Much like season 8 of Game of Thrones, winter is no longer “coming” and is most definitely here.
And while the cooler weather can bring with it lots of lovely, cozy rituals (slow-cooking, guilt-free TV marathons and lots of red wine), it also brings with it a whole host of annoying household problems. Here's how to stay on top of seasonal domestic disturbances.
Gone are the lightweight summer dresses and lack of layers, instead we’re talking coats, jackets, jeans, sweaters, socks, and bathrobes. Not to mention the extra blankets that hit your bed and living rooms. The key to keeping on top of laundry is organisation and delegation. Put a load as you get home (or before you leave the house if you’re not going out for too long), and hanging and folding clothes as soon as they finish. Remember everything will take longer to dry so the more on top of the constant stream of laundry you are, the less likely you'll be to hit a backlog.
Popping a couple of extra drying racks in the trolley next time you’re at the shops will keep dryer use minimal and bump up your hanging space. Leave clothes to dry in the living room while you're out or if space is at a premium, consider installing retractable washing lines in your laundry or bathroom. Air drying is better for the environment and you'll save cash on your electricity bill by avoiding the clothes dryer, win-win! Try Sunfresh 11 Bamboo and steel clothes airer, Bunnings, $29.
Introduce a self-sorting system
Grab a few extra washing baskets so everyone in the house can pre-sort their laundry for you – meaning you can quickly pop on a load. Teach your kids how to load the washing machine, and if they are too young, how to hang washing up – you can be reloading as they take care of hanging up or folding clothing. If you have the laundry space, fold the clothes into stacks for each room and have everyone put theirs away daily. Try Navy stripe laundry hamper, Target, $10.
Minimise your mopping
Wet grass, mud and puddles can make for constantly grubby floors through winter. Avoid being permanently attached to your mop by investing in heavy-duty mats at every entryway. It’s also a good idea to implement a shoes-off policy for winter. Try Dianalund doormat, IKEA, $12.99.
Invest in a high-tech pet towel
If you have hairy dogs, you’ll also find the pitter-patter of dirty feet on your floors, so keep a microfibre or travel towel near entryways so you can give them a quick dry and clean on your way in. Try Microfibre Pet Towel, Kmart, $5.
Stay on top of your gutters
Your gutters will need far more cleaning to keep your house damage free in the wetter months. The trick is to stay on top of clearing them – think small and often over occasional but huge clean-up jobs. If you spot a block make clearing it a priority as clogged gutters leak water into your roof space and cause water damage in your ceilings and walls. As unappealing as shimmying up a ladder in the cold may seem, clearing your gutters is not a job you should put off. The water damage that could ensue from ignoring a block could cost you thousands.