5 cleaning tasks to prepare your home for a cosy winter
Winter is well and truly on its way and as the days get shorter and the weather turns colder, we gradually shift away from an afternoon spent on the back deck to an evening all curled up indoors with a hot cuppa under a warm blanket. And while most people are obsessed at the idea of spring cleaning, it is autumn cleaning we should really be obsessed about. After all, you’re about to shut yourself inside for months with all the dirt and dust your home has collected over the open-window days of Summer and Autumn. Not to mention the build-up of mess from remote schooling and working from home during ISO!
Here’s a few cleaning tasks you should probably tackle before for a cosy winter spent relaxing with loved ones or hibernating under your doona.
1) Reduce clutter
As we’ve always preached, one of the easiest ways to ensure a tidy and welcoming home is to rid your home of clutter. Simply put, the more stuff you have lying around, the more places the dust has to gather. Cleaning a room filled with clutter will also make tidying a whole lot harder. Whether it’s the odd sock lying around, or the pet’s toys sprawled all across the floor waiting to be tripped over, everything has its place.
Consider spending 10 minutes each day decluttering your living areas by having a quick whip around tidying up all those bibs and bobs of stuff you have lying around. For items that have not seen the light of day in a while, consider discarding them, or better yet donating these to your local charity shop. One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure and with less clutter in your home will feed a more relaxed environment. After all, a clear space means a clear mind.
Britex tip: Consider getting seasonal storage boxes for seasonal items. If you’re located in the Southern parts of Australia, chances are you won’t need your swimmers during winter so why not stash them away along with your sunny wear for next summer.
2) Cleaning out the pantry
Winter is the time of year where we’re all about cosying down under a warm blanket and eating hearty meals. Our reluctance to leave the house in dismal weather often results in big weekly shops and with our pantries filled to the brim with memories of grocery shops pasts, therefore it’s important to organize our pantry ahead of time to make room for new stock.
With winter upon us, it is time to do a post-autumn clean to know exactly what we already have in the pantry, and discard any expired items or spices that have either gone bad or have very little remaining. One common tip is to use stacked organisers for canned products to make each item easier to find. Adopt a ‘first-in, first-out’ rule to avoid unnecessary spoilage and wastage of food.
Britex tip: Label spices with the date you bought them (spices generally only last 6 months) and organise them alphabetically to make finding and retrieving them easier.
3) Wash and disinfect garbage bins and wastebaskets
Cleaning garbage cans is a household chore that is often easily overlooked, but things can get gross and gnarly in there real fast, especially when they start to smell; even when the trash has been taken out. A lingering smell is an obvious sign it’s time to clean the trash can, and if you’re going to be shut in all winter with these germ havens, it’s best to have them thoroughly cleaned now.
Fortunately as far as natural home cleaning solution go, sterilising these nasty trash collectors is easy. Vinegar and water and a little bit of dish soap is your go to. Simply mix hot water, vinegar and some dish soap, using a long-handled brush and swirl the solution around the interior of the bin, wetting down every surface and leave it to sit for 20-30 minutes. Finally rinse and leave to sun-dry to kill any remaining germs and bacteria.
Britex tip: If foul odour still lingers, use Britex Odour Blaster. The Odour Blaster is designed to attack foul odours at the source, safely and effectively neutralising bacteria causing the offensive odour.
4) Clean your windows
When the weather outside starts to gloom, cleaning your windows might seem less of a priority, but did you know that clean windows are one of the most important things going into winter? A clean window significantly brightens up the house – a significant component for combating winter blues – and dramatically increases thermal efficiency by helping to decrease heating costs. By not having clean windows, you’re essentially reducing sunlight and heat from shining into your home– and with sunlight and daytime hours in scarcity, we’ll need every bit of it we can get.
Martha Stewart recommends a homemade cleaning solution of water and vinegar to effectively kill germs and rid windows of grime. Simply mix one-part hot water to one-part distilled vinegar, then using a sponge, gently moisten windows with the cleaning solution then wipe clean. To dry off, use a squeegee and clean from the top down, while wiping down the edge of the squeegee after every stroke.
5) Deep cleaning your carpets and upholstery
Consider the amount of time we’ll be spending indoors during the winter months with less fresh air in circulation, deep cleaning your carpets and upholstery becomes more important. Contrary to popular beliefs, there are many reasons to deep clean your carpets during winter. After all, not only are carpets and upholstery excellent traps for dirt, dust and allergens, soiled carpets can also negatively impact indoor air quality. Worse yet, research has also found that the average couch houses a staggering 12 times more bacteria compared to your bathroom. Fortunately, there many ways you can deep clean your carpet and upholstery including going the DIY route, which saves you money and time in the long run.
For a thorough deep clean, the National Asthma Council of Australia recommends Britex as their Sensitive Choice partner for carpet cleaner hires. The Britex deep carpet cleaner hire deep cleans your carpet and upholstery, removing dust mites, pet fur, mould and other known allergens while also removing stubborn stains and odours caused by pets and other common household spills. The Britex deep carpet cleaner features a hot water extraction system, a cleaning system heavily favoured by many professional carpet cleaners for their performance. The Britex deep carpet cleaner reaches deep into your carpet fibres and fabric furnishings, extracting dirt, dust, bacteria and allergens from your home.
The Britex deep carpet cleaner is available to hire from Bunnings Warehouse, selected Woolworths Coles, IGA, Mitre 10 and Home Hardware Stores.
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