Spring is right around the corner. From the interior of your home to the exterior, getting your home ready for spring will ensure you’ll be ready to enjoy the warmer weather. Many new homeowners don’t know where to begin. Here are some guidelines to get started.
Start On Your Exterior
The outside of your home has taken wear and tear from the winter. Walk around your home and examine caulking around windows and doors, as well as open windows and doors and look at weather stripping. Replace old or cracking caulk and replace weather stripping. Inspect the roof for broken or missing shingles, or tiles, and clean out gutters and downspouts at the same time.
While it’s not time to start planting flowers yet, it isn’t too early to attend to garden hoses, walkways and other areas of the landscaping. Replace cracked or old garden hoses, rake away leaves, tree limbs and debris from sidewalks, plant beds and surrounding areas. Pressure wash concrete and paver areas that have become dirty and power wash vinyl siding, brick walls and vertical surfaces on your home.
Spring is an important time to review your home’s HVAC – heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems before the harsh climatic changes of summer. Ensure air filters have been replaced or cleaned and stock up on new air filters if you use disposable ones. Check that your air conditioner is in good working order. If you need to have a service person look at it, it will be a lot less expensive than three months from now.
Where did spring cleaning come from? Spring cleaning dates back to ancient Jewish practice of thoroughly cleaning before the spring-time memorial feast of Passover. Early Christians continued the practice, conducting a spring cleaning traditionally between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. In North America and northern Europe, the custom found a practical value due to the regions cold and wet climates. For me, it was my mom’s way to get me to do the cleaning before I could go out and play with friends!
Today, there are many checklists on the Internet for spring cleaning. Most advise to wipe wall and ceilings; reseal grout lines; shampoo rugs; clean upholstered furniture; wax wooden furniture; thoroughly dust home including light fixtures and light bulbs; and test your emergency systems in your home – home alarm, smoke fire alarm, fire extinguisher, and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are working properly.
Swap It Out and Store It
A few small changes can totally transform your home for the season. Here’s what to switch out and what to do with those off-season items.
Swap out scents like pine and cinnamon for something lighter fragranced and more colorful for spring. Store off-season candles by wrapping each one in cellophane or acid-free tissue paper; if they’re scented, stick them in plastic bags to help retain their fragrance. Store them flat in a cool, dark location like a drawer so that they don’t warp.
Who doesn’t love a heavy duvet when the weather outside is frightful? But once it starts warming up, a lighter blanket or quilt are often all you need. Most down comforters can be machine-washed (though dropping them off at the dry-cleaner might be easier if they’re too big for your washing machine). Wash on a gentle setting with mild detergent, and set your machine to a double rinse. Dry on low with a couple of dryer balls (tennis balls do the trick, too), and know that you might have to let the cycle run more than once to get the comforters completely dry. Store them in a breathable cotton or canvas bag to prevent mustiness.
Just as jewelry can make or break an outfit, decorative pillows can do the same in a home. While spot-on for winter, velvet or wool styles seem a little heavy-handed for spring. Bright, cotton throw pillows bring spring to any room. To store off-season pillows: if your pillows are clad in removable covers, pull off the covers and follow the laundering instructions before storage. Store pillows in cedar trunk or similar container that allows them to breathe.
Freshening up the front door with a new paint color and/or a new welcome mat – instant curb appeal!
Preparing your home for the spring is rewarding now, and three months from now! Spring maintenance is a good idea for everyone, and even more important if you’re considering putting your home on the market. What are you waiting for? Get started, the warm weather is on its way!
Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to suggest specific design topics or for help with your home. For more information, find her on Facebook at facebook.com/SuzetteFoxInteriorDesign and on her website www.suzettefoxinteriors.com