Now that the days are getting longer and temperatures milder, April is a wonderful time to freshen up the home inside and out. To get sparkling windows, a clutter-free garage and more, here are 10 tasks to make the most of the first full month of spring.
1. Inspect paths and driveway. Repeated freezing and thawing can take a toll on asphalt and concrete. Check your driveway and paths for cracks, scheduling repairs as needed.
2. Clean out trash cans and recycling bins. Take empty cans outside and spray them with a hose to start. Spritz inside and out with the cleaning spray of your choice. Let the bins sit for a few minutes before scrubbing them with a stiff-bristle brush. Rinse with the hose and leave them upside down to dry. The best time to do this is the day of or after your garbage pickup!
3. Check safety devices. Test batteries on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, replacing them as needed. It’s also a good idea to periodically check for recalls of your home safety products; you can find up-to-date listings at Recalls.gov. This is the time of year I recommend just replacing all batteries to avoid those middle of the night alerts and chasing of that alert!
4. Clear clutter. Create more space in your home by clearing out unloved items. If you have a lot to get rid of, set a date to hold a yard sale. Or contact a local charity to schedule a pickup — some will send a truck free of charge if you’re donating large items like furniture. If you have a lot of one type of item (for example, books or baby clothes), look for a consignment shop where you may be able to sell them.
5. Schedule HVAC system maintenance. If you have central air conditioning, be sure to schedule professional maintenance before the start of summer. A properly maintained system cools better, uses less energy and lasts longer. Even if you don’t have air conditioning, it’s a great time to get your furnaced tuned up – and ask for a quote to add air conditioning!
6. Test sprinklers and irrigation system. Don’t let the first sign of a malfunctioning irrigation system be a drooping garden! Take the time this month to test each part, adjusting or repairing as needed. And if you don’t already have drip irrigation for your garden, consider putting it in — a properly installed system can save time and water.
7. Wash windows. Welcome the spring sunshine by clearing dirt and grime from windows inside and out. Once cleaned, take an extra moment to wipe the window frame and sill.
8. Clean out the garage. Can you park your car in your garage? If not (or if it’s a tight fit), it may be time to make some more space.
Clear out the junk, and schedule time to take unused paint, motor oil and other hazardous items to a recycling center that accepts them. (If you’re not sure where to go, search Earth911 to find a center near you.) Once your garage is cleaned out, consider adding wall-mounted storage to keep things neat and off the floor. Tip – Sherwin Williams Paint will take some of your used paint for recycle!
9. Clean gutters and downspouts. Having your home’s gutters and downspouts cleaned (and repaired if necessary) is one of the first important tasks to schedule this season. Clogged gutters during a rainy spring can cause water to pool, potentially damaging the roof and siding. This is also a great time to have your roof inspected!
10. Maintain wood decks and fences. Keep outdoor woodwork in top shape by staining or resealing it each spring. Check gates, fencing, decks, railings, pergolas and other outdoor structures, and make repairs as needed.
If you need help with any of these services, please contact me. I can get you the help you need, either through handyman/contractor referral or an organization to help!