You know spring is in the air when you wake up on a sunny Saturday morning in April and think to yourself, “I should clean out the garage.” And then you walk out to garage, see the mess, and build-up of dirt and debris from fall and winter storms and think, “Maybe not.”

Spring cleaning usually sounds great but can be overwhelming in actuality. The best way to handle your spring cleaning is to start early. Instead of picking on or two Saturdays in April when you’d rather be riding your bike or hiking, start in March with a few simple things that will really perk your house up for the warmer months.

1)     Plant perennials.  This is a deceptively simple way to make your house look brighter and cleaner. Plant tulips, hyacinths, or daffodils. Mix them up for great color. Plant them once and watch them bloom year after year. Be sure to check which garden zone you are in, though, to make sure the varieties you plant will thrive.

2)     Replace outdoor light bulbs and clean light fixtures. Fall is over; those creepy dust bunnies and cobwebs around your light fixtures need to go! Make sure your light are all functioning and give the glass cases a quick wipe with window cleaner and you are on your way.

3)     Consider your walkways. The warming and cooling trends of spring can be really hard on your concrete or brick walkways and patios.  Give them the once over and plug any cracks with concrete filler. Consider resealing your patio too before any weeds can start sprouting!

4)     De-junk and de-clutter. That pile of papers and cardboard boxes in the garage? Recycle them. Those jeans you don’t wear anymore? The toys your kids never use? Donate them.  However, if you have a lot of stuff and few big items (like furniture or tools) that you are getting rid of it might be worth holding a garage sale.

5)     Rotate your mattress, change the batteries in your smoke alarm, replace air filters, etc. There is usually a whole list of things homeowners are supposed to do every six months—whatever those things are do them now.

6)     Clean your windows. This can be a time consuming chore but is well worth it when spring really starts to bloom. Dirty windows make the whole house look dingy. Clean those windows and take advantage of the sunshine.

7)     Clean your carpet. Winter snow and precipitation usually means a lot more gunk on your shoes. Get your carpets cleaned and get the gunk out.

What’s your number one spring cleaning must?

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