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The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - With edi­tor Robyn Wil­lis robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

Clean­ing up on the win­ter blues

Look, I can’t be­lieve I’m about to say this, but I’m look­ing for­ward to do­ing some house­work this week­end.

Af­ter sev­eral busy weeks, there hasn’t been a lot of time to get be­yond the ab­so­lute ne­ces­si­ties — and the house is starting to feel it.

It’s al­ways a bit like this at the end of win­ter for me. Af­ter months of keep­ing the house fairly closed up, every­thing starts feel­ing a lit­tle stale.

Weirdly, the sus­tained dry weather and patchy warmer tem­per­a­tures haven’t helped ei­ther. With ev­ery­one still in the habit of putting the heater on in the morn­ings, it’s all a bit dry and dusty, largely thanks to a lack of vacuuming.

The thing is, there’s no quick fix for a stale house. I love a scented can­dle or, bet­ter yet, some fra­grant fresh flow­ers, but noth­ing beats open­ing all the win­dows and let­ting the air draw through the house.

It’s about this time I get a lit­tle en­vi­ous of peo­ple who have gone all the way with in­door/out­door living by in­stalling slid­ing doors and lou­vred win­dows where you can con­trol the air flow as much as you like.

Sun­shine also helps ban­ish that old musty smell, es­pe­cially at this time of year when the sun is sit­ting low enough in the sky to by­pass the per­fectly po­si­tioned eaves that pro­tect the house in sum­mer and fill the rooms with warmth. We might live in an old house but there are some things that they got right the first time.

But no mat­ter how good the cross ven­ti­la­tion or pas­sive so­lar de­sign works this week­end, there’s no get­ting around the need for some old-fash­ioned house­work, which is go­ing to take in every­thing from co­pi­ous loads of wash­ing to scrub­bing sur­faces and vacuuming rugs and up­hol­stery.

Best get on with it then.

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