In many parts of the country (sorry, California), the air is beginning to warm; the flowers are starting the blooming cycle, and the grass is beginning to grow. You might have had your first ride on your lawn mower in a few short weeks. With spring inevitably on the way, our thoughts also turn to change, a new start, a fresh beginning, and a clean start.
Spring cleaning is a great way to welcome the season. Making a checklist of things to do inside and outside the house to prepare for the warmer weather and sunshine is a ritual many share. A checklist is a handy way to get things done. There is a feeling of accomplishment when you tape the checklist to the refrigerator and take it down to cross through items one by one as they are accomplished. Starting with the basics, here is a checklist for you to use. There are many community Spring Clean-Up days where you can take your small limbs, bagged leaves and grass, used batteries, scrap metal, tires and other miscellaneous debris to various drop-off places. Check with your local agencies for dates and times.
Clean out your closet.
If you did not wear something in your closet the last two seasons, it might be time to donate it to your local shelter or public school clothes closet. Not only are you making room for things you will purchase this season, but you also have a tax credit for your actions. Make sure you get a receipt!
Check your HVAC.
Changing your air filter every three months helps with the dust and allergens in your home. Spring can be a very bad time for allergy sufferers. Along with changing your filters, you may want to consider cleaning your air ducts if you’ve never had it done. Having an HVAC inspection before it gets too hot is also a good idea. Nothing is more uncomfortable than having your air conditioner fail in the middle of a heat wave! Go up to the attic and ensure that no critters have made a home in your insulation during the cold winter months!
Take a weekend and deep clean! Take the time to dust the areas or things in your home that rarely get dusted or organize the closet that is the catch-all for everything that doesn’t have a place to call home. Dust the foyer light fixture, the top of the bookshelves, and behind the TV sets. Clean the baseboards or apply a little touch-up paint to doors and walls bumped and scratched by big winter coats. Before you break out the paintbrush, try The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It is a very handy cleaning tool for removing many scratches on walls and molding, dirt on hand railings and around door knobs. If you haven’t had your carpet or tile cleaned, spring is a good time for this project at home (and don’t forget about cleaning your office carpet or tile as well!)
Outdoors in the Spring
Heavy snow and wind mean branches and debris from the trees around your home must be picked up. There are heavy, duty lawn mowers that can manage a small twig or two; make sure that larger branches get picked up before you mow your lawn. Inspect the outside of your home. Check to make sure the paint is not chipping. Ensure that your outdoor security lighting is working properly and that the circuit has not been damaged. Check your driveway, sidewalk and steps. Make sure that the concrete has not sunken. Bring your patio furniture out of winter storage.
When your checklist is complete, reward yourself by making dinner and eating outdoors to celebrate Spring and the fresh air!
This article was originally published in April 2013 and has been recently updated.