With the temperatures dropping there is nothing better than kicking back with a block of chocolate and watching a movie, it seems our motivation levels mirror the decreasing mercury level on the thermometer. However, with the steaming hot summer months behind us, Autumn is the perfect time to get around to addressing those jobs that were simply too hot to carry out in summer.
I have put together a list of essential jobs you should cover every Autumn.
- First and foremost have your Smoke Alarms Checked– Over 50 people die in house fires in Australia every year and most of these are preventable. There are now third party companies like Smoke Alarm Solutions that can check your alarms every 12 months for as little as $79. Some other tips to remember:
- Never leave cooking, heaters, open fires or candles unattended
- Don’t overload power boards
- Keep electrical appliances in good working order
- Ensure cigarette ash and butts are extinguished. Never smoke in bed
- Do not dry clothing in front of heaters
- Clean lint filters in clothes dryers after every use and always let dryers complete the cool-down cycle
- Store all matches and lighters out of reach of children
- Keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket and know how to use them
- Have a home fire evacuation plan and practise it regularly
- Never deadlock yourself inside the house.
- Clean your Gutters – It’s one of those chores that no one likes but must be done. In the Autumn, you may find it necessary to clean a couple times depending on what types of trees you have near the house. While you’re at it make sure the drain pipes are free flowing as well.
- Inspect your Roof – Make sure that any damaged areas are repaired to reduce the risk of leaking. Please note that special care is to be taken when working on the roof, if you are unsure whether or not you can manage, please call a professional.
- Trim Gardens, Bushes and Lawns – Any dead or diseased branches on trees need to be removed, especially any touching your house. This prevents bugs from taking up residence in your home, and reduces damage to siding, roofs, and gutters from whipping branches. Autumn is the time to feed the lawn. The reason is that the grass has slowed down with cold nights, but the roots are still growing well, so it’s a great time for repair because the soil is warm. Use a slow release lawn food to develop a strong root system and thicker grass.
- Clean and Outdoor Furniture and Toys – Dining outside may not be an option during the cooler months, so why not replace the dining seating with a couple of comfy couches and blankets or an outdoor heater. Pool toys will no longer be required and the cricket sets will be replaced with an array of football and soccer balls. While you are at it clean exterior windows, decks and walls.
Once your chores are all up to date here’s some fun things do over the winter months.
Herb Gardens – Autumn is the most pleasant time for gardening. Save money and get the kids involved in a project, design and plant your own herb garden. Herbs arouse kids’ curiosity and interest because they thoroughly engage the senses.
Homemade Hot Chocolate – Kick back, put your feet up with a steaming hot cuppa Hot chocolate. Here’s a recipe you won’t be able to beat:
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup hot water
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 4 cups milk (Dairy or non-dairy)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the cocoa, sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture boils. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Stir in the milk and heat, but do not boil.
Plan a Trip to the Snow – If like me you’ve always dreamed of gliding gracefully down the white slopes, wind in your face, but have never had a snow ski experience, then maybe this year is it. Snow scene is a leading snow holiday travel agent, it is your one stop shop for snow destinations worldwide. Their travel agents are knowledgeable and experienced – not just in organising holidays, but also in travel. They’ve tried and tested many snow and ski resorts and locations, including Australian ski holidays, to ensure you receive the best customer service possible – and the best advice. Their holiday ski packages can be all inclusive, or customised to suit your budget and preferences.