If you live in Eastern Canada, you may feel like Summer will get here before Spring! As you wait, this would be a perfect time to shed the old and give your home a fresh start. Along with the season comes the opportunity to set things aside for your garage sale, an ideal way to dispose items you don't use enough to store and make a little money while you're at it.
House cleaning is not fun for most but once it is done, we are usually glad for the effort and feel great. Spring is the perfect time to accomplish more infrequent chores, such as:
- Air out your home to release any indoor air polution that has accumulated over the cold months;
- Wash windows and baseboards from winter grime;
- Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors;
- Flip mattresses so the wear gets spread out;
- Clean and reorganize cupboards, drawers, and closets;
- Dispose of expired medication;
- Tighten screws and lubricate squeeky hinges with WD40; and,
- Prepare to sell items for your annual garage sale.
To make this annual task as easy as possible for you and for your busy family, we suggest this easy-to-follow Spring Cleaning Checklist that also includes helpful tips for seasonal home maintenace throughout the year. Display it prominently (fridge), prioritize, and involve the whole family. Set reasonable goals daily and weekly to accommodate everyone's varying capabilities and schedules.
TIP: If you have difficulty getting your kids and teens motivated, create a reward system like offering a family picnic outing once everything is completed. Rewards don't have to be expensive to motivate – just relevant – so make sure you pick something your kids would value.
Removing little-used household items will not only give you more space to help you stay organized but it will also give you a feeling of lightness which is a lovely way to enter the Spring season. As you clean through each room, take this opportunity to remove room accessories and unused furniture, cds, toys, books, and other items for your garage sale.
TIP: If you have gently used children's books, your can help your community by donating to your local schools or daycares.
Closets and Dressers
Switching seasonal clothing and footwear makes it easier to access items you will be using more regularly. Go through all closets and dressers, including your front and back hall closets. Be brutal – if it hasn't been worn this season, you likely won't wear it next year either, so get rid of it. Set items aside for your garage sale, donate to a clothing bank or shelter, or sell through a consignment shop.
For the items that you are keeping, label bins or storage bags by person and store them in your basement or other storage facility.
TIP: Avoid storing your clothing in the garage unless you are confident that your packaging is so secure that the smallest critter will not penetrate. Mice can squeeze through spaces slightly larger than 6 millimeters (1/4 inch) in diameter.
Address Squeeks and Touch Up Paint
Paint touchups, tightening screws, and lubricating hinges with WD40 may be done in coordination with room cleaning especially if you are going to freshen up your baseboards and doors with a new coat of paint.
As you walk through each room, specifically in high-traffic areas like hallways and corners, look for chips and scuffs that you can wash and touch up if necessary. Test doors, windows, and cupboards for any adjustments they may need as well. If you're pressed for time, do one room each week and be happy if you're done by summer's end.
TIP: 'Magic Eraser' is very effective for removing scuffs from walls; available at most grocery and home supply stores. Follow the instructions as it is not ideal for some surfaces.
Yard clean-up can be done in stages but coordinate and take advantage of your first yard waste pick-up date to ensure you can get rid of the worst of your Spring yard clean-up. This would include dead branches and leaves, dead plants from baskets or urns that were not discarded in the Fall, and any winter decorations that were made of live plants or tree branches.
In a few months, look for tips about preparing for your summer garage sale. The proceeds could be used to sponsor the family reward for the Spring Clean-up! In fact, that motivation just might help your family become excellent sales people too! •
Download the Spring Cleaning and Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklists
Sheila Quinn & Friends
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