Ahh, spring. The time when you can open the windows – as long as the pollen count is reasonable – and feel the whole house getting refreshed. Now it’s time to get ready for our favorite time of year – Spring Cleaning! Time to pack away the winter clothes and boots, rotate out the warmer wardrobe, and get the snow shovels out of sight.
It’s also time for a nice good deep clean, since your family’s been stuck in the house all winter and not everyone’s a neat nick. We all tend to have our own version of spring cleaning. You’ve probably tackled it already, wrangling buckets and gloves and maybe even the help of a spouse or child, but – I’m sorry to say this – you missed a spot.
Here are a couple of spots our team recommends you double-check…
Did you test the batteries in your safety devices when you moved the clocks forward? Check your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and your security alarms. You don’t want them to fail right when you need them, and you also don’t want one of them to start giving off the low battery signal at 4 am and interrupt your sleep.
Mold and Fungus?
When’s the last time you checked for mold and fungus? You can’t rely on sight or smell, since they can hide in the walls and ceiling. If things have been damp lately, or especially if there’s been any flooding, call in the experts for a scan. This is one spring cleaning tip that can be costly if you overlook it. Catching it early will mean you can take care of issues before they become health and safety concerns.
When did you last shampoo the carpet?
Did you rent a carpet cleaner? Vacuuming is all well and good, but a carpet cleaner does more than just tackle stains and odors. It will tackle dust mites, pet dander, cockroach allergens, and trapped pollutants – all the nasty things you can’t see. Deep-cleaning the carpet is also another mold-prevention step. If you have pets or anyone in your house has allergies, rent that carpet cleaner – your sinuses will thank you.
Are you sure you got all the dust? Check the most often overlooked places: dryer and heating or air conditioning vents, window treatments, light fixtures, baseboards, and fan blades. Use kneepads or a sturdy ladder to safely and comfortably get those surfaces that aren’t at eye level. And by the way … when’s the last time you checked under the couch? That’s a place that could use some TLC when you’re doing your spring cleaning, too.
How are your appliances doing?
Take stock of everything: fridge, range, dishwasher, washer and dryer, air conditioner, water heater … everything. They might be clean by now – take this opportunity to spiff up anything you missed before – but how are they running? Are you hoping to get another season out of something before you have to replace it? Is there anything iffy you’ll have to budget for repairing or replacing down the road? Keeping tabs on your appliances now is better than trying to figure out how to save a fridge full of food later on, or what you’re going to do about laundry if the machine gives up the ghost.
What about water damage?
Sure, you clean that darn toilet every week, but how closely do you really look at it? Check toilets, tubs, showers, and sinks for leaks, especially if you’ve noticed your water bill is suddenly higher than it used to be. Hidden leaks can cause structural damage of their own, aside from giving mold and fungus a nasty foothold. Scan the outside of your house, too, for siding or shingle issues. You don’t want to discover those when your kid asks “Hey Mom, what’s that stain on the ceiling?”
Everyday Wear and Tear
And don’t forget the wear and tear from everyday use. You probably have a whole list of things in the back of your mind that you’ll get to, someday, when you have the time and aren’t so stressed. Loose railings, floorboards, or steps … sticking or nonfunctioning doorknobs or light switches … all those “quirks” in your house that you know because you live here, but might have to explain to a guest. Prioritize them and tackle the top three. You’re worth it, you know.
I know – it’s a lot. But this is the house where your family spends so much time. Your kids have friends over, you have friends over, and even if they’re the good friends who don’t care about a mess, you still have standards. Spread this spring cleaning checklist out over a few weeks and tackle one task at a time to make sure your home is clean, safe, and welcoming for all.Now it