Move over spring clean, that time has gone. Now we’re planning ahead for the long winter to come.
There’re plenty of things to do to prepare our homes for winter, not least those chores we all try to avoid, like clearing out the gutters, filling the log store and insulating the pipes.
Not all jobs are outdoors ones. We’ve spent the summer travelling, enjoying the weather, spending time with friends. And while we enjoyed plenty of time outdoors, the interior of our homes can become a little bit neglected.
Throughout the house, the clutter just seems to gather. Tupperware lids multiply, shoe piles mysteriously grow, filing is neglected, the paperwork mounts up and children’s toys seem to manifest themselves into a toy shop.
It’s time for a winter clear out.
Sort through toys
Hula hoops, buckets and spades, paddling pools, swingballs and kites – the toys children play with in the summer lie unused through the wet and windy days of winter. Some will be beyond repair, others are worth saving for another year.
Put away the summer clothes
It’s time to say goodbye to the beach dresses, fold the sarongs and dig out the thick coats and spare wellies. We’re heading into boots and hat season now.
Garden chairs and BBQs
Save furniture from discolouring or rotting in the damp winter air. While you can cover the frames, cushions and soft furnishings need to be stored somewhere dry and away from tiny teeth if you want them to last the winter.
Clear out the cupboards
Take a look at the piles growing around the home, where things have been put ‘for now’. It’s time to put stuff away – especially now you’ll be spending more time indoors looking at it.
The difficulty comes in finding places to keep all the extra items that we seem to collect. Garden sheds, if you have the room, are no place for soft furnishings, and stuffing everything in the wardrobe just makes your home feel more cluttered, not less.
So if you’re looking for extra space to pack away summer, it’s time to look at storage. Flexible contracts, as much space as you need and no more, and dry, indoor units that make sure your summer shorts are ready to wear next time you need them.
Are you ready for winter? With our free collection service (T&C’s apply) we’re on hand to make sure your season starts smoothly. Call now for more information on 0121 250 5055.
As the children head off back to school, it does start to feel like summer is over. The official end of summer isn’t actually until 22 September – which means there’s still time to enjoy the last bit of sunshine, and start getting your garden ready for autumn.
Enjoy the summer harvest
All of your hard work through the spring and summer is now showing the benefits. If you had fruit and vegetable beds growing, you’ll be enjoying the harvest. If it’s not quite ready, check your netting is secure. The birds will be getting hungrier about now.
It’s time to get jamming and pickling – storing your harvest for the future. You can also freeze fruit, so make sure there is space in your freezer.
Make sure you dig up any potatoes, the slugs are out about in force. You can leave them out in the last of the summer sunshine to dry for a few hours, before storing in a dry, dark place to keep you going through the next few months. Remember that they need air or they’ll go mouldy.
Hanging baskets and container plants are still flowering and looking beautiful. Keep up the feeding and they will last until the frosts begin.
Autumn garden tips
The first thing that happens in autumn is, of course, leaves start to fall from the trees. Make sure you put netting over ponds, ready to catch them all. It saves a lot of time and cleaning later. You’ll also need somewhere to put all those leaves, so make a space for new compost piles if you can.
Summer’s plants are beginning to die back, so you can start clearing them out, particularly if you have a greenhouse. This means you’ll have the space to get some new plants in over the autumn.
Remove weeds and the dead crops – a little time tidying up your beds and vegetable patch now will save you time nest year, when the ground may still be firmer.
Thinking ahead to spring
The ground is still soft and warm enough to start thinking about next spring. Now is the time to be planting your spring bulbs – daffodils, crocus, hyacinths and so on.
It’s also the best time to be planting new trees and shrubs. The increased rainfall will help them settle in, ready to burst into new growth next year.
New lawns will grow well right now, so putting down seed, aerating your lawn and giving it some food will help improve any poor patches.
Storing your garden furniture
As well as preparing the garden, it’s time to care for your tables and chairs. By the end of September the weather will be poorer, and the temperatures much lower. One of the last jobs of the month is to give everything a good clean, and put it away for the winter.
Give your shed or garage a good clear out, and make a space between the bikes and wheelbarrow. If you don’t have the room, consider putting your furniture in self-storage for the 6 months until you need it again. It’s dry and out of the way, leaving you more room at home for your spring potting.