March To-Dos for Your Home

The weather has finally been warming up (can we get a “hallelujah”?)! With sunshine and blue skies, it’s beginning to be nice enough to put on those work boots and do some much needed inspecting around the home. Below is a list from with some things to consider doing around your home now that the weather is thawing out.

  • Inspect the roof. Check for damage from ice and wind. Look for loose shingles and flashing. Check behind chimneys where shingles meet flashing. Inspect the gutters, especially where they attach to fascia boards. Reattach any gutters that may have pulled loose under the weight of ice.
  • Inspect the attic. Look at the underside of the roof decking, checking for signs of water seepage. Ice can get into cracked shingles, expand and cause a leak upon melting. Replace shingles and backing, if necessary.
  • Foundation drainage. Before spring rains, check the slope of soil from the house foundation. Build up any areas where soil has eroded. Use small river rock mixed with the soil to better hold it in place.
  • Clean fireplace. Shovel out ashes and log remnants, then use a hand broom and vacuum to remove the fine dust. Close the damper. If you have a gas log set, consider shutting off the pilot for the spring and summer to save on gas usage.
  • Prep garden tools. Sharpen shovels, hoes and pick axes. Gas up the lawn mower and weed eater and give them a trial run. Take the insulating covers off the faucets and move hoses into place.
  • Gardening goals. In March or April, depending on your climate, it’s time to start thinking about a spring and summer garden. Clear raised planting beds of debris, and turn soil. Start seedlings inside. Do not plant until after last frost date in your area.
  • Relocate firewood. If you have left over wood, move it several yards away from the house. During the spring, a wood pile attracts creatures such as termites, carpenter ants, skunks and possums.
  • Power wash siding and decks. Over the winter prolonged moisture may create mold and moss on decks and house siding. Rent a power wash machine and give them a good cleaning.
  • Clean windows. Winter weather leaves dingy windows. Let the sun in with a good cleaning.
  • Provide nutrients for your landscape. Depending on your climate zone, March or April is the time to apply fertilizer and weed control. Consult local gardening experts.

Deep Cleaning and De-Cluttering Your Home

Somehow we are already in the middle of February as time in 2020 moves just as fast as every other year.

Soon it will be Spring and that means it’s almost time to do some much needed Spring cleaning. Whether it’s deep cleaning your home, yard work, accumulated clutter around the house, old appliances, or whatever else you can think of, it’s time to take a hard look at your home and see what needs to go. Depending on the extent of cleaning needed, it might be a DIY job, or you might need to call in some professionals.

Here are some things to consider when it comes time to do your Spring cleaning this year:

The different types of trash in your home and getting rid of it

When it comes to your household waste, it falls into three categories, each with its own process of disposal.

  • Household trash is your everyday waste: food, food packaging, cans, cardboard boxes, diapers, etc. Your weekly trash pick-up handles this.
  • Junk includes old furniture not worth selling or donating, old warn out cloths, worn out appliances and household accessories. This includes things such as old mattresses and box springs, televisions, barbecue grills, refrigerators, washers and dryers, old microwaves, and more. When buying a new appliance, always ask if the merchant will haul away the old one. Remodeling construction debris also is common, but your contractor should dispose of it.
  • Hazardous waste includes paint and stains, cleaners, oils and pesticides. Do NOT put it in the trash or pour it down the drain. Refrigerators are both junk and hazardous material, since they contain refrigerant gas and a small amount of oil. Old fluorescent lights have gasses that make them hazardous.

For these things, check your city or county website to see if it offers extra services, such as pick up of large appliances or old furniture, for a small fee. Sometimes municipalities will schedule special days a couple of times a year to pick up large household items. The same applies to household chemicals. Many cities or counties have facilities where residents can drop off old paint, pesticides and other household hazards. Otherwise, you might consider hiring a junk removal service to come and hall things away for you.

Deep cleaning and De-Cluttering

In case you aren’t quite sure what types of deep cleaning things to do for your spring cleaning, here are some ideas:

  1. Cleaning the baseboards
  2. Wiping off the ceiling fan blades
  3. Emptying and cleaning your fridge and cabinets
  4. Cleaning the lint out of your dryer vent
  5. Shampooing your carpets
  6. Trimming trees and bushes
  7. Spraying your home for insects
  8. Shaking out rugs and curtains
  9. Replacing water filters, light bulbs, smoke detector batteries, etc.
  10. Dusting EVERYTHING
  11. Go through every closet, dresser, garage, and storage area to get rid of old cloths and things you don’t use anymore.

*A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn it or used it in over a year, it can probably go.

These are just a few suggestions to go along with your normal cleaning this Spring. Once everything has been cleaned and all the junk taken away, it’s amazing how much more open and fresh your home will feel!

Household To-Do’s This January

Well, we’re here, it’s 2020! Just like that, another year is over and a new one is beginning. With January comes the putting away of holiday decorations until Christmas, organizing the home, and possibly doing some much needed maintenance around the house that you’ve been putting off.

From getting rid of clutter to getting ready for tax season, here is a short list of some things you can accomplish these first few months of the new year in order to make your life a little more organized.

Holiday storage: It’s time for that Elf to go sit on his eleven month shelf, along with all the other lights and decorations too. As you pack up, one thing you can do is take the time to throw away or donate anything you no longer want. Doing this – along with buying storage bins and properly packing things away – can really help with not only making storage easier, but also freeing up some probably much needed storage space (especially when your decorations collection seems to expand year after year).

Change Everything Out: January is a great time to change out things around the house. Water filters, flushing your water heater, smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries, burnt out light bulbs you haven’t got around to changing, and things such as this. This will help with the longevity of your household appliances and systems, keep you safe, and help take care of the little home maintenance details we tend to forget.

Prevent ice dams. In states that get some significant snow, beware of ice dams that occur when snow and ice melt and refreeze on roofs and in gutters. Heavy snow can cause roof and gutter damage as well as other problems to your home. To prevent dams from forming, make sure you have adequate insulation in the attic. Inspect the underside of roof decking and seal seams and other openings. The attic temperature should be close to the outside temperatures.

Snow removal. Whether you use a snow blower or a shovel, keep your sidewalks and drives clear. To improve traction and melt ice, use calcium chloride pellets instead of rock salt. Doing both of these things not only keeps you and your family safer when walking to and from the house, but it also helps with the upkeep of your concrete walkways.

Organize and declutter. Go closet by closet, and room by room, and get rid of stuff! Sell or donate to charity any belongings you no longer use or love (if you didn’t use it at all last year, chances are it can go). Digitize family photos and home videos, and go paperless with documents. Do not spend money on organizational tools and containers until you have completely purged and no exactly what you need.

Tax season prep. It’s that dreaded time. TAX SEASON (Dun, dun, dun)! That being said, it’s time to begin gathering the receipts and records needed to prepare your taxes. Make an appointment with your tax accountant and see what else you need to get in order for you to get the ball moving on completing your 2019 taxes on time.