Like it or not the summer is sadly coming to an end with autumn days now upon us and winter is coming! Now is the perfect time to think about preparing your home and family for autumn and winter and Devon Movers want to help you have a happy winter!
Whether you have lived in the same house for 20 years or have just moved into or are about to move into a new home, a little time spent thinking about and preparing for winter now will ensure you are not left out in the cold. Devon Movers Removals have complied a handy checklist to help you get your home and family winter proofed!
Enjoy! – Some sunny days are still to be found so enjoy each and everyone of them while they are still here, do all those day trips and DIY projects you meant to do while you still can. Have one more BBQ! Have one more swim in the sea! Go for a picnic! Enjoy!
Heating – Whatever form of heating you have, now is a good time to check it is functioning correctly rather than waiting until you really need it only to find out the faithful heater from last year stored in the attic no longer works. Central heating should be checked and radiators bled of any air if necessary – always use a qualified engineer for gas or electrical appliances but for bleeding your radiators; confident DIY enthusiasts will probably be able to manage this job with the help of a handy you tube video or two! If you have a chimney, test is is not blocked and if it needs a sweep – there are reputable chimney sweeping companies available but again, enthusiastic DIY’ers can do this themselves with the right tools – but be warned, Devon Movers know from experience this is a VERY messy job! Now is a good time to stock up on wood or coal if this is your heating source. If you currently do not have any heating, now is a good time to think about how you will heat your home over winter and start shopping around for the best deals. Devon Movers have an approved trader relationship with a select local range of quality star rated tradesperson – please ask for recommendations if you need any service not supplied by us.
Lighting – Check all interior and exterior bulbs are working and replace and buy spare as necessary for over winter
Draft proofing – A considerable amount of heat is lost around windows and doors in particular. Check for drafts around the edges of windows and doors – a good test is to hold a lit candle and if it flickers there is likely a draft. Replace sealants around doors if necessary and repair any caulking around windows. Don’t forget to check pet access doors – poorly fitting doors that have lost their magnetic strips for example will let out a lot of heat. Devon Movers recommend Trago Mills locally for the products needed for the majority of draft proofing needs – they are considerably cheaper than most other retailers in our experience.
Curtains and blinds – Look around your home and consider if your current window dressing chooses will stand up to the test of winter. Perhaps existing curtains could do with having an extra insulation layer sewn in? If you are moving into a new home Devon Movers recommend being mindful of the colder days when purchasing new curtains and blinds. Devon Movers love the quality and choice at Dunelm Mill but they can be a little expensive. The Range offer a very good product range as do online stores such as Amazon.
Bedding – It’s time for the winter duvet to have a wash and come out of the attic, or maybe you need to go shopping for a winter duvet? – adults and children’s beds might benefit from a higher tog rated duvet as the cold weather approaches. If you are a blanket lover – do these need a wash ahead of time? Supermarkets often offer a good budget option duvet but for better quality look online or visit your local Dunelm Mill who have a selection of duvets for you to feel and touch on hangers.
Timers – If you have thermostat and/or light timers now might be a good time to adjust the settings or invest in some timers to help control your heating and lighting costs. Don’t forget garden light timers – many have a winter setting on solar and powered products. Best deals for timers are definitely online but can be purchased reasonably from Screw Fix or Tool Station.
Garden – Pack up the garden in preparation for winter. Cover or store parasols and BBQ’, children’ play equipment, and any seasonally used items. Store or turn plant pots that wont be used over winter upside down and move or store any items that might be damaged by strong winds. Prune and give the hedges and grass a cut and pressure wash any decking or paving – a non slip algae treatment to these areas maybe a good idea at this time to reduce the risk of slipping and falling when these areas are wet. Net a pond to save time cleaning out leaves and filters. Plant spring bulbs ahead. Plant evergreen hardy shrubs now for interest in garden over winter,
DIY – Make a list! We all have great ideas at the start of the year of things we want to achieve this year but then suddenly its September! Make a realistic list of any DIY repairs you want to get done before christmas and get cracking! For DIY don’t over pay! – Tool Station in Torquay and in other areas is open to public and most of the time beat B&Q on prices by a good margin!
