According to the latest vernal equinox, Spring has technically sprung. While this is encouraging, my window here in the Northeast U.S.A. tells a different story. Snow still blankets and cold still bites. However, we are cusping on the time when we exchange snow blowers and shovels for rakes and lawn mowers.
As a time of renewal and rebirth, Spring gives us time to take inventory of what may have been neglected during what proved to be a harsh winter. Tree limbs are down, the house is a bit musty and it is time to bring things back to standard. These efforts translate into a cleaner and safer home going into the warmer months. Get out your ipad, find a checklist app, and build the list.
Checklist for Spring Cleaning:
Smoke and Carbon Dioxide Detectors: We know we have to replace the batteries, so that is a given. Test all detectors and replace batteries. However, if your detector is 10 yrs. or older from the date of manufacture, it is time to swap that baby out. http://www.inspectionnews.net. provides a host of information relating to proper maintenance of your detectors.
Dryer vents and lint screens: Both should be maintained periodically to prevent fires. Screens can be cleared after every load typically. Dryer vents however get neglected. Inspect and clean out. If you notice a lot of build up and want to be on the safe side, clean what you can and hire a professional to inspect and clean. It may be worth the investment to replace the entire ventilation system depending on age and wear. Your dryer will be safer and more energy efficient.
Hot Water Heaters and Furnaces: If these were not inspected and maintained before winter, they should be now. A visual pipe inspection is also a good idea.
Medicine Cabinets: Time to evacuate all outdated meds. No need to clog the medicine chest with old pills and cough suppressants. If you have elderly parents, help them do this. Check with doctors for any questions and make sure if something does need to be tossed, that a refill is available if needed.
Sunscreens and Insect Repellants: Like medicines and prescriptions, these necessities have a shelf-life. Best idea is to toss out the old and buy some new. Don’t wait for the sun to show-up full force and the mosquitoes to assemble an attack. Go to B.J.’s or Costco and stock up now.
Stoves, stove hoods, fans and grease traps: More indoor cooking typically happens during winter months. All these items need cleaning with a powerful degreaser to prevent risk of fire.
Outdoor Grill: Make sure the lines that feed from propane tanks to burners are in tact. Often, animals will chew through them when they smell the grease inside. Best bet is just to replace them anyway. This again prevents fires or even explosions. Make sure grill and all it’s parts are clean and ready for action. A fresh tank of propane wouldn’t hurt either.
The rest is all stuff you were going to do anyway. Windows, raking, cleaning out gutters and downspouts are all important. So give yourself a sense of stability, make a list and start delegating out these important chores. Then enjoy your home and yard for the rest of Spring and Summer. Keep this list handy however for Fall.