Spring Cleaning Does't Have to Keep You Inside!
If you dread the thought of spring cleaning, you may wonder why you should bother. While the aesthetic benefits of a clean home are a matter of personal preference, there are other reasons to consider.
First and foremost, your home is a reflection of your personality. By taking care of it and making it fresh and presentable after accumulating months of winter grime, you make a better impression on neighbors and guests but more importantly you may just enjoy it yourself. Just like any task, spring cleaning chores are easiest to approach dividing them into manageable areas.
Spring cleaning doesn’t need to keep you cooped up in the house. If you plan outdoor activities in the spring and summer, a fresh, clean home is more enjoyable and you'll find yourself wanting to spend even more time outside. Exterior cleaning can also help you convert your lawn, garden, and yard from a dormant winter state and provide updated curb appeal.
For ease of checking off tasks we have divided our exterior clean up tasks by category.
For the Home
Take the screens off and hose them down gently or wash with a mild soap and water solution. Wash windows outside the house with a squirt of dishwashing liquid and water, or you can use outdoor window detergent that attaches to your garden hose.
Front Entry Sweep any debris that has gathered on the front entry porch, steps and sidewalks. Consider power washing dingy concrete and fill any cracked concrete with caulk. Wash the front door and consider a fresh coat of paint. Clean all light fixtures and make sure bulbs are all working. Hose off or power wash the garage door. Clean any corrosion off of door fixtures and mailbox or consider replacing them. Check all railings and balusters for rot and make sure they are secure.
Deck: Look over the deck closely. If boards are splintered or rotten you will want to replace them. Check to make sure the deck and any stairs are securely fastened to the structure and each other. Clean using a hose or power washer with appropriate cleaner for your decking type.
Gutters: Clean gutters of debris.
Patio Furniture: Patio furniture can range from metal, to durable plastic to glass to fabric, so an all-purpose cleaner to get any grit and grime off the hard surfaces is a great place to start. Cushions often just need spot cleanings. Start with soap and water if you’re not sure about the material.
Play Equipment: Plastic slides, riding toys or outdoor playhouses, can be wiped down with a clean cloth or sprayed with a chlorine bleach and water solution (be sure to check any cleaning solution for dangerous residue and proper use).
Trashcans: No one likes a stinky trashcan. Remove debris from the bottom, and then disinfect with a long-handled brush and a water-and-bleach solution to cut down on germs and odor. For trashcans, some experts suggest one-half to one-cup bleach and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to a gallon of water.
For the Lawn Even a beautiful home will look dingy if the lawn is in poor shape. While you don't want to wash your lawn, there are several spring-cleaning chores that can help it look its best.
Litter: The first task is to pick up any litter and dispose of it properly. Remember to check underneath trees, shrubs, and bushes as well.
Raking: Dormant grass is easily flattened and matted by months of snowfall. Gently rake your lawn to remove dead grass, perk up the dormant blades, and give your lawn a boost.
Sprinklers: If your yard has a sprinkler system, check the condition of the visible pipes and valves, and test the system to be sure it is working well.
For the Garden or Landscape Bed Whether you have a large garden, medium flowerbeds, or just a small planted area, you can make it look better in the spring with a few simple chores.
Weeding: Removing weeds is much easier when they're small and the soil is moist with spring rain. To minimize the reappearance of weeds, consider using weed control fabric or tarp in your garden or flowerbeds.
Uncover Plants: If you use covers to protect delicate plants, remove them as soon as the danger of frost has passed.
Pruning: Spring is a fine time to prune trees and shrubs. Consider their overall size and shape when you're pruning, and recycle the clippings in a brush pile for the birds or by creating mulch or compost.
Insects: Spring is the best time to treat your garden area and flowerbeds for insects to minimize any pest problems.
Mulch: Rake the mulch in your garden and flowerbeds to mix air closer to the soil and refresh the color of the mulch. Consider replacing mulch or filling thin areas. Lighting: Check all outdoor lighting to insure it is in good working order.
You may have other items to consider such as outbuildings, pools, ponds, private roadways or other special features to maintain. Remember, warm summer days are just around the corner and accomplishing these tasks in the pleasant temperatures of spring will not only renew your home, it will provide a wonderful place of enjoyment for you, your family and friends in the days and months to come!