I know we haven't even made it to Christmas yet so you probably think I'm mad to already be thinking ahead to spring. It's the time of year - or it will be soon, just after Christmas - when the spring rush starts and I like to be prepared.
It has always seemed a little odd to me that people want to book in big decorating jobs straight after Christmas, when usually money is tight, but there are a few things about this time of year that can trigger a decorating spree.
The main one, in my opinion, is the way in which the Christmas period makes people notice things about their home that they may not have noticed before. For example, traditionally Christmas is a time when the house is full of family and friends, and it causes people to cast a critical eye over their surroundings and perhaps realise that the hallway would benefit from a lick of paint, or the once bright white doors have a few too many grubby marks and could do with a spruce up.
Another trigger might be that when people come to take down all the decorations at the end of the festive period, rooms can suddenly look bare and tired. This often encourages people to get in touch with their local decorator to get some work booked in.
There also seems to be a rise in enquiries for exterior work - whether that is the outside of a property, or a garden fence or shed. I think this stems from the January sales. DIY stores and garden centres often have great sales on sheds, and it is this time of year that people start to look ahead and think about tidying up their gardens in the hope of enjoying some warmer weather over the coming months.
So, while it might seem silly to be thinking about spring 2013 in the midst of winter 2012, I find that being prepared for the post-Christmas phone calls and having an organised schedule never does any harm.
Do you notice an increase in enquiries in the new year? Is there anything you do to prepare for it? It would be great to hear from you.