Preparing Your Household for the Melbourne Winter
Winter in Melbourne isn’t as dramatic as it is in much of the Western world. Of course residents will disagree. They’re used to sun, sand, and surf, so the gloomy skies and lower temperatures offer a bit of culture shock. Still, heat readings remain in the high tens for most of the season, so apart from ditching shorts and t-shirts for longer sleeves, Aussie winters are more an annoyance than a national disaster. There are a few things you can do to make the season more bearable, so let’s look into that.
Stock up on warm clothing
A large proportion of Melbourne is beach front so many of its residents have that laid-back easy-going mentality that thrives in beach towns. It also means you may have to hunt a little harder to find weather-appropriate wardrobes when it gets cold, so be sure it’s on your agenda. The stores are likely to stock up as winter approaches, but of course high-season fashion will cost more. Supply and demand and all that.
If you have some jumpers and fluffy socks stashed in the attic, this is a good time to dig them out and have them laundered in preparation for the colder months. Our winter falls when much of the world is experiencing summer, so if you’re a fan of flea markets, visit them in January and February when they’re more likely to have discarded winter wear. Bulk up and keep them in storage for our own chilly Christmas in July.
Do a thorough winter clean
Since you’ll be digging around in your home storage department for long-forgotten clothes, it can be a good time to declutter. Get rid of any unused items – including kids’ shoes that no longer fit. You could have a winter sale for all those old books, magazines, and abandoned gadgets that you only used once. Call in a cleaning service which offers seasonal cleans.
They will scrub the house from top to bottom, inside and outside, being as thorough as you like. Some of these professional cleaners will do gutters, windows, decks, and exterior walls, as well as ovens, sinks, tile grout, sofa covers, and carpets. If you’re uneasy about the task, let them start the season for you, then you can do your own weekly touch-up cleaning.
Catch up on your yard work
Beach towns are largely outdoorsy. Any excuse to get out and enjoy the sunshine. So even during the winter when there isn’t as much sun to go around, residents need their daily dose of fresh air. The thing is – with weather and entertainment patterns shifting for the season – you need a good excuse to get out of your blankets. Take up an alternative outdoor sport, like bike riding, running, or walking to replace your daily swim.
If you’re an outdoorsy person, don’t rush to the gym. You’ll just catch cold from all those people huddled inside. Instead, work in your garden, clearing bushes and clutter to discourage pests from nesting. Do some weeding and planting or give yourself a DIY project like a home-made pizza oven, fence, or work shed. It’s a constructive way to work up a sweat.
Invest in bonding activities
Still, there will be times when you have to be indoors. You could use the opportunity to catch up on your series, or you could stockade a reading list for the winter. You could use the opportunity for some face time with loved. Designate periods that are strictly screen-free. Everyone has to put away their phones and devices and just be together.
Of course this can feel forced or awkward, so lubricate your social time with some board games or a joint crafting activity. You could grab an idea off YouTube, though you have to do it in advance because ‘no screens’. You could watch the video earlier in the day and – the horror – take notes. And no, it doesn’t count to teach your favourite videogame to your loved one. That’s cheating. No screens means no screens.
Buy lots of tea
Maybe your perfect idea of a chilly winter night is to sit by the fire and drink a glass of wine or some gut-warming scotch. For starters, you need a fire, so if you don’t have one yet, look into your heating options. You could install an in-built or insert, or buy an electric portable unit. If you’re getting a wood burner, look into a firewood subscription service as well.
That said, you can only drink so much wine, especially on a school night, so think of more kosher alternatives. Replenish your household stock of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and heated beverages, because you’ll go through them at surprising rates. To make things more exciting, draft a list of piping recipes that you can cycle through, making every breakfast a toasty surprise. Hot smoothies anyone?