As the clocks go back (great an extra hour in bed!) this weekend, and we are forced to retreat in doors and batten down the hatches after a surprisingly good long hot summer spent enjoying the outdoors. Our thoughts turn to our ‘hibernation den’. Suddenly we want to be warm and cosy. Comfort comes high on our list of priorities, be it comfort food, a snugly throw, a fire to sit and gaze at. Indeed wood burning stoves are presently having a boom time in sales. No wonder, they are so much easier to light, keep alight and control than a traditional open fire. The heat out put is higher (we’ve had to open our French doors on occasion, because we were ‘cooking’, which rather defeats the object). However, not everyone has the facilities or want an open fire, opt for a gas or electric alternative.
Ambient table lamps with their soft glow and flickering candle light are comforting and lift the spirits. Rugs and throws to snuggle under, along with the constant reminder on the telly that Christmas is on its way.
Because we are spending more time in doors, it is then we notice those jobs which need tending to. General maintenance, or feel the need to decorate, or even perhaps major work like a new bathroom or kitchen. Then there is Christmas coming up, yes, let’s get everything done by Christmas, our home will look amazing! Christmas is often used as a defined deadline, ‘By Christmas’. The problem is that Christmas tends to creep up on us, and bite us on the bottom if we are not careful with our planning and achievable lead times. Most contractors will agree that the run up to Christmas is usually very busy and often get inquiries in mid November with people requiring their services to be be finished by Christmas, not a chance. How many times have we found ourselves wrapping presents on Christmas Eve and trying to get the newly decorated spare room ready for guest to arrive in a few short hours? So ‘by Christmas’ we are stressed out and exhausted.
Even worse is the half finished kitchen installation, when its your turn to cook the Christmas Dinner. You will be in a state of disarray (everyone knows the turmoil in the house when a new kitchen is going in) and very disappointed being unable to ‘show it off’. If using a contractor, they will generally finish just before Christmas, and not return until 2nd January, so why not wait until the 2nd January to start the job?
Any jobs or work which realistically are going to take longer than your self inflicted dead line of Christmas, plan now to implement in January and February. Trades people are generally quieter after the pre-Christmas rush. The sales are on and there are bargains to be had for furnishings, kitchen and bathroom fittings. Take time to enjoy the planning and choosing, it’s supposed to be pleasurable not stressful; And besides January and February can be such flat, dreary months, you can cheer you and your home then. The evenings also begin to draw out, so the light wont fade too quickly whilst trying to paint.