Ready to pump up your Spring Cleaning game? Here are 19 areas & items to tackle that will take your Spring Clean to a whole new level!
Seize a Clean Day!
In North Carolina, we never know what to expect from the weather, especially in the winter! Some years we have lots of snow and ice and power outages, and during other years we barely have a snowflake. Whatever comes our way, it’s good to be prepared! Scroll to the bottom of this post for the link to a Winter Home Maintenance Checklist to get your home ready for snow and ice.
Worried about possibly being without power for a few days if a snow or ice storm hits? Buy gas heater or generator and have everything on hand and set up in advance. Make sure that you have a thorough knowledge of safety hazards around a gas heater as it can be a serious fire hazard if used incorrectly. Never leave a gas heater unattended, and keep it clear of any fire hazards, such as curtains and blankets. Wouldn’t it be awful to think that you’ll have power in an emergency and spend time and money setting up a generator, only to not have it work? If you have never had a generator set up before, have an electrician come to your home ahead of time to set it up so that you know that it is functioning correctly.
If your car is parked outside, do yourself a favor and put your windshield wipers up and cover with old tube socks. This prevents your wipers from sticking to your windshield and saves them from the ice and snow. If temperatures drop below 25 degrees F, turn your faucets to just a drip so that your pipes don’t freeze. If your pipes freeze in the winter, wrap your pipes in newspaper, towels or rags as needed. Then warm them with a hair dryer if they freeze.
Make sure that you have charged electronics as needed if there is a threat of snow or ice before there is a power outage. If you lose power, unplug important electrical equipment to avoid ruining it in a power surge when power is restored.
Hopefully, we’ll have safe and happy snow days this year, and with these tips, you’re sure to have a peaceful rather than stressed snow day!
Rotting food waste in particular makes for a stinky homecoming. Before you run out the door, remember to empty out all of your trash and recycling bins. This is probably the simplest (and most effective) thing you can do to ensure your home will be fresh and welcoming when you return from your trip.
After making it through a day of long flights or slow traffic, putting fresh sheets on your bed is probably the last thing on your exhausted mind once you get home. Changing the sheets before you leave ensures that climbing into bed will be that much sweeter after a long day of travel.
Cleaning up before you leave can be overwhelming when you’re trying to pack and tie up other loose ends, but who wants to come home to sticky counters, a grimy bathroom, and dusty furniture? Call ahead and schedule your cleaning service to come a few days before your vacation ends, so your house will be a fresh haven that you’re happy to return to. Carpe Diem will even change your sheets for you (so you can cross that one off your list)!
Take a moment and install a new air filter in your HVAC system before you leave. This will cut down on dust build-up while you’re gone, which is especially helpful if you’ll be gone for more than two weeks.
Okay, don’t actually leave your lights on 24/7 while you’re gone! Instead put one or two of your lamps (which can be seen from outside) on timers. This will save energy and create the illusion that all is as usual at your home, which will deter break-ins. You can find affordable timers at any hardware store.
If you receive a newspaper, go ahead and put a hold on that (newspapers piled in a driveway signal that no one is at home). Also, put a hold on your mail (this can easily be done online), or arrange to have a neighbor or friend pick it up regularly.
We’ve cleaned thousands of houses over the years, and it turns out that most people hide their house keys in the exact same places. Chances are we’re not the only folks who know where to look. If you have someone coming by to check on your home, the safest thing is to just give them a spare key to keep. If this isn’t an option for some reason, consider getting super creative with where you hide your key, or storing your key in a lock box secured in a discreet location.
Call your HVAC guy to come check out your system and go ahead and change those filters. You’ll be beating the rush of all those calls he’ll get when things start heating up in March.
2. Daylight Savings Time
Set a reminder on your calendar to turn your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 9th (2:00 am will become 3:00 am).
3. Ceiling Fans
When you turn your clock forward, it’s time to turn your ceiling fans back! Make sure your ceiling fans are spinning counterclockwise which will force cool air downwards. When your fans are spinning clockwise they will create an updraft that will force warm air down downwards. Check out this detailed explanation from the professionals at ceilingfan.org.
The mattresses in your house should be flipped every spring and every fall. An easy way to remember this is to flip your mattresses at the same time that you change your clocks. Turn the mattress so that the end which was at the foot is now by the headboard, then flip the mattress over so that the side which was the top is now the bottom. Follow these simple steps on WikiHow to rotate your mattress.
5. Patio Furniture
Warm weather is on the way, and you’ll want to be able to enjoy the outdoors when it comes. Go ahead and get your patio furniture out of the garage, or if it’s been outdoors, go ahead and clean off any dirt that’s accumulated over the winter. Check out the Real Simple site for tips on how to clean all types of outdoor furniture.
6. Prepare for Pollen
Pollen season in North Carolina lasts pretty much from March until September, with the worst of the yellow stuff plaguing us through March and April. Get some allergy medicine (antihistamines and/or nasal washes) now so you’ll have it when you need it!
7. Cleaning Goals
Figure out the Spring Cleaning goals which are particular to your home, and get them on the calendar. Maybe you need the carpets or upholstery cleaned, your curtains washed, or your baseboards wiped. This may be something that you can tackle by yourself, or you might want to call in the professionals to handle the dirty work.
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