Let’s face it; of everything on your to-do list, spring cleaning probably isn’t the most exciting. But with warmer temperatures and a new year ahead of you, spring is a great opportunity to clean up, organize, and refresh your home. Use these spring cleaning tips to get your home looking its best.
Windows – Wash your windows on a cloudy day as the sun will dry up your cleaning solution too quickly and cause streaks. Use microfiber cloths or a squeegee and chemical-free cleaning products to avoid attracting dust with chemical-based cleaners.
Wood – Cleaning hardwood floors or wood fixtures depends on the surface. Use an oil-soap wood cleaner, wax, or polish on wood surfaces to keep them clean and looking new. Damp mop your hardwood floors to get rid of grime and dirt that has built up over time. Be sure to wipe up excess liquid so it doesn’t damage your floors.
Other Surfaces – Your spring cleaning project should include surfaces you might not think about every day. Scrub your walls, baseboards, and door frames with a sponge, warm water, and dish soap.
Power washing – Power washing the exterior of your home will not only improve its curb appeal, but also helps prevent mold and mildew. Wear appropriate protective gear and stay clear of other people and animals. If you aren’t comfortable using a power washer, consider hiring a professional.
Paint – Updating your home’s exterior paint can prolong the life of your siding and update the look of your home. Re-painting your house is just one of many ways to improve your home’s value.
Gutters – A clogged gutter can cause thousands of dollars worth of water damage to your house, so it’s important to clean them at least once a year. Use a small shovel to remove leaves and dirt, then use a hose to rinse them out. Investing in a gutter cover is another way to prevent clogged gutters.
Donate it – Take a day to go through your home and put aside unwanted and gently used clothes, toys, and household items to donate. Keep an itemized list for tax purposes. Be sure to check out the donation guidelines for each charity you choose.
Trash it – Discard any unwanted items that are broken, damaged, or stained. These items should not be donated.
Organize it – Maybe you have household items you want to keep, but find them taking up a lot of space. Spend some time re-organizing so you can easily access these items when needed. There are plenty of innovative storage tips to help you get organized without spending a lot of money.
Spring cleaning might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Take on one project at a time and recruit friends or family members to help you out. We promise it will be worth it once all is said and done!
This blog was originally published in April 2015 and has been updated to reflect current trends.
Spring is a wonderful time: the snow finally melts; trees come back to life; flowers begin sprouting bringing color back to your yard; and everything around seems to be livelier. Most people begin the season by deep-cleaning their home, doing some yard work, and updating their wardrobe. But did you know it is also a great time (and one of the cheapest!) to do home repairs? Your home has gone through a lot the last few months and there may be some repairs needed to be made.
The following are 7 items that should be inspected and/or repaired every spring:
Heating and Cooling System/Air Conditioner Units – Heating repair technicians have a tendency to be less in demand during months when the weather is not at its extremes. This means they are actively looking for work, jobs, and projects and you very likely could catch a price break during this time. You also want to check your AC units and make sure they are running perfectly. The longer you wait, the higher the price you will pay and the less likely you will be to get someone out to make the repairs in a timely manner.
Thermostats – Are your thermostats old and outdated? Look into replacing them with new “smart-thermostats” that can be programmed to match your activities and routines. Conserving energy, especially on a hot day or a cold night will go a long way in saving money on gas, oil, and electricity bills.
Gaps or holes – Look around your house, do you have gaps or holes around windows, doors, electrical outlets, etc.? If so, the sooner you get them repaired and sealed the better. These gaps and holes allow warm or cold air to escape out and can increase your energy bills because your heating or cooling system is running harder to make up for the air being lost. Sealing the holes or gaps will also help with keeping bugs and critters out of your home.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are running properly, replace the batteries, and test the alarm. These detectors can save you and your family’s life if an emergency ever arises.
Chimney – Do you have a chimney? Make sure there are no loose or cracked bricks that will need to be repaired. A chimney sweep could help inspect both the interior and exterior for potential problems. Spring is an off time for chimney sweeps and you may be able to get a discount for chimney cleaning and repairs this time of year.
Gutters – Are your gutters clean from all of the fall and winter debris? If not, they need to be cleared to avoid water overflow, which may cause water to run down the walls and pool at the edges of the house’s foundation. This can create leaks or even foundation damage. Also check your downspouts to ensure they are cleaned out as well. Finally, ensure that the gutters are fastened securely. You know the saying: “April Showers brings May flowers”, not “April Showers Flood Your Basement”.
Roof – While you are up on the roof: Does your roof need repairs? If so, now is the perfect time to call and get those repairs made. This is one of the slower times of the year for roofing professionals which could allow you to save on the cost to the repairs.
Take a moment and ensure you have checked these items around your home, and any other things that you might see that need repairs. Making sure your home is repaired and ready for another year will save you time, money and headaches down the road. Happy Spring!