It’s finally almost here! Spring! Refreshing, renewing, exciting Spring! But with the new warm weather comes all those little chores you’ve been putting off, and putting on the list for the next sunny day. Don’t let it overwhelm you. And don’t tell yourself you’re going to empty your entire house, wash walls, scrub floors on hands and knees and power-wash your life away. You’re not Cinderella!!
Here are 5 quick and easy weekend projects to get you in
prime Spring shape without killing yourself.
1 – THE CLOSET PURGE– Haven’t worn it in the past year? It can go. Same for things that don’t fit so great anymore, or are starting to get shabby. Ditto for shoes that are looking a bit worn or have gone out of style. And no, DON’T keep them even though they’re soooooooo super cute and you love them sooooo much but they hurt your feet so you really just keep them and dream about wearing them and then never actually do. Just let them go. You can find a used clothing donation bin in most grocery store parking lots where they will go to someone who can really use them. Just can’t let it go? Consider getting an affordable storage unit for important keepsakes, family furniture or things that just don’t get used every day, but need to be accessible. Check out Elle’s website HERE for a list of all our locations.
2 – THE MEAN CLEAN – Just do yourself a favour, get a professional if it’s in the budget. For between $200 and $500 (depending on the size of your home) you can usually find a great professional cleaner to scrub floors, walls, bathrooms, baseboards and window sills. It’s really worth every penny. If it’s not in the budget, you can roll up your sleeves and get it done in a weekend. We recommend doing items one at a time. Floors , then baseboards and sills, windows & blinds, and a good scrub of your bathroom and kitchen surfaces. A good steam mop comes with a ton of attachments for about $100 that can do most of these chores easily. Throw all your curtains in the wash or take them to the dry cleaner along with duvet covers, pillow shams and sofa cushion covers. Drag any area rugs outside, hang them up and get out all that pent up Winter energy out by beating them silly with a broomstick. Try to avoid harsh chemicals and stick to old reliable faves like Windex, bleach, white vinegar and salt & lemon that can do the trick for just about everything in your house.
3 – SAFETY FIRST – Do a little walkthrough of your house. Are the batteries working in your smoke detectors ? They should be replaced if they are more than five years old and should incorporate a carbon monoxide detector if there is not a separate one in the house. Check all your locks and doors to make sure keys still work easily, and the seals and locks shut nice and tight. Check your windows to make sure they all close and lock properly. Don’t neglect the exterior either. Winter can cause heaving of your exterior steps, patio stones, driveways and walkways that can create trip hazards for yourself and your guests. Schedule maintenance appointments for your furnace and hot water tank, which you should be doing every year to ensure proper performance and safety, and change your furnace filter. If you have a wood burning fireplace, it’s a good idea to spring for the $100 to get someone to come and check that no critters or debris have built up in your chimney over the spring.
4 – TINY TOUCHUPS – Take a Saturday to do minor maintenance items. Trim your shrubs away from eaves and rake out any dead plant material from your garden beds. Make sure your downspouts are in the proper position to divert spring rain away from your home. Get a ladder and check the roof for any missing shingles or birds’ nests. Consider getting a backup battery for your sump pump if you have one, to avoid flooding in your basement. It is also a good idea to make sure that the area around your home at the base of all the exterior walls and in window wells is raked clear of any debris to avoid water pooling and flood risk. And finally, the one magic word that makes men ages 14-80 giggle just a little – Caulking. It is your friend. We recommend getting 3 different kinds – Exterior, Interior and Interior waterproof. Re-caulk your shower/tub and around your sinks and faucets. You might also want to consider caulking a bit around your baseboards (as long as the colour matches and it’s not obvious) and windows to keep creepy crawlies from making their way into your home through gaps. Outside, you want to check windows to ensure the calking is in good shape as well as door frames.
5 – IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU – Just have a drink. You earned it. This isn’t really a spring maintenance tip, we just think you should reward yourself for all that hard work.