After a weekend dedicated to the Annual Autumn clean-out that I normally do just before Easter I realise working I just don't have time to do it all at once and secondly before making myself a list I thought I would never get through it, but I've done my list and I'm working my way through it so I thought I'd share it with you and you could join me for the ride (and even give me some of your tips!)....
Here's my list:
- I prune my prolific growers - jasmine and gardenia- really just to give them shape, just a small trim really but it now looks a lot better!
- Clean out your summer harvests if you have some - get your tomatoes gone if they haven't done that by themselves already - here's some ideas to preserve your glut
- I give my herbs a bit of a haircut too, not a major one, just again the prolific growers like mint and oregano.
- Bulbs for spring before it gets too cold. We're planting some daffodils.
- If you have a vege garden, now's the time to be planting your carrots, brussel sprouts and cabbages - here's other suggestions too
- The lawn, your plants and your trees. Especially feed your flowers that will bloom in spring.
- Clean out the gutters whilst its dry - nothing worse than having your roof cave in because you have stuff caught in your gutter (happened to us almost, next-door neighbours cricket ball!)
Sweep and Rake:
- This would have to be the most thankless job of the autumn, because just as soon as you've done it, you need to do it again, make it a once-a month job.
- The exterior of the house - we have a karcher but any guerney will do - you can hire them cheaply if you don't have one or a friend to loan you one, ask your neighbour or friend if they want to split the cost... it takes no time to do and you can give your deck/entertaining area and driveway a good once-over too.
- Also if you have any outdoor furniture it's a good time to give that a clean and seal if it's wooden - Wash all cushions and store in the garage for spring if you don't think you'll be outside much in Autumn.
- Time to get rid of that stuff sitting in your garage that you've been meaning to take to the tip... that space you will need for the car and other outdoor stuff you may want to store undercover over winter
- Your oven - before you get those casseroles and puddings and baked treats in there, give it a good clean.
- Your bedding, before it gets too cold or wash your doonas, blankets, throws and cushions. Get them dry-cleaned before the rush if that's what you prefer. If they were cleaned at the end of last spring and you haven't used them, just give them an air on the washing line for a few hours.
- Light fittings, because you'll be using more artificial light during winter, pull them apart, give the shades a good once over, keep them bright.
- Cobwebs - you probably haven't noticed them, but make it a habit to seek them out at least once a month - you can use a broom brushed with lemon oil to deter the spiders from coming back.
- Walls - clean from bottom to top to avoid streaks but I just do this with a vileda sponge that has the non-scratch scourer on it and some warm water with liquid sugar soap, you notice the difference straight away- pay note to light switches and power points too - they get a bit grotty!
- Defrost your freezer, and get rid of any food you don't recognise or looks a bit dodgy!
- Now's the time to have your fireplace or heating serviced if you need to (before the price-hike!) get your firewood sorted or just clean the filters in your heaters.
- Your coffee machine if you have one - you can get DIY descaling kits online.
- Clothes you don't wear anymore, clothes your kids don't fit anymore - donate or list on ebay - but if you haven't listed after 2 weeks, donate!!
- Pantry goods that are out of date
- Plastic containers you've been saving for a 'rainy day'.
- Books and magazines you've read that you're not likely to read or refer to again
- Toys and Board games that are missing pieces
- Hand-me down clothes and toys for later - I find spacebags work best. Store them above wardrobes, under beds or in trunks. Don't forget to label the contents and sizes!
- Outdoor furniture/soft furnishings/portable fans.
So friends, feel free to add your tips or your thoughts - do you do an Autumn Clean? Are you motivated to do one? I'm about 1/3 of the way through mine, and on track to finish before winter, are you keen to join me?
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