The upstairs rooms at Arundells are beginning to be ‘put to bed’ for the winter. We observe the tradition of historic housekeeping, where country houses would have been deep cleaned and rested while the family were in town for the winter. Firstly, we check the interiors and every object for signs of new damage. One day open to the public in a historic house generates the equivalent of a year’s worth of wear and tear in a domestic residence. This means we need to take extra measures to protect the house and collection while preserving the feel of a private home – balancing conservation and access. Next, everything is cleaned thoroughly, from cornice to carpet. As well as being unsightly, over time dust bonds to the surface of objects and can even cause chemical changes if it contains pollutants. Once cleaned, everything is covered and rested. Light is one of the biggest dangers to the collection and, although we carefully manage light levels during the open season, the winter closure allows us to reduce the total amount of light that objects are exposed to over the course of the year.