Spring cleaning is about so much more than, well, cleaning. Beyond getting the house spick and span, I encourage you to take this annual opportunity to do some much-needed after-winter maintenance. The following are seven high-impact upkeep jobs to work into your schedule this season.
Filters & Vents
Your HVAC system is super important since it keeps a whole lot of dust and nastiness out of your house—and your lungs. So there’s no time like the present to thoroughly clean it. Start by changing the filters, and while you’re at it, set filter-changing reminders in your paper or electronic calendar for the rest of the year (plan on performing this task once a season). Next, vacuum out all your vents and heating registers using a handheld vacuum fitted with the brush attachment. This will improve efficiency, reduce noise, and remove that hairy vent effect—which is not a good look.
Check Your Air Conditioner
I speak from experience when I say you don’t want to wait for the first hot day of the year to discover your air conditioner is on the fritz. (Chad and I found ourselves in this position a few years back, and it cost us tons of stress, lots of money and a night of sleeping in the cool basement while we waited for a repair person. Not a good scene.) So take it from me—this is a great time to uncover your A/C unit and remove any debris, like leaves or clumps of grass, that have gotten sucked in. Then switch that baby on and confirm that it’s in good working order. If there’s any issue, you’ll have plenty of time to shop around for a reputable and affordable repair person.
Large Appliances Need Some Love
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
As they say, safety first! So go ahead and perform the annoying, eardrum-piercing tests on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Or you can just change all the batteries in one go and check off this important to-do. In the event of an emergency, you’ll be more than glad you did. On that note, take this opportunity to assess your flashlights and ensure they have fresh batteries as well as examine the pressure gauges on your fire extinguisher.
Stash Away Winter Clothing
As a Canadian who spends half the year buried under layers of various chunky fabrics, I find this one particularly gratifying. I certainly don’t want to look at this stuff if I don’t have to! Bonus: Having only what you are currently using in your closets and drawers will make everything look airy and boutique-like. And it will give you some motivation to spring clean your wardrobe (that’s right, you don’t get a pass on this one!).
Prep The Outdoors
Pitter out to the patio or backyard and take stock of what may need to get done out there. If it’s been sitting out all winter, your outdoor furniture likely needs some TLC. Now is also the time to check your lawnmower to see if it needs any gasoline, and make sure your grill is clean and chock-full of propane. And before any grass or plants get a chance to overgrow or dry out, pull those weeds and bring all your hoses out.
Make Sure Welcome Mats Are Welcoming
This minor chore gets major billing in my book because it creates a great first impression when guests come over (or when you come home through the front door, too). If your mat looks sad and tired, replace it. If it looks like you can get some more good years out of it, clean it well: Beat out the dirt and vacuum it up.