Spring Cleaning Guide
As the famous author Mark Twain once said, “The people of New England are by nature patient and forbearing; but there are some things which they will not stand. Every year they kill a lot of poets for writing about ‘Beautiful Spring’.” 140 years later and Twain’s wisdom still holds true. Winter has overstayed its welcome and spring may or may not show but summer will be on time and we need to prepare our homes so we can enjoy the warm weather with our feet up instead of trying to play catch up. Use this list as a source of inspiration to guide you through your spring cleaning this year.
Before preparing our homes for summer, we need to…
Erase the Sign of Winter:
- Clean gutters and downspouts to prevent future costly damage
- Clear away winter grime from the exterior siding of your home
- Wash all windows inside and out and wipe down the sill (Tip: wash the windows on a cloudy day so the sun doesn’t dry the window before you’re done cleaning)
- Make a list of all things that need to be painted or touched up
- Maintain exterior woodwork by staining and resealing or preforming necessary repairs i.e. fences, pergolas, trellises, etc.
- Inspect driveways, walkways, and paths for damage from freezing and thawing and schedule repairs as needed
- Wash the coach light and sconces to rid of dirt and cobwebs
Before bringing the porch furniture out, prepare the outdoor living spaces:
- Put a coat of sealer on the deck
- Wash the bluestone patio to rid of dirt, leaves, and mold
- Clear away cobwebs from the ceiling and corners
- Clean the screens and patch holes before installing
- Clean the porch furniture and freshen the cushions
Adorning your outdoor living spaces:
- Fill your flowerboxes and plant pots with flowers to boost curb appeal and immerse nature into your outdoor living spaces
- Put new candles in the candleholders and/or lanterns
- Consider investing in a new doormat to keep the dirt outside
- Remember: any open containers (empty flowerpots and saucers, a wheelbarrow) can become mosquito-breeding grounds when filled with rainwater
Similar to outside, before preparing inside our home for summer, we need to…
Erase the Sign of Winter:
- If you haven’t already, put the last vestiges of Christmas and Easter away (it happens to the best of us)
- Freshen your entry and mudroom. Put all your winter gear away including boots, coats, mittens etc.
- Take the heavy winter blankets off your beds and/or transition to linen sheets. Ask yourself when was the last time you flipped your mattresses.
- Purge your closet of all winter clothes, shoes, and accessories. Get rid of items you don’t wear.
- Set all lightbulbs to 25 watts to set a cozy atmosphere
- Bring home fresh flowers!
Refresh Your Home
- Take this opportunity before the busy summer months to treat your floors, especially if you have dogs or entertain frequently
- Clean the tiled surfaces in your house specifically the grout which can be an eyesore
- Spot clean your pained walls to rid of fingerprints and scuffs
- Purge your linen closets of old towels, pillow cases, and sheets. Make sure your beach towels are easily accessible
- Clear out the junk in your basement and/or garage. Once you’re satisfied, organize with shelves and bins to get items off the ground
- Purge your pantry and vacuum the shelves/drawers to rid of crumbs. Make sure nothing can attract ants and pantry moths
- Purge your fridge and throw away expired food. Pull out all of your fridge’s shelving and wash everything with warm soapy water
- Remove build-up from kitchen cabinets and condition with Parker & Bailey Kitchen Cabinet Cream or a similar product
- Deep clean your microwave and oven, especially the bottom where food could have settled
- Don’t forget about your dishwasher! You may be surprised how much food has been living in there and it will do a much better job after a deep clean.
- Look to see if your wood countertops could use a fresh coat of catalytic finish
- Clean your stainless steel appliances. Just remember to go with the “grain.” Refer to this great Houzz article on various types of stains and stainless steel: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/51225359/list/how-to-clean-stainless-steel-appliances-and-surfaces
Certainly, this is not an exhaustive list of spring cleaning tips and it may seem like a lot of work but remember you can always hire a professional for the larger jobs. Follow this guide and you’ll be enjoying the summer weather on your patio with a glass of wine in no time. Last but not least: don’t forget this is New England. As the famous author Mark Twain said, “Yes, one of the brightest gems in the New England weather is the dazzling uncertainty of it. There is only one thing certain about it, you are certain there is going to be plenty of weather.” Take Mark Twain’s advice and make sure you have logs for a fire on a cool summer night.