Safety – Test your smoke alarms or buy some if you don’t have any! Replace batteries in torches and check all light-bulbs around your home and on any vehicle. Check all essential levels on any vehicle, water, oil, etc, and tyres – do you need better tyres for winter? Best deals on smoke alarms are online but buy a reviewed respected brand – Devon Movers know from our experience that the cheap models often do not perform as expected.
Clothing – Now is a good time for getting clothing organised and a good excuse for a sort out! Go through cupboards and drawers and put summer clothing in one place or store and have autumn and winter clothing in one place including finding space for hats, gloves, and scarfs for you and family. Where have the umbrellas I know I own gone? As you organise your clothing it might be handy to have a few boxes handy labelled SELL, DONATE, BIN, MEND, STORE.
Gutters – If you have a window cleaner they may clean your gutters on request, if not DIY. If you need or want a window cleaner, facebook is the best place we have found to find rated quality service.
Roof check – It might sound OTT (over the top) but a quick visual check of your roof can identify slates that might have slipped out of place and could cause a leak.
Organise the shed/garage – If you don’t do it now it will still be the same next spring as you wont want to do it over winter. Make the most of autumn and get organised, as you store things for winter, put items you will need for next spring in accessible places so you don’t have to climb over the winter stuff to get to it!
Half-term planning – Whether you have children or not, half-term school holidays will effect you. This year half term for the majority of schools sees the last day of school on Friday 20th October 2017 in Devon and returning to school Monday 30th October 2017. Plan your annual leave and social activities with half term in mind! Prices are often higher for holidays during this time of year and attractions are often busier, but there are also many fun events around Devon over this period! If you might be moving over the autumn half term which often coincides with Halloween you might find our blog post on tips for moving around Halloween useful.
Wet Weather plan – Do some research on what to do on rainy days in Devon and make another list – there are lots of things to enjoy on a rainy day in Devon but it can be hard to think of these on the day!
Get cooking – Nutrition and hydration are key to health and happiness whether you are moving home or not. Use the extra time indoors to cook more and create a home recipe binder on paper or online of your families favourite meals and those recipes you want to try. Invest in a slow cooker if you don’t have one; they work fabulously for single and family people alike, especially over winter as they help create beautiful stews and soups! Devon Movers likes http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/ and https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes and http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipes/
Plan ahead – Halloween, and Christmas are not far away. Will you be celebrating Halloween? Will you or your children need a halloween costume? Don’t leave it too late – popular sites for pre-loved costumes such as buy sell swap sites on facebook and ebay will have bargains on costumes now but come October the competition hots up! Grab a bargain ahead of time! Same said for xmas – grab bargains now before everyone else wants the same thing you do! Devon Movers like the online groups on facebook locally, ebay, and Amazon!
Vehicles – If you have a vehicle show it some autumn loving. Give vehicles a clean out, inside and out, and make any repairs needed before winter.
Bill check – Check any annual or quarterly renewals. Forgetting that the house insurance renews on 1st December can be an unwanted xmas surprise when you check your bank balance! Also now is a good time to check your energy tariff – you could save a lot of money switching to a better tariff or supplier before your energy consumption gets higher over winter! Devon Movers Removals recommend reading martins money savings expert tips on switching energy suppliers. http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/energy/
Stock up – Use online shopping over winter – why shop in the rain when you can have it delivered? First time online shoppers can often get a big welcome discount from the leading online suppliers, sadly out favourite Lidl’ don’t deliver 🙁 – we love their potato salad and yogurt! If you prefer to shop in store then stock up on your basics and save shopping loads and trips in future.
These tips are recommend by Devon Movers Removals who wish everyone a happy cosy maintenance free winter!