It’s a little too early to tell if the Groundhog Day prediction will be correct this year. (In case you missed it, he said it will be an early spring). It’s not too early to get ready for the real indicator that Spring is arriving- Spring Cleaning Mode! It’s not a national holiday, but everyone gets bitten by the bug - those longer days bring thoughts of outdoor activities, open windows, and fresh starts.
It’s not all about sweeping and scrubbing - a really satisfying session will help you get your whole house organized and ready for a busy spring and summer. Here are some of the most overlooked areas to plan for - get ready for the cleanest, tidiest home ever.
Doors and Windows
Tackle them as a group, and you’ll be able to work around your house and stay focused. Your tools? A vacuum cleaner, good rags (microfiber is best for glass and stubborn marks) and your cleaning products.
First, remove any stray cobwebs or dirt with your vacuum attachment. Open doors and vacuum out sliding door tracks and around door thresholds. Clean glass, and give the whole door and windowsill a good wipe down.
This is also the perfect time to evaluate the clutter that accumulates around busy entrance doorways. If there’s anything that can be organized up and off the floor, consider adding some shelves to handle things such as mail, purses, backpacks, pet supplies, and other things that tend to head out the door when you do.
Change Over Your Closets
Start preparing to store your winter sweaters, coats and jackets. If you need to have items dry-cleaned before you put them away, gather them up for the trip to the cleaners. Check your winter clothes for missing buttons, empty the pockets, and see if anything needs mending before it’s put away. There’s nothing worse than pulling out your warm winter coat on a cold day, and remembering that you forgot to reattach those buttons.
If you’re sure you’ll never wear an item of clothing again, set it aside for donation. If it’s ready to store away, take the time now to organize items by type and label the box. Now, you’re ready to restock for the warmer months!
This is a perfect time to assess your storage needs in your closet. If you already know you’ll need more shelf space, be prepared to order new closet brackets while you have a clear perspective on what you’ll need. Spring is a great time to take stock and inventory your clothing.
Clean Out Those Kitchen Cabinets
Work section by section in your kitchen, and completely empty each shelf in your cabinets and pantry. Wipe down shelves, refresh shelf liner if necessary, and vacuum out back corners, if they need it.
Be ruthless and discard any old spices that have lost their zip, expired canned goods, broken or chipped glassware that you can’t safely repair, and appliances that don’t work. Donate any dishes that you never use, appliances that are duplicates, and those kitchen gadgets that you’ve never had a use for.
When you’re done, take a moment to see if your space could benefit from some additional kitchen shelves. Even adding some spaces for spices and smaller items in your pantry can cut down on search time when you’re on a culinary creative kick. This could be a good time to install a floating range shelf over the stovetop, or add extra storage for the cookbooks you seem to always use.
Prep Your Garage for the Next Season
Back out the car, and give yourself some space for working and cleaning. Sweep the floors and use your shop vac to clean out the corners and other hard-to-reach places. Check and change out any light bulbs that have gone out, and give the garage door a check to see if it needs lubricating or any other maintenance. Maximize the space by storing away seasonal items like ice melt, boot trays, antifreeze, ice skates, and holiday decor. You’ll need the room for pool toys, bicycles, and garden tools!
If you don’t have room in your attic available, consider how well you are using the wall space in your garage. Open spots can be used for hanging tools, sports equipment, and other items. The key to using your garage storage well is to get things moved up and off the floors. Hooks and wall brackets are perfect. Stainless steel shelf brackets will look amazing with any workshop space, and are unbeatable for their ability to stand up to hard use and support a tremendous amount of weight.
Once you’ve completed your Spring cleaning, celebrate your accomplishment by dressing up your home with a new welcome sign or entry way art. You’ll be ready for the season, and can enjoy the new look as you’re walking in with all your dry-cleaned sweaters!
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Container gardening – the process of growing a garden in pots – is becoming increasingly popular amongst apartment dwellers, those that live in high-rise urban areas, and people that don’t want to dedicate a section of their yard to a garden.
Gardening in containers allows those with limited space to grow vegetables and reap the benefits of homegrown produce.