You know it needs to be done, but where do you start? Here are our best tips for spring home maintenance and organization!
maintenance and cleaning
– Check for loose or leaky gutters and make sure your downspouts are all attached and drain away from the house to avoid improper drainage which can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure you clean out the gutters as well.
– Fill any low areas in the yard or next to the foundation with compacted soil. The rain in spring can cause flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water fills in these low areas in summer, it becomes a breeding ground for bugs.
– Check the trim around windows, doors, decks and railings to see if there is any damaged caulking, trim or wood. Clean the windows and replace torn or damaged screens as necessary to let that sun shine in. * BONUS TIP – get a label maker as you’re putting the screens back in and put a label on each noting the room and which window (i.e. top left)
– Take a look at your roof – if you see any signs of shingles that are missing or warped, get a roofing company to take a look. Summer can be tough on the rood so repair it now.
– Check the brick of your chimney for any damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected.
– Check exterior water taps for damage from sub-zero temperatures. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged.
– Service the outside unit of the air conditioning system and test it. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels.
– Check your lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yard work easier.
– Clean up the poop. If you have a dog, after this long winter you’ll need to do a good pick up. Can’t face the music? Call Poop Patrol 1-866-734-POOP (7667)
– Clean or replace your furnace filter for better HVAC efficiency. It’s also a great time to get your vents and system cleaned. CALL: Ontario Duct Cleaning 416-292-9700
– After a good lesson this past winter, make sure you trim trees on a regular basis. CALL: Tim @ Canadian Tree Care – (416) 434-3209
– Check for and repair cracks in driveway or patio. Spring is the best time to seal cracks in the driveway or any other concrete.
– Renting a pressure washer is a great idea for cleaning surfaces such as patio furniture (put on light setting!), the deck, fences and even the exterior of the house. GET: Home Depot or Stephenson’s Rent All
– Before you throw that first steak on the grill, give it a good cleaning and really take it apart – you never know what was hibernating in there over the winter. Don’t want to do this nasty job yourself? CALL: Well Done BBQ’s 416 788-2240
– Clean out our dryer vents with a vacuum and bleach or use a cleaning solution for front-load washers to prevent mold build-up.
– Run a build-up rinse in your dishwasher – this will keep your dishes clean and prevent long term damage. The use of environmentally friendly detergents now allows the build up of limescale so it’s important to do this on a regular basis.
– This is also the perfect time to check and test fire extinguishers, smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarms, replacing batteries and cleaning dust from the covers.
– Clean ceiling fans. You may not have been using them all winter and you don’t that dust flying around when you start it the first time.
– Clean out your fridge and freezer. If you have a coil-back refrigerator, vacuum the coils at least twice each year for maximum efficiency. Place new boxes of baking soda for freshness.
– Purge the kids toys and stuff. Put it all in the middle of a room and sort by ‘donate’, ‘throw out’, ‘keep’ or ‘trade’. We always reward our kids with a small new toy to motivate them to get rid of the stuff that is trashed or that they hardly touch anymore.
– Clean out bathroom drawers and linen closets. If you have a ton of extra towels and sheets that you keep just in case for cleaning or extra guests, keep them store in a container elsewhere and your day to day closet will stay far more organized.
– Clean out your closet of any winter wear – it will keep your closet far more organized and easier to get dressed every day. Dry clean and wash everything before storing.
– Clean out all kitchen cupboards and drawers and give all a good wipe down.
– Vacuum and/or and wipe all drapes and blinds.
– Take duvets to the dry cleaner.
– Clean underneath the beds – even though you think you’re reaching with the vacuum, chances are you’re only getting to the sides.
– Purge!! Donate any clothes, toys, unused kitchen stuff, really anything you don’t use. If it’s trashed, put it in the trash where it belongs.
– Donation pick up: Celeberal Palsy will pick up almost any household items – they regularly come to each neighbourhood and you can book a special pick up for free if you have enough stuff. CALL: Cereberal Palsy – (416) 244-0899
– Take your boots and shoes to the ‘shoe guy’ – have soles replaced , edges repaired, leather cleaned and protected before you store them in favour of flip flops. GO TO: Mac’s Shoe Repair – Shopper’s World (across from the Dollar Store) at Victoria Park and Danforth. * cash only!
– Think about the things that you are always annoyed or frustrated by each day – is it finding your car keys? Moving your cell charger around? Finding the kids library books? Create a system or solution for those. Install a key hook by the door, hang up wall file folders to put library books in, buy an extra charger for the main floor. Whatever it is, a quick solution can usually relieve a ton of stress!
– Create cleaning caddies (one for each floor) and keep basics in each bathroom – wipes are awesome for anyone anywhere. While the kids are brushing their teeth, we give the counters a quick wipe down.
– Instead of being overwhelmed by this list, put aside even just 1-2 hours each morning on the weekend to tackle one project – i.e. cleaning out the closet, going through toys etc. Get everyone in your family involved and dangle a carrot – a new movie, a massage, a lunch out as a reward for getting it all done.
– Crank the music, open the windows (assuming it’s above zero!) and even use a stop watch or timer to motivate everyone to stay focused. Don’t answer the phone, check email or get distracted by other projects.