10 Key Jobs To Tackle In June
Get your house winter-ready, clutter-free and cosy with these great mini-makeover and maintenance tips
It’s official, winter’s here. Luckily, for the clean and neat freaks among us, more time spent indoors means you can get more indoor household jobs done – some practical, some for style – in preparation for the next few months of winter weather. If you tackle these jobs effectively, your winter household will run more efficiently and comfortably too.
1. Snuggle up in bed
There is nothing more comforting on a cold winter’s night than climbing into a cosy bed. Swap cotton-weave sheets for flannel or jersey, both great seasonal-transition options.
Down-filled quilts and doonas are the warmest available, but if you suffer from allergies or question the ethics of down ‘harvesting’ from ducks and geese, consider a hypo-allergenic alternative such as wool, or a combination of natural and man-made fibres.
Finish off the bed with a quilt cover set and some decorative throw pillows for the ultimate cosy night.
2. Style a vignette
Brighten up a room with a colourful collection. Be bold when styling up your mantlepiece or sideboard; it doesn’t have to just be a spot for vases and candles. Play around with scale. Add a big, bold piece and style around it with smaller, sculptural vignettes in odd numbers. Add some soft backlighting to create a warm and cosy centrepiece.
3. Zhoosh up a corner
Add some greenery to a room by hanging up some new indoor plants. Hang in multiples, preferably odd numbers, and mix up the plant varieties to add some different sculptural elements.
Other ideas include creating a focal point in a neglected space with some trailing vines in interesting pots and hangers, or placing plants on pedestals. Light the plants from underneath to draw the eye towards these natural, sculptural elements.
4. Reconfigure kitchen storage
Create efficient kitchen storage by adding drawer organisers, pot hangers, spice racks, under-shelf baskets and stacking canisters to utilise every bit of your kitchen and pantry space.
Make the most of the space by installing racks or baskets on the insides of cupboards. Attach an office organiser to the inside of a door to store chopping boards. Baskets can also store small kitchen utensils in one place.
5. Deep clean the bathroom
Use tea-tree oil to banish mould from your bathroom. In a spray bottle, mix one teaspoon of tea-tree oil with a cup of water and spray onto mould. The tea-tree oil spray can also be used to disinfect the toilet after scrubbing with bicarbonate of soda.
To unclog a sink, pour a cup each of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar down the drain, followed by boiling water. A diluted vinegar mixture in a spray bottle is also great for cleaning mirrors. Wipe with a microfibre cloth.
Organise your freezer like you’d organise a pantry by corralling smaller items into storage boxes.
6. Flip the switch
In the cooler months, houses are often closed up and heated, resulting in limited circulation. Heat rises and hovers around the ceiling, which often leads to us cranking up the heating to warm ourselves. Instead, maintain a steady heat throughout the room by flicking on the ceiling fan switch – this will help circulate the heat.
All good-quality modern ceiling fans have a ‘winter mode’, reversing the rotation of the blades and drawing the cold air up to mix with the warm air and redistributing it around the room. Not only that, efficient fan use can cut your annual heating costs by up to 10 percent.
7. Correct the humidity
Combat the effect of heated indoor air by installing a humidifier to prevent dry skin and reduce susceptibility to airborne viruses. A humidifier adds moisture to the room or house.
In a child’s room, consider a cool-mist humidifier; these devices use a fan to distribute the moisture. Your indoor plants will also benefit from a humidifier, preventing them from drying out and becoming droopy.
Tip: Be sure to clean the machine and change the filter regularly to guard against mould and mildew.
8. Check your fire safety
All new properties and any undergoing renovation are required, by law, to install mains-powered smoke alarms. All houses must have these alarms installed prior to sale or being marketed for rental. So, if you haven’t installed alarms, now is the perfect time to do so.
Statistically, most house fires occur in the winter months, so it’s important to check, clean and test the alarms on a regular basis. Why not do it now in preparation for winter? Also, check ventilation as it is vital when you have wood-fired or gas heating. If you don’t know how to check for that, call in a professional.
9. Show your laundry some love
The cooler months mean you’re likely to be using the dryer a little more often. Make sure you clean the lint filter regularly, at least weekly. This is an easy but important task for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fire hazard a loaded filter can present. A nice clean filter will make your dryer more efficient and will result in lower power consumption, and therefore lower bills.
Install some indoor hanging space for hanging damp laundry on rainy, cool days. If you’re pressed for laundry space, think about suspending a hanger from the ceiling or keeping a foldable and portable clothes horse handy.
10. Clean the computer
Power down the computers, laptops, notebooks and even smart phones, and unplug any of those that are charging from the wall socket. Using a lint-free cloth, dust down all your computer devices. Follow up with a damp lint-free cloth to clean the lids and bottom panels.
Use a can of compressed air to remove dust and crumbs from any keyboard. You can wipe down keyboards with an isopropyl alcohol wipe to remove oily residue from fingertips. Remove dust from screens with a dry lint-free cloth. Dip another cloth into a weak detergent solution and wring it out before wiping down the displays. Dry with a clean cloth. If your computer devices have any air vents, use compressed air to blow out any dust.
Source: Robin Braithwaite Houzz Australia Contributor.