Christmas is just around the corner, as we’re all about to be reminded every time we go anywhere near a shopping centre. Not too long now until we hear the festive songs! The seasonal ads on TV! The gritted-teeth complaints of the people wondering why it gets earlier every year! The truth is, that’s the way things are these days. You may remember a time when anything Christmassy before December was considered jumping the gun. Those days are gone now.
What it also means is that every spending decision we make is made with the festive season in mind. You hum and haw over a second drink while out for dinner, because you’re budgeting. You make adjustments to the usual weekly shop, because there’s a big Christmas food shop to save for. You hope beyond hope that nothing goes wrong in the home – because it’s tougher, and more expensive, to call someone out to fix it.
All of which makes it a terrible time to plan home improvements, right? Well, maybe. You don’t particularly want to be embarking on anything major right now. Some finishing touches may be in order if you’re expecting visitors, but now is not the time to be starting an extension, that’s for sure. What is worth thinking about is your home goals for 2017. Consider them early New Year’s Resolutions.
Getting Ready For Spring
Yes, the idea of getting things set up for spring when we’ve barely started autumn may seem like over-planning. I’m not saying it’s time to get out there and do it, you understand. But planning it out and being ready is a wise move. Let’s face it, winter is the cruellest season in many ways. It’s cold, wet and windy. And we try to keep outdoor titivation to a minimum because of all of those.
The upshot is that your home and garden are liable to be the worse for wear after a long autumn and winter, and you may need to run some repairs. While you’re doing that, you may as well update things too. It could be time to jet-wash your paths and the front of your home, for example. The amount of dirt that gets ground in by heavy boots and filthy weather would astonish you. Once the days get lighter, you’ll notice it more.
Weather-Proofing Your Home
Hands up who wants to get their windows replaced today? I’m imagining one hand up, possibly from someone who wasn’t paying attention. We’re in November, and it is cold. It’s not going to start getting warmer for a few months. So now is not the time to replace your windows. But think of how cold your home is without heating; think of how much it costs to heat.
Now may not be the time to get windows replaced, but it is a good opportunity to plan it in for next year. It’s worth finding out how much double glazing costs in time for the work to be booked in and done. Remember that a house which costs less to heat in winter also costs less to cool in summer. If you’re expecting gifts of cash this Christmas, this is a worthwhile cause to direct that money to.
Time For An Autumn Clean
“Spring cleaning” is one of those phrases that trips off the tongue, and allows us to picture a light, airy home. Looking and smelling as fresh as the breeze. But let’s be honest, a top-to-bottom clean of the house once a year really isn’t often enough. And part of the reason that we need to go through the house more regularly is simple. Something that looked fine in April can be less fine seven months on, and need adding to “the list“.
Yes, there is less natural light in autumn and winter, and little jobs that need doing can be covered up for a while by Christmas decorations. But as you go through the house, keep a running list of those little things. They’ll be a lot easier to do in spring. Something may come up that you feel can’t wait – and in that case, it can wait even less in December and January to come. It’s much better to know now than find out when cold air starts blasting through your wall.
You may not be in a position, with Christmas playing on your mind, to pay for all those little jobs now. But once the winter blues set in – as they do for us all – it’s useful to have a project in mind to get on with.