Smart Design With Suzette: Spring Cleaning

Clean gutters. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos
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 it. 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.
Landscaping Tips
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, and 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 3 months from now.
Spring Cleaning Throughout The House
There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean. Today, there are many checklists on the Internet for spring-cleaning. Most advise to:
  • Wipe walls 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
Clean Window Treatments: Many draperies and curtains are machine washable; check labels. Dry-clean fabric shades. Wipe wooden blinds with a damp cloth; warm water mixed with a mild dishwashing liquid is safe for metal and vinyl blinds.
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.
Decorative Pillows
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.
Front Door
Sweep away winter debris and freshen up the front door with a new paint color and/or a new welcome mat – instant curb appeal!
After reading through spring cleaning tips and techniques, tailor it to your home and yard. Create a realistic schedule, keeping in mind that a single weekend won’t suffice, as you’ll need several days for more involved projects, such as shampooing carpets and organizing closets. Whether you prefer to proceed from the attic to the basement or start outdoors and wind your way inside, focus on one task at a time. And be sure to enlist the help of family members.
Preparing your home for the spring is rewarding now, and 3 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 for help with your home.
For more information, find her on Facebook at her website and Instagram
Front door. Courtesy photo
Landscaping. Courtesy photo
Power washing. Courtesy photo