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Your Spring Spruce-Up Checklist

Ah, spring! After the cold, grey winter weather, fresh, warm breezes are so welcome. And so is a fresh clean house. Spring is the perfect time to deep clean your house, inside and outside, and we have the perfect checklist to help you get organized. Whether you plan a house-cleaning marathon, or prefer to work each of these tasks into your regular cleaning routine, you’ll end up with a sparkling clean house. Let’s get busy!


Task #1: Wash your windows.

Your mother likely told you to wash windows on a cloudy day. That’s because sun shining on your windows will cause the cleaning solution to dry too quickly, creating streaks. For a chemical-free clean, make a solution of ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, 1/3 cup white vinegar, and distilled water. Use a clean cotton cloth, rather than paper towels, to wipe the windows.


Task #2: Clean often overlooked surfaces.

Take a walk around your house and look for those surfaces you often overlook during regular cleaning. Surfaces like woodwork, window sills, siding door tracks, baseboards, switch plates, stair rails and doors. Plain soapy water and a sponge should do the trick.


Task #3: Clean out your fireplace or wood stove, and have your chimney inspected

All of those cozy winter night in front of a fire have literally turned into a huge pile of ashes in your fireplace or wood stove. Time to clean that all out. Dust logs or stones, andirons and the hearth with a clean cloth. Vacuum vents using the hose attachment, and use a damp cloth to wipe down the inside and outside of fireplace walls. Now is a good time to get your chimney inspected.


Task #4: Deep clean your carpets.

Whether you have wall-to-wall carpeting, or area rugs, you should give them a deep, professional clean at least twice yearly; maybe more if you have pets. Before your pro comes to clean the carpets, be sure to have as much furniture out of the way as possible, and vacuum the carpets. After cleaning, wait until carpets are thoroughly dry before moving furniture back in place.


Task #5: Take a look at your window treatments.

Dust and pet hair can hang out in your curtains, drapes and blinds, especially after a long winter. Many types of curtains can be laundered easily. Drapes can be dry-cleaned, or give them the once-over with your vacuum, using the upholstery attachment. Blinds of all types should be thoroughly dusted and checked for cracked or broken pieces.


Task #6: Dust light fixtures and ceiling fans.

Microfiber dusters are the perfect tool for cleaning light fixtures. Get an extendable handle to do the ceiling fans so you can stay off a ladder. Did grandmother ever tell you to clean a room, starting at the top? That’s so any dust from the fan or fixtures won’t fall on what you’ve already cleaned.


Task #7: Clean the Bedrooms

In each bedroom, rotate and flip mattresses, wash blankets, comforters, mattress pads and bed skirts, or take them to be cleaned. Don’t forget the bedrooms when you’re cleaning carpets, dusting ceiling fans and washing woodwork. Clean and freshen pillows by washing them, two at a time, in the washing machine! (Read tags first to make sure they are not dry-clean-only.) Use a fragrance-free soap in hot water to kill any bacteria. Dry by hanging outside, or on a low heat setting in your dryer.


Task #8: Clean the Bathrooms

Of course, you clean your bathroom on a daily or weekly basis, but during spring house cleaning, take some extra time to toss out old and expired products (but don’t flush medicines!) and organize storage areas. Launder shower curtains, liners, and bath mats, or replace them if they’re worn.


Task #9: Clean the Kitchen

Again, you’re constantly cleaning your kitchen, but now is the time to clean appliances inside and out, clean behind your refrigerator, change the water filter in your refrigerator or water system, and reorganize your cupboards and pantry. You can clean your drains and disposal naturally, by first pouring in baking soda in each drain (use the box you just removed from your fridge), and follow with a good slosh of white vinegar. Let that sit for about 20 minutes, then pour boiling water down each drain.


Task #10: Inspect your home’s mechanical systems.

Your furnace has been running all winter, but do you know if your air conditioning is ready to go when warm weather arrives? How about your water heater? Has it been awhile since it’s been flushed? Now is the time to get these systems checked. While you’re at it, check your basement for any moisture, change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and get a fire extinguisher.


Task #11: Power wash and touch up your home’s exterior.

Your siding, windows, decks, porches and other surfaces could use a good wash once winter is over. Keeping them clean will prevent mold and mildew. While you’re washing, take stock of your home’s paint job: could it use freshening? Maybe even a color change? Now might even be the right time to consider low- or no-maintenance siding options.


Task #12: Gutter and downspout maintenance.

At least twice a year, give your gutters and downspouts an inspection, cleaning out any debris you find. Keeping gutters and downspouts in good condition will keep water diverted from your foundation walls, preventing moisture from entering your basement or crawl space.


Task #13: How is your garage door?

When you’re pressure washing the exterior of your home, make sure and include the garage door to remove all the leftover salt and grime from winter. How is the door working? Does the door go all the way up and all the way down? Are any of the panels shifting, or are there odd sounds you didn’t notice before? Your door could be due for some maintenance.


Task #14: Get Outdoor Spaces Cleaned & Repaired

Get ready for outdoor living by cleaning and repairing outdoor furniture, your deck, porch or patio. Your pressure washer will come in handy here, too. And don’t forget your lawn! While it’s been hibernating all winter, now is the time to get some nourishment started!


Task #15: Visually Inspect Your Roof

After winter storms have passed, take a look at your roof to see if there are trouble spots. Start inside by looking for signs of water damage, like brown stains on ceilings, and damaged or decaying wood in the attic. Then, head outside and take your phone with you. From the ground, look for missing, curled or broken shingles, and sagging. Also watch for piles of leaves or debris that could cause problems down the road if not removed. Finally, if you can safely, grab the ladder to get a closer look at the roof. Is there damage around the gutters, chimney or vent pipes? If you can, take pictures here too.


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