It's Time For
As spring finally rounds the corner, many of us prepare
for that annual ritual called spring cleaning. It may not
be something you look forward to with excitement, but the
sense of renewal that comes from cleaning up after a long
winter is worth the effort.
For most of us, however, it's determining where to start
our spring cleaning that causes the most stress.
Therefore, a good plan to tackle the many chores involved
is the best place to start.
You may want to begin in the basement, which for most
homeowners becomes the main storage area over the winter.
While you are sorting through this year's accumulation of
stuff, take a good look around at the walls and floors for
any signs of winter damage like cracks or heaving or any
evidence of water seepage.
If you do see anything, make a note of it and plan to get
it fixed before it can develop into a major problem later
Sort through old junk and throw out what you don't need.
If you store Christmas decorations and wrapping paper in
the basement, be sure these items are well away from any
sources of heat, like the furnace.
Rotate other seasonal items so that you will have easy
access to any garden tools, lawn furniture or other items
that you store in the basement.
Now is the time to clean or repair your lawn furniture
-not when that first warm spring arrives. Most plastic
lawn furniture can be cleaned easily with soap and water,
but make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions.
If you store winter items in your basement, garage or
mudroom, it is a good idea to invest in some
ready-to-assemble steel frame or wooden shelving units to
store things like ski boots, skates and so on. These can
be purchased relatively inexpensively from most hardware
or building supply stores.
It is also a good idea to free up as much floor space as
possible by utilizing things like shelving units or
overhead slots. Purchase some inexpensive plastic storage
boxes to store sweaters, mittens, scarves and other winter
items until next year.
Main living areas
Spring cleaning indoors usually involves cleaning the
inside of all your windows and removing any plastic you
may have installed to stop drafts. Remove any blinds or
sheers and give them a good washing too. This will allow
the beautiful spring sunshine to pour in.
When spring cleaning the main living areas of your home,
try to develop a ruthless attitude about what can stay and
what must go. If you don't really need a particular item,
consider donating it to a local charitable organization.
Things like furniture, old clothing, appliances and other
household items such as sheets, lamps and blankets can be
repaired and rescued. Items like magazines can be
recycled, as can home renovation materials.
Depending on how much clothes closet space you have, you
may want to move your winter wardrobe to a storage closet
and replace it with your spring/summer items.
Once you've tackled spring cleaning on the inside of your
home, it's time to move to the outdoors. Take a critical
look around your property for signs of damage and wear and
tear. Clean up winter debris and trim any damaged tree
Check your driveway and sidewalks for signs of winter
decay and look at the walls of your house for signs of
loose siding or damaged bricks or eavestroughs. Pieces of
shingle in your driveway may be a sign you need to tend to
your roof. If you see any damage, plan to get it fixed
before too long.
If you have a storage shed, it is a good time to start
sorting through it. Move the winter tools like snow
shovels, snow blowers and other items to the back, and
bring all your spring and summer things to the front for
Now, remove any storm windows, clean all window exteriors
and repair any screens or other damage.
Finally, check foundations, chimneys and other nooks and
crannies for bird and insect nests, as well as any cracks.
Cleaning up outdoors will also require a good raking up of
old leaves and other debris left over from the winter. You
may need to do some pruning, especially if any trees and
shrubs were damaged over the winter. Be sure all risk of
frost is past before removing the leaves you placed as
mulch in your garden last fall.
Although it may seem overwhelming, making a spring
cleaning plan and seeing it through to completion will
give you a sense of accomplishment and actually give you
more time to enjoy the season.