Whether spring-cleaning is an ongoing ritual for you or a once-in-a-blue-moon struggle, the spring months are an ideal time for a home scrub down. From the standard deep clean to the budget review, make sure these seven tasks are on your spring-cleaning checklist for a summer-ready home.
1. Embark on a Deep Clean
It wouldn’t be a true spring-cleaning without a full house sweep. From dusting the fans to scrubbing the oven, deep clean your home at least once a year. Make this easier to manage by creating a checklist for each room. Which rooms need the carpets vacuumed and scrubbed or the floors mopped? Are there blinds and fans that need dusting or mirrors and windows that need washing? Along with cleaning, clear out closets, cabinets, and pantries. Toss expired food and anything broken, and donate gently used furniture and clothing you no longer need.
2. Dust Off the Air Conditioner
After months of hibernation, inspect your air conditioner to make sure it’s working efficiently. Run the unit and listen for strange sounds like squeals or rattling, which may indicate a part is wearing out. Test its efficiency by running it ten degrees below the outside temperature for ten minutes. Then place a refrigerator thermometer inside one of the air conditioning air ducts, as well as in the return air duct, to check the temperature. Lastly, look at the air filter and clean or replace it if it’s clogged.
3. Feed Your Greenery
With spring comes new growth, and with summer, rising temperatures. Make sure your yard is ready for the changes. Fertilize the lawn for a boost of nutrients and use a turf builder to fill in any barren patches of grass. Make sure to use a metal rake to first dethatch any dead grass and clear out twigs, leaves, and dead branches. If weeds start rearing their ugly heads, using a weed killer during a string of dry days will help it work better. You may need to apply it a few times to clear out more stubborn weeds.
4. Scrub the Grill
Your grill and outdoor furniture likely haven’t seen much use these past few months. Give them a thorough scrub down so they’re ready for beautiful sunny days. To clean a BBQ grill, heat it at a high temperature for ten minutes, which will make it easier to scrape off any built-up grease or food residue in the cook box. Just make sure to let the grill cool before cleaning the grates, burners, and drip tray.
5. Reconsider Your Subscriptions
Along with cleaning your home, tidy up your subscriptions. You may find that you aren’t using all of them. Do you really need Hulu and Netflix, or can you cancel one? Are you still reading those magazine subscriptions arriving in your mailbox every month? By adding up the amount you spend each month on recurring subscriptions, you may be surprised to see just how much you spend. Play with your budget to see how you may be able to save by condensing or cutting back on your subscriptions.
6. Review Your Bills
While you’re reconsidering your subscriptions, run through your credit card statements and bills—from utilities to cable services—and make sure you’re being correctly charged. Reviewing your bills also helps you catch any subscriptions or services you forgot you had. This is also a good time to research comparable services and companies, as you can often save by bundling or switching carriers. For example, if you live in a rural area, check your internet plan to see if the speed you’re experiencing matches the plan you pay for. You may find that satellite internet offers higher speeds than your other options outside of cities.
7. Conduct an Energy Audit
With summer comes rising energy costs. Beat the heat money-wise by assessing your home’s energy efficiency. While you can pay for a professional assessment, you can easily perform your own DIY home energy audit. Start by assessing major energy drainers, including air leaks from gaps along the edge of flooring, windows, or doors. Next, check ventilation near appliances and insulation in your walls and ceiling. You can make several small fixes too, like swapping inefficient light bulbs with LEDs and installing a smart thermostat.
Now is the season to get your home ready for summer so you can relax and enjoy the sun and warm weather. Tackle these tasks all at once or spread them out over the next few weeks. Either way, your future self will thank you when you can fire up the grill and kick on the AC.