It looks like winter has finally fled and the warmer months are upon us! That means it’s time for spring cleaning. Nothing says “spring” like a home freshly cleaned of the dirt, grime and salt that can build up during the winter months. It’s also time to put your winter items into storage and break out lighter fabrics and gardening supplies. However, your spring cleaning shouldn’t end there! Spruce up your home with these cleaning, design and household tips to truly make your house springtime ready.
Dryer Ducts and Laundry
You probably already know to clean out your dryer’s lint trap after each use, but did you know you should clean out the ducts periodically as well? According to Emerald Doors, “If your dryer doesn’t work as quickly as it used to, lint could be the culprit. Buildup not only affects efficiency, but it also increases your risk of fire. To clean your ducts, first, you’ll need some muscle to move your dryer away from the wall. Then you just need a vacuum. Unplug the dryer, disconnect the ductwork, and vacuum out the ducts as well as you can.” Not only does this tip help you get dry clothes faster, but it also helps keep your home safe! If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your dryer ducts or if your dryer seems inefficient, make this a priority on your spring-cleaning list.
If you have the room for it, you may also want to consider adding a clothesline or drying rack to your laundry routine! Dryers take up about 6% of an average household’s electricity consumption every year, and line-drying your clothes can help you save a chunk of cash on your electricity bill. Line-drying or air-drying has other benefits too, such as helping your clothing last longer and being better for the environment! Plus what better way to enjoy the warming weather than by hanging out your clothes to dry in the springtime sun.
We already mentioned the safety bonus of cleaning out your dryer ducts, but there are other ways you should protect your home from fires this spring. First of all, make sure your fire alarms are all working and have new batteries. If you have a household fire extinguisher, check its gauge to make sure it’s “in the green” and ready to go. (If you don’t have a household fire extinguisher, use this opportunity to get one!) The United States Power Squadrons says that most fire extinguishers are good for anywhere from 5 to 15 years. If you’ve had yours for longer than that, consider getting it replaced. After all, if you need a fire extinguisher, you don’t want to have any worries about it not working.
Update your Kitchen
If you want to give your kitchen a design pop for the new season, consider adding a tile backsplash. Not only do they add a visual appeal to your kitchen, but they’ll also protect your walls and make future clean ups easier. Now is also a good time to tackle cleaning your oven. If you haven’t cleaned your oven in a while, it probably has a coat of grease and grime that looks completely unappealing – not something you want to cook your food in! Having a freshly cleaned oven can make your whole kitchen seem cleaner, especially if you cook a lot. Some ovens have a self-cleaning setting, which can be a huge time saver. Be aware, however, that the self-cleaning process can get pretty smelly (the oven is basically burning all that grime away, leaving you with a layer of ash that can be wiped away easily). Many oven-cleaning chemicals are also very harsh. If you have the time, you can clean your oven using just vinegar, baking soda and water to avoid both the chemicals and the smells. Finally, to truly make your kitchen spring-time fresh, take some time and clean out your cupboards, pantries and refrigerator. This will mean emptying them out of food, dishes, silverware, and other items to wipe them down, but you’ll be thankful you did! After all, what’s the point of keeping your food items and your clean dishes in cupboards that are dusty and dirty? And you can use this opportunity to throw out old, expired foods (such as that bottle of soy sauce that has an expiration date of 2015!).
Snug in a Rug
Rugs serve multiple purposes – they are a decorative choice, they bring warmth to a room, and they feel nice to walk on. They also are very good at collecting dirt and hair. Rugs (and carpets) should be vacuumed weekly, but every once in a while, it’s a good idea to get them deep cleaned. Sometimes this means taking your rug to a professional, especially if it’s a really expensive one. Other times, you can save money by doing a deep clean yourself. If you want to redecorate, however, you might want to consider getting a brand-new rug all together. Large rugs can make a room look larger – Emerald Doors suggests having a rug that goes underneath a bed and under one other piece of furniture to maximize how big the room feels.
Cards, bills, flyers, receipts… What should you do with all the bits of paper that have accumulated over the year (or possibly years)? If they’re all cluttering one spot in a chaotic mess, it can make the whole room seem unorganized. Take some time and go through your papers to determine what you should keep (such as receipts for medical expenses), and what you can recycle or throw out (such as expired coupons). Getting a filing cabinet or designating a drawer as the “paper drawer” and organizing it with files can help keep all your important papers in order while also getting them out of the way. If you’re having trouble throwing away something for sentimental reasons, such as a Christmas card with a touching note on it, consider putting it in a photo album or scrapbook. Getting rid of papers that you don’t need will really help make your home feel more organized.
Hopefully these spring-cleaning tips and ideas help you revamp your home. What other spring-cleaning essentials help make your house feel fresh? Be sure to let us know in the comments!