Both in nature and in our homes, spring carries connotations of a fresh start, of new life, and of new opportunities. Just as we see plants waking up from their long winter sleep and the animal kingdom coming alive with industry, we also have an innate urge to freshen our homes and prepare to embrace the longer days with clean, orderly, and well-maintained dwellings. Here’s our spring maintenance checklist, from the purely practical to the frivolously fun, to help you ready yourself for the new season!
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Let’s start on the outside of the home. During the cold months gutters and downspouts can become cluttered and bogged with debris like leaves and pine needles. It’s important to clear them thoroughly and to ensure that there are no holes or gaps so that, when the spring rains come, water is routed off your roof and away from your home’s foundation. Water that escapes into the roof or collects around the home’s foundation can cause damage that’s expensive to repair, so gutter and downspout maintenance is a must.
Spruce up Your Lawn
Spring is the time to prune plants, trim trees, hang bird feeders, and finalize garden plans, be they flower, herb, or vegetable. Depending on when the last frost is, you may want to begin seeds indoors for transplanting later, but either way, garden preparation starts now. Be sure to refresh yourself on your community’s HOA guidelines for outdoor landscaping before planning thoroughly. As you prepare garden beds, remember to plan ahead to deter local critters from pilfering your vegetables with mini mesh fences, plant cages, or natural repellents.
Inspect Gardening Supplies and Lawn Care Tools
As part of your outdoor planning, you’ll want to inspect hoses for leaks and ensure that all lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc. are in good working order and have fresh fuel. Make an inventory of gardening tools, sprinkler heads, pots, soils, seeds, etc. to ensure you have everything you need and that your tools are ready to go (for example, you may need to sharpen garden shears and scissors). This is also a great time to turn your water back on and check/adjust all sprinkler heads to make sure everything is working properly.
Take this opportunity to perform a routine seasonal maintenance checkup on your fences. Make sure wood is not rotting, metals are not rusting, and no area is leaning, sagging, or lacking in appropriate support. Resealing and bolstering trouble spots early helps prevent more costly maintenance down the road.
Check Playground Equipment
If you have young children, be sure to inspect playground equipment to ensure it’s safe. While we often think of childproofing our homes, it’s easy to forget childproofing our exteriors. Check that all equipment is stable and trustworthy, as items can shift and become compromised throughout the winter season.
Refresh Ground Coverings
During winter snow storms, wind storms, and rain storms, it’s easy for ground coverings to become depleted. Now is the time to refresh soils and rock coverings that may have been disturbed during the harsher weather months. If you don’t like what you have, change it out!
Create or Refresh Your Outdoor Hangout Zone
As you prepare to spend more time relaxing and hosting friends outside, be sure that your outdoor furniture and cushions are clean and in good shape. Cushions may need airing out after spending time packed away, and outdoor furniture will need to be wiped off and cleaned. If you don’t yet have an outdoor hangout zone where you love to spend lazy afternoons and warm evenings, now is the time to create one!
There are few things more satisfying than a deep and thorough indoor cleaning. Spring is the ideal time to wash all windows (exterior and interior), clear out those nooks and crannies you never quite reach during regular daily and weekly cleanings, prep closets for seasonal wardrobe transitions, clean your chimney flue, and scrub kitchen appliances like ovens and refrigerators, as well as outdoor grills. This is also a good opportunity to check expiration dates and clean out items in your pantry. You may want to refresh your cleaning supply and inspect your current cleaners to ensure that they’re non-toxic and eco-friendly.
Stay on Top of Minor Repairs
Check your home for anything that needs to be repaired/replaced, whether that’s a window screen or weatherstripping around doors. You’ll also want to inspect your roof for missing shingles, raised nails, or any signs of early water damage.
Check Your AC Unit
Take the opportunity to have a professional service your AC unit, as you’ll want to make sure it’s in good working order before the heat waves hit in earnest.
It’s smart to schedule regular intervals at which you replace batteries for indicators like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Replacing batteries on a schedule is a good preventative maintenance practice, since it’s easy to miss the moment when batteries die.
Change out Accessories
Spring is a fun time to change out curtains, pillows, throws, door mats, rugs, and all textiles. Whether you want brighter colors and lighter materials or you’re just refreshing your interior decor vibe, spring is the time to freshen your accessories. If you’re ambitious, maybe you even want to repaint walls or refresh furniture! Need inspiration? Check out Elle Decor’s 2020 trending color palette report for walls and furnishings.
Get Your Toys Ready for Summer Recreation
We’ve saved the best for last! Delaware is known for being an ideal summer vacation spot for visitors across the United States, but it’s beautiful beaches, its expansive ocean front, and it’s many state parks are all equally (if not more) appreciated by Delaware residents themselves. If you’re eager to recreate outdoors after a long winter, now is a great time to pull out, clean, inspect, and replace all outdoor “toys,” from kayaks to paddle boards to surf boards to fishing equipment and camping equipment. Summer is right around the corner, and for those of us who are lucky enough to live in Delaware, that’s an exciting prospect!