The times, they are a-changin’. Autumn is crisping the leaves, the long days are fading and Easter is almost here. Now is the perfect time to get yourself ready for winter and sort out all those practical little things you’ve been too busy sunning yourself to think about during summer!
Thanks to our friends at Choosi, here are 10 important things you need to take care of before Daylight Savings ends.
1. Set your clocks back one hour
Daylight savings ends at 3am on April 6, 2014. This means that at 3am (or before you go to bed), you need to set all your clocks BACK one hour. Yay, an extra hour’s sleep-in! Well, for some of us. Which leads us to our next point…
2. Buy a sleep trainer clock
Daylight savings can wreak havoc with kids’ body clocks while they’re getting used to the change. When they don’t have visual cues to tell them whether it’s 4am or 7am, they can be up and bouncing off the walls at an ungodly hour.
So invest in a Sleep Easy Sleep Trainer Clock to help teach them about appropriate wake-up times. These clocks feature symbols to tell your child when it’s morning (at a time you nominate!).
You might also want to think about putting a reward system in place: stay in bed until the clock ‘wakes’ up and get a sticker on a chart, eventually leading to a special outing or prize.
3. Update your health insurance
Health insurance premiums are rising on April 1st, and it’s going to be a big increase – so it’s definitely time to review your options and make sure you’ve got the best deal possible. Choosi makes it simple by helping you compare a range of policies from some of Australia’s leading health insurance brands, so you can find the health insurance that suits your needs and budget.
Are you paying too much for cover you no longer need? Or do you not have enough cover for the services that you frequently use? Choosi can help you answer all these questions and find the best cover for your family. And if you decide to switch insurance providers, they’ll make it easy and straightforward for you.
4. Change your smoke alarm battery
Daylight Savings changeover is an excellent annual reminder to change your smoke alarm battery at the same time you change your clocks. Working smoke alarms save lives, and batteries should be changed once a year.
Also take the time to test and clean the smoke alarm to make sure it’s working properly. Job done! For more information on smoke alarm safety, click here.
5. Sort out your school holiday plans
Eeek! School holidays are coming! Don’t let them sneak up on you. Do some research and find out what’s on in your local area – there are plenty of free or low-cost school holiday workshops run by local councils, shopping centres and businesses.
Many term classes (such as dance, sport and swimming) offer special holiday ‘clinics’ or one-off holiday programs, but places fill up fast, so book now.
If you’re working, make sure your kids are registered for holiday childcare or do some babysitting swaps with friends. Get it all sorted with our free printable School Holiday Planner with 50 bonus activity ideas.
6. Overhaul the kids’ winter wardrobe
Winter is almost here, the days are getting imperceptibly cooler and before you know it we’ll be getting our woolies out. Have a ‘dress up’ day with the kids where you pull out all their winter clothes and check whether hats, coats, jumpers and gumboots still fit or need to be replaced.
This is also a great time to sort through and pack away summer gear.
Get some Space Bags or storage boxes and store the things that will last until next year, and get rid of any stained or unusable clothing.
7. Check your heaters
Before the cold sets in, take some time to check and maintain your home heaters. This fact sheet from Kidsafe lists some important safety advice for gas heaters, electric heaters and keeping kids safe around fireplaces.
Check the Product Safety Recalls website to make sure your electric or space heaters haven’t been recalled. Gas appliances should be checked by a registered or licensed gas fitter every two years.
8. Buy winter PJs
The best thing about the cooler months is snuggly new PJs! Who doesn’t love a bit of flannelette? Jump on the ‘winter pyjamas for Easter’ trend – a great non-choc alternative Easter gift that’s practical and fun. There are some gorgeous designs out this time of year featuring bunnies and woodland creatures that are just right for the season.
9. Donate your unwanted gear
If you’re getting rid of summer gear that won’t get passed down to another child – especially baby gear – think about donating it to a charity such as St Kilda Mums who distribute pre-loved nursery equipment, cots, prams, car seats, clothes and other baby essentials to families experiencing hardship.
St Kilda Mums is also launching their Cots for Tots campaign on from April 1, with the goal of collecting 400 cots by May 31. So if you’ve just moved your toddler in to a bed, think about donating your cot.
10. Enjoy the last days of extended daylight
We’ve been spoilt with lazy alfresco evenings, but all too soon it’s going to be dark before dinner. So make sure you take full advantage of the beautiful autumn weather and last days of extended daylight over the next couple of weeks.
Take an early evening stroll to the park, have a picnic dinner outside, kick a ball with the kids, or have all your friends over for a BBQ. So long, summer, see you again next year!
(This is a sponsored post for Choosi Health Insurance)