty stagnant, now is the perfect time to give your home a little TLC to ensure it is in tip-top shape when winter arrives, meaning you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the cosy haven you’ve created.

Before You Get Started

  • Walk around your whole home with a fresh pair of eyes to identify where you can save space for those autumn/winter essentials, as well as identify what can be put away until next spring.
  • Give every room an autumn clean, from ceiling to floor, to ensure your house is stylish AND clean until the chaos of Christmas is upon us.
  • Pay close attention to the rooms that took a lot of traffic in the summer – does the paint on door frames need touching up, does your carpet need a good clean, does the floor need a good polish? Restoring rooms to their pre-summer glory allows you to start your autumn transformation with a perfect canvas.
  • Get your boiler/central heating system checked out – it’s cheaper to pay to have it inspected for any problems before one arises; a burst pipe or broken down boiler can cost hundreds of pounds to fix, and you’ll be without heating and hot water until the problem can be solved.
  • Store the emergency numbers of friends/family and energy providers in a safe place, such as on the fridge or notice board – hopefully you won’t need them but if you do, you’ll be grateful you have them easily to hand in an emergency.

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Around Your Home

  • Cosy up your key rooms, such as bedrooms, living rooms and dining room, by adding sumptuous throws, cosy hot-water bottles and add a faux-fur cushion or two to your sofa to create a winter wonderland.
  • Put away summer jackets and fetch warm coats and scarves out of the cupboards, swap flip flops and sandals for wellies and boots, and check your front door for draughts and invest in a draught excluder.
  • Stock up on kindling for your fire or wood burner – make a feature out of empty fireplaces by filling them with logs, put a textured rug in front of your sofa for extra warmth, especially if you have wooden floors, and use a coordinating bowl to store autumnal finds, such as conkers and pine cones, from walks with your children.
  • If your windows are draughty and old but you can’t afford to replace them, upgrade your curtain lining to a fleece weight or fit a thermal roller blind.
  • Many of us suffer with restless nights due to temperature, which is why it’s vital to get the right tog duvet – seven to 10.5 is ideal for spring and autumn, but as the nights get colder, anything up to 13.5 tog will keep you cosy and warm.
  • Start a rainy day cupboard, full of rainy-day games, colouring books, and drawing paper to entertain your kids when they can’t venture outside.

Outside

  • Clean out gutters, remembering to use a hose to spray water down the downspouts to clear away debris – if your home is particularly surrounded by trees, consider having leaf guards installed
  • Spend an afternoon in the garden planting spring flowering bulbs – the arrival of spring and the splash of colour these bulbs will bring is sure to pick you up out of your winter sadness
  • Wash windows inside and out – this will make the job much easier come spring if you’ve only got to wash away six months of scum, rather than a year’s worth of build up
  • Pack away all tools and garden furniture
  • If you’ve not already got one, invest in a door matt to wipe your feet on in order to keep as much of the world outside rather than in your home
  • Don’t neglect the outside of your house come Halloween and Christmas; carve pumpkins and put lit ornaments in your windows
  • Door wreaths aren’t just for Christmas; to keep your home looking welcoming as the weather takes a turn for the worse, get an autumnal wreath made of twigs and autumn berries.

This may seem like a lot of work but by spending a little time now getting organised and ready, you can sit back and relax with a hot cuppa and a good book once winter arrives.