As the snow melts and you notice the air outside getting slightly less bitter, you can see practically spring coming. With the warmer weather comes a bevy of tasks to take care of both inside and outside your home, and that’s probably the part of spring you’re not looking forward to. The mere notion of all the cleaning, sorting, and maintenance chores that lie ahead may have your head in a tizzy, but with a clear plan and priorities set in order you can have yourself and your home ready to take on the new season. These 10 tips will help you purge the clutter, dirt, and dust bunnies of winter and prepare your home for all the fun, entertaining, and warm weather that lies ahead.
1. Have the rugs and carpets cleaned (or rent a steam cleaner and do them yourself), and give the hard floors a thorough washing. Put your curtains and pillow covers through the washer as well. Winter means a lot of built-up dirt and grime, so even just this simple step will brighten and freshen a stagnant atmosphere after the house has been closed up all season. Add new entry mats while you’re at it, as these are no doubt looking worse for the wear as well.
2. Dust everything – light fixtures, ceiling fans, even the shelves above the kitchen cupboards. During the cold weather, air circulation isn’t at a premium inside the house, so dust accumulates more densely than during the months when you can keep your windows open.
3. Temporarily gut your kitchen – pull out the appliances and wash behind them, sort out gadgets and tools you used heavily during the holidays but no longer need (like Christmas cookie cutters and extra baking pans), and give the inside of your fridge and pantry a ruthless onceover, throwing out and cleaning as you go.
4. Change your furnace filter. Winter is hard on your HVAC system, and you want to start out the new season with everything working at maximum capacity as the pollen and ragweed start to infiltrate your home.
5. Take out the storm windows and insert the screens. While you have the curtains down to wash them is the ideal time to perform this task, so that you aren’t fighting to get around them in order to change out the windows.
6. Turn the mattresses. Have the duvets and comforters cleaned, and pack them away in rubber bins or vacuum storage bags (these are great space-savers and ideal for bulky winter coats as well).
7. Free your lawn furniture from the shed or garage. Not only will it give you more room to move around as you begin to ready the yard for the season, it gives you a few weeks to air it out before you will be using it routinely. You can also evaluate everything for repairs, and decide whether you want or need new covers for a fresh look.
8. Take stock of utility supplies. Your mop and broom may be looking a little lackluster, and the garbage cans could probably use a good hosing out. Replace anything that has taken too much of a beating over the winter.
9. Get the shed or garage well organized for easy access to all of the tools you’ll need for your lawn and garden. We inevitably stack shovels, salt bags, and sleds in front of the items we don’t need in wintertime, so that first wave of milder temperatures is the perfect time to pull the rakes, shovels, and weed trimmer to the front. This way you can avoid that disheartening feeling of going outside the first time the lawn needs mowing and realizing that you’ve got a good hour of sorting and shifting to do in the garage before you can even get started.
10. Renew your spirit as well! Bring home a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers from the market and place it on your dining room table. Consider a bright or pastel shade for that burgundy accent wall that kept the living room so cozy and festive all winter. Get inspired for the lighter, breezier days to come.
Having a spring to-do list for your home is as important as having one for yourself. Take a weekend to prepare for the new season and you’ll not only feel more in control, you’ll have more time to enjoy all of the activities that come with the warmer weather.
DISCLAIMER: Readers proceed at their own risk if they attempt to replicate any activities described here.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.bigstock.com and www.dreamstime.com