Have you been taken over by the latest tidying craze? Whether or not you have been deciding if your items "spark joy", this season is a wonderful time to get motivated. It's time to brush the dust and cobwebs out of the corners and to get rid of some clutter that has gathered over the cold winter months. There's nothing like spring cleaning to get a clutter-free home and set the tone for things to come. Unfortunately, spring also ushers in its own challenges and unique safety issues. There’s a lot more to spring cleaning than vacuuming up the dust mites that accumulated over the cold, dark months of winter. The fresh start of spring is the best time to ensure your home is safe and prepared for another year.
Here are some tips and tricks to tackle your spring cleaning:
INSIDE YOUR HOME
Start small. Deciding to tackle your entire home might seem like a great plan, but it can become overwhelming very quickly. Instead of trying to do everything all at once, choose a few smaller tasks each day.
Pick one task at a time. Instead of focusing on cleaning an entire room in your home, break up each room into smaller tasks. This could include compartmentalizing your kitchen into tasks like organizing the junk drawer, going through the pantry to get rid of expired foods, washing out the fridge and cleaning the oven. By focusing on one task, you can slowly take a huge bite out of the mess.
Safety first. Always put your own safety and the safety of your family first. When you are cleaning and organizing the house, make sure that you take precautions, think through the potential risks of each task and don't mix cleaning chemicals.
This is also a great time to make sure that all of your safety items are up-to-date and ready for use. Take this opportunity to:
Clean out the medicine cabinet. Get rid of any expired medications and replace any items that are low, such as bandages. You can dispose of any unneeded medications at a pharmacy. Do not pour medications down the sink or flush them.
Test your smoke detectors. Test the batteries in each of your smoke detectors to make sure that everything is working okay. Another option is to replace the batteries yearly during spring cleaning.
Replace your filters. Take this opportunity to clean or replace your filters on your air conditioning unit, furnace, dryer, vacuum and refrigerator.
IN YOUR YARD
Start with a walk through. This is the best place to start the process. Do a quick walk through your yard and pick up any stones or garbage that found a home there over the winter. This is a fairly simple task to tackle, and it can have big impacts. If these items aren't found, they can cause injuries later if you trip over them or hit them with your lawnmower.
Once that piece is done, it's time to get serious. Here are some tasks to consider:
Trim or remove any tree branches, shrubs or plants before they can fall and cause injuries. Be on the look out for plants that have died over the winter or grown too close to any electrical lines.
Clear overgrown plants from walkways and reposition any dislodged stepping stones or other garden decorations to avoid tripping hazards.
If you have leaves left over from the fall on your lawn, it is a great time to move them to compost.
Spring cleaning may not be done after only one weekend, but little by little you and your home will be ready for the summer months ahead.