A stitch in time saves nine. -Old English Proverb
Because spring has unpredictable weather, some people ignore or just get through the season and look forward to summer. But this old proverb warns to fix the little problems first before they become huge disasters and ruin your relaxing spring and summer season plans.
The term spring cleaning probably originated in the kitchen. Kitchens get a hard workout during the cool seasons.
- Appliances are going to need a deep and thorough scouring. Not just the exteriors, but inside, under, and behind. Refrigerators require the dust to be removed from the coils in the back to perform accurately.
- Don’t forget the hood over the range. Grease fires occur when buildup is severe.
- Organizing the pantry and removing expired items increases storage space.
Bathrooms are worked hard, too. Grab the scrub brushes and hit all the surfaces.
- Let the light in and help fight mold and mildew. Sunshine inhibits their growth.
- Keep a stash of disposable shower liners on hand for quick changes.
- The bathroom is an easy and inexpensive way to add an update. Repairing paint from moisture and buying new linens adds a fresh look for spring.
After a cozy winter of gathering around the fireplace, it’s time to add some energy and life to the living spaces.
- If you have a wood stove or wood-burning fireplace, sweep the stove and chimney and close the damper. Turning off the gas and shutting the damper saves money on utilities.
- Carpet may need a professional cleaning from the wet winter weather.
- Window coverings like plantation shutters benefit from dirt removal. Vacuuming with the brush attachment works best. Don’t forget the woodwork and trim.
- Change up winter accessories. Placing lively pillows to seating adds color in the room.
Daylight hours will be longer, and a reset of your body’s inner clock is needed. Start with the bedroom.
- Replace heavy linens and curtains with breezy fabrics to combat warming air. A throw blanket at the end of the bed warms up the unpredictable cool nights.
- Dust everything from top down, starting with fan blades and working toward base boards.
- Fresh linen updates the bedroom quickly.
- Flip mattresses if necessary and vacuum bed components.
Basement or Utility Room
These utilities served you well this winter. Maintain them for next season’s use.
- Turn off the furnace’s gas pilot light.
- The sump pump is your best friend or worst enemy. Make sure it’s in working order before the spring rains and summer storms occur.
- Upgrade to allergen reducing air filters to save the family from suffering needlessly.
- Pull out the washer and dryer and remove grime from every part, including the dryer venting system. Dryer lint spreads easily and quickly. Too much accumulation leads to fire hazards.
Deep cleaning is synonymous with spring. Each nook and cranny should be swept, dusted, or washed. Don’t forget:
- Lighting fixtures
- High traffic walls and baseboards
- Replace storm windows with screens and scrub the tracks to remove dirt buildup. Sanitizing window panes and sills make all the difference to the overall fresh feeling of the rooms.
- Daylight Savings Time means it’s time to replace batteries in smoke and carbon detectors.
- It’s time to jump back up on the roof and check for winter damage. Replace or fix shingles and check for leaking skylights.
- Clear the gutters of leftover fall leaves and debris.
- Adjust water flow extensions for gutters away from the foundation.
- Save money and an uncomfortable outage and schedule all of the air conditioning units to be serviced and installed.
- Inspect the siding and foundation for damage. Call for repairs.
- Wood decking takes a beating from harsh weather and rodents. Fix holes and close gaps in wood surfaces.
- Start water flowing from the hose bibs and sprinkler systems again.
- Fertilize, seed, and mulch lawns and young trees.
- Organize and plan spring and summer gardens. Prepare tools and pots for future use.
Military members know PCS season is approaching quickly. Preparing your home with spring maintenance chores for possible rental or an unplanned sale alleviates some of the last-minute readiness that needs to occur before moving.
By Dawn M. Smith