Monday, February 10, 2014

How To Prepare For Spring ~ Part Two

One thing that a lot of us don't think a whole lot about is Spring Cleaning, and especially the outside of our house. Other than basic yard work, a little touch up with paint here and there, what is there really to do?

More than you think!

In the last part of this series I talked about each of the rooms in your house and what you could do to Spring Clean them. You need to think the same way about the outside of your house. Divide it into areas, say the front, east, south, front porch, back porch, etc... Simply think about the things that need to be done in that area to clean and spruce it up.

Now I am not talking about home improvement projects. That's a whole different thing! I am just wanting you to think about cleaning.

Here's an example from our place:

The Front Porch

  1. Wash the front door and screen door. Remove the screen and scrub with a brush and the hose
  2. Clean off all cobwebs along the roof line, posts, and around the porch light. 
  3. Wash the porch light and wipe off bulb
  4. Sweep off the porch and steps, then power wash if possible
  5. Spruce up outdoor decorations on the porch and front door
  6. Sweep the sidewalk leading to the front door (it makes a big difference when the porch is clean and the walkway too!)
That's not a whole lot, and it really makes a difference in the way your whole home looks. When the approach to your home looks nice people feel more at home and welcome. 

Some of the more specific things you need to think about when cleaning the outside of your home may also depend on where you live. In our subdivision we have to power wash our siding each year. It's just one of the requirements for living here.

Other things are cleaning off your air conditioning unit, checking to see if it needs to be serviced. Cleaning out your gutters, not a fun job but so needed. Washing the windows outside. Some people are not fortunate enough to have the kind that fold in to the inside. I have some very fond memories of my Mom getting outside as soon as the ground was solid enough to hold the step ladder and her washing the windows. 

Generally Spring Cleaning your home on the outside does not take that long and can usually be done in a day or two. But remember you don't have to accomplish it all at once if you don't have the time. Just do what you can, when you can.

But we are not done with Spring Cleaning yet! Here are a few things around your home inside and outside, you need to think about cleaning and may not have thought of.
  1. Under the refrigerator ~ You'd be surprised what collects under there, especially if you have pets. I use a yard stick with some tulle rubber banded on one end. It works great and is thin enough to fit under.
  2. Between appliances and shelves ~ If at all possible, pull out appliances to clean the sides of them and the sides of the shelves, especially your stove. Food particles and debris can easily get down there and accumulate adding to the dirt in your home!
  3. Ceiling Fans ~ Take a good look at yours on the top not just on the bottom where you can see it. If there is a light attachment remember to clean that part too.
  4. Reusable Grocery Bags ~ These should be washed on a regular basis, about once a month.
  5. Hats, scarves, gloves, and mittens ~ Think about how much we sweat going in and out of the cold and warm wearing those things. Wash them before putting them away for the warm months.
  6. Vent on front of furnace ~ You should know about changing the filter for your furnace, but on the front of a furnace are vents. They can collect a lot of dust and debris and that decreases the efficiency of your furnace.
  7. Dryer vent ~ This is an absolute must. Not cleaning it can become a serious fire hazard. 15,000 homes burn each year because of dryer fires and most are caused by dirty dryer vents. Don't just clean the vent on the outside of the house, but the whole hose inside as well!                 
  8. Small electronics ~ Have you looked at your phone or your television remote lately? I mean seriously looked at it? Even headphones can get pretty grimey. use alcohol wipes to clean these off on a regular basis. Also check the computer tower fans. They can fill up with dust and debris easily. Don't forget your mouse either. Have you emptied the crumb tray of your toaster lately?
  9. Dust mop, broom, household trash cans ~ All the tools you use to clean around your house should be cleaned too. It's amazing how dirty and icky some of these things can get over time with use. 
  10. Tops of kitchen cupboards ~ This is a major area that dust and grease like to accumulate and if you don't clean it, you could be breathing it in.
  11. Stove vent filter ~ One of my least favorite things to clean, but so important to keep the vent working like it should. 
  12. Wash window blinds ~ This is something that you should do at least once a year, but I add it to my Spring and Fall cleaning lists for each room. You can do these in your shower or take them outside and use a hose and brush.
Spring Cleaning can be one of the best ways to continually keep your house in good shape. Not only are you keeping your home looking it's best, but as you are cleaning you can inspect things and find small problems that need to be fixed before they become major and expensive problems. It's also a great way to keep your home a safe, clean environment for your family.

Start today making a list of some of the Spring Cleaning projects you can accomplish this year.

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