The 7 winter homekeeping tips you should know

Winter is a time when things need to be preserved, and stored away till they are ready to be used

Winter is a time when things need to be preserved, and stored away till they are ready to be used again when the sun is shining and we aren’t covered in layers. Here are some ways to ensure different areas of your home don’t fall prey to the problems that winter brings.

1. Go through all your closets and clothes and divide into keepers and giveaways. If you’re not sure, a good rule of thumb is: if you haven’t worn it in two years and/or it makes you feel guilty, it’s a giveaway. Of the keepers, wash, mend or send those that need it to the dry cleaners. Doing this ensures that no silverfish creep in.

2. Pair up gloves and socks and keep them neatly stacked in an easy to reach location, so none get mixed up or go missing. Any single ones should be thrown out, or repurposed for storage of small items – like a sock of spare change perhaps.

3. If your pots and pans tend to end up in a jumble, perhaps you have too many. Use a hanging rack near to make it less cluttered and easily accessible. If pots aren’t used frequently, they tend to get rusty, so store them away in sealed containers.

4. Talking about pots and pans, remember to periodically maintain and season your cast-iron pans. When you first buy a pan, wash it in hot, soapy water, then dry it – first with a dishcloth, and then in an oven heated to 300 degrees for several minutes. Complete drying prevents rust. To season it, pour a tablespoon of oil into the pan, and rub it over the surface with a paper towel, ensuring to use less oil so the coating isn’t thick. Place the pan in a 300 degrees oven for about an hour, then remove it and let it cool. Wipe away the excess oil, and your pan will be ready to use. To maintain this pan, simply wipe it with a paper towel and a little oil after each use to clean it. If there are stuck-on food particles, use hot water and a brush or nylon scouring pad to clean them away (never use soap).

5. Go through your spices and throw away those that are expired or have just a teeny bit left in the bottom. Return them to the rack in alphabetical order, making retrieval much easier, and this ensured that you didn’t have a spice rack that attracted ants. Do the same for your pantry and make sure everything is airtight, to prevent moths as well.

6. Vacuum and turn your mattresses to ensure that no wet spots are there to let fungus or other growth breed on it.

7. You’ll be boiling a lot of water to make yourself many cups of tea, so make sure you clean your tea kettle. An easy way to remove mineral deposits is to boil equal parts white vinegar and water inside the kettle. Remove from heat. Let sit several hours; rinse. Hand wash the pot’s exterior with a gentle pot-scrubber sponge. Let tap water run for a few moments before adding it to the pot.

Do you have any to add to this list?

Note: 300 degrees is in Fahrenheit, when using a Celsius oven, it needs to be at 150 degrees.