There are always things to do around your home and yard this time of year, but some things are more frequently overlooked, which can lead to much bigger problems over time. Spring is the perfect time to make sure all are in check. Here is our top 20:
1) Clean Window Treatments
Most draperies are machine washable, but be sure to check the labels. Wipe wooden or metal blinds with a damp cloth.
2) Dust The Hard To Reach Spaces
The tops of ceiling fans, tall cabinets, books, bookshelves, wall art, and window casings are usually missed in regular cleanings. Always work from the top of a room down, and vacuum the floor quickly after to prevent dust from re-settling.
3) Deep Clean Carpets
Synthetic carpets and rugs with waterproof backings can be deep-cleaned with a rotary shampoo machine. Rugs without backings, including Orientals, require professional cleaning.
4) Wash Window Screens
Using warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid, scrub each screen with a brush and rinse thoroughly. Patch any holes or replace screens if required.
5) Wax Floors
Vinyl and linoleum floors that have lost their shine can be waxed with a polish designed for that surface, while most stone or tile floors can be treated with a paste or liquid wax designed for that material.
6) Dust Refrigerator Coils
Turn off the appliance’s power at circuit breaker or fuse box. Coils are usually at the bottom of the refrigerator, under the grill. Clean coils with the crevice attachment of a vacuum or a specialty refrigerator-coil brush tool.
7) Wash Inside of Refrigerator and Freezer
Empty contents of fridge/freezer into cooler boxes or mini-fridge. Unplug appliance and wait for it to warm up to room temperature. Wipe interior surfaces with a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda per 4 litres of hot water.
8) Change Mattress & Bedding
Turn over your mattress to distribute wear evenly. Replace cool-weather bedding with warm-weather bedding.
9) Clean Pillows
Whether made of natural fibres (such as down) or synthetic (polyester), most pillows can be machine-washed in hot water with bleach. Check the label to be sure. This rids them of mold, bacteria, and odours.
10) Update Medicine Cabinet
Replace any missing contents from your first aid kit. It should also include a list of emergency numbers, especially the one for your local poison-control centre. Discard and replace any expired medications and cosmetics.
11) Organize Personal Files
Review insurance policies, contracts, household inventories, ensure all is current and shred all unimportant items or documents older than 7 years.
12) Clean Your Electronics
Your home computer, television and telephone should have their casings and keyboards scrubbed with a dust-free cloth damp with 1 drop mild dish detergent per 4 litres hot water. Clean crevices with cotton swabs. Wipe screens with soft cloth or dry screen-cleaning sponge.
13) Organize Your Closets
Ensure cold-weather garments are clean before storing them in a zippered bag. Donate any apparel you no longer use. Many charities can pick up the items, some even offer tax receipts.
14) Organize Storage Spaces
Whether it’s your attic, basement, storage room or storage closets, organize your storage and give away or discard unwanted items. Anything with value can be sold online for extra cash. In the basement, use concrete blocks to keep storage boxes off the ground in case of flooding.
15) Prepare Outdoor Spaces
Clean porch floors, ceilings and walls. Scrub mildew spots with 1 part oxygen bleach to 3 parts warm water using a deck brush. Wash outdoor furniture with mild dish liquid and water with a soft bristle brush or sponge. Inspect light fixtures and replace bulbs if required.
16) Replace Light Bulbs
Audit all your home’s lighting fixtures and note their max wattage capacity, base type, if they’re on a dimmer, how many bulbs are needed and what colour temperature you prefer. Remove any that are burnt out, and consider replacing with LED bulbs. There are a wide variety of LED bulbs to suit almost any fixture, and though they are more expensive initially, they last much longer and use a fraction of the electricity of incandescent, halogen or even fluorescent bulbs – costing much less over time.
17) Practice Fire Safety
Replace batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Recharge fire extinguishers. Practice escape plans with your family and discuss muster points. Note the number of family members and pets on a fire-safety decal outside of your front entrance.
18) Wax and Protect Wooden Cabinets & Furniture
Clean all wooden surfaces including furniture, kitchen cabinets, utensils and cutting boards with lemon oil using a rag. Several applications might be needed for full effect. Once dry, apply paste wood wax to furniture and cabinets with a cotton rag, let dry, and buff to shine.
19) Wipe Walls & Ceilings
Vacuum to remove dust or cobwebs, then tackle stubborn grime with a solvent-free degreaser. Wipe down baseboards, mouldings and trim, and scrub corners and crevices with an old toothbrush.
20) Reseal Grout & Replace Caulking
Ensure your tiling stays water-tight, especially in the bathroom, by sealing grout lines with a penetrating grout sealer using a small foam brush. Remove any dirty or loose caulking completely and replace, following the directions on the bottle.
Happy Spring Cleaning!
-The Jameswood Team
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