It’s that time of year again – the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the snow is (hopefully) melting away. While it may not feel like spring just yet, it’s a good time to start thinking about spring cleaning. Giving your home a thorough refresh after a bleak winter will energize you with that sense of accomplishment in time for a relaxing summer. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you get going.
Clean your gutters
A home’s gutter system controls the flow of rainwater and protects the roof, walls, foundation, and landscape from leaks and water damage. Neglecting your gutters can lead to costly repairs further down the line, so it’s recommended that you clean them at least twice a year – in the spring and in the fall. After you clean your gutters, check your downspout for clogs. Pay attention to the water flow, drainage, and whether there are any leaks at the seams.
Get ready for gardening
Once daytime temperatures are consistently above 10⁰C, you can start to tidy up your yard. If you do this too early, you may disturb insects like butterflies and ladybugs that use plant debris as a shelter for the winter. Put on your gardening gloves, rake the leaves, prune and trim your perennials, trees, and shrubs, and dig out last year’s dead annuals.
Inspect your tools
It’s a good idea to carefully examine and clean your outdoor power equipment, like your lawnmower, weed whacker, hedge trimmer, etc., before the growing season is in full swing. Ensure all blades are sharp, spark plugs are intact, and moving parts are debris-free. If everything seems in good shape, swap out the old fuel for new fuel and review your operator’s manual to re-familiarize yourself with maintenance guidelines and starting procedures.
Take it one room at a time
Have you ever made plans to clean your whole house from top to bottom in one day but found yourself giving up a few hours later with all the contents of your closets in disarray on the floor? Try tackling one room or task at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed and abandoning your project before it’s done. The satisfaction of having one clean room might just motivate you to tackle the next one.
Organize your “storage room”
Everyone has one – a room that always seems to accumulate items you barely use but won’t throw away because you “might use them again.” While cleaning your house, think about what you banish to the storage room. Go through everything and consider donating or safely disposing of anything you haven’t used in the last year or so – chances are you won’t use it in the next year, either. Old electronics can easily be recycled using a nearby Recycle My Electronics drop-off location.
Wash your rarely-cleaned surfaces
When it comes to cleaning, your walls probably aren’t top of your to-do list. You’d be amazed at how fresh a room can feel after giving the walls a good wipe-down with a soft cloth or sponge, warm water, and a non-abrasive cleaning solution. If you’re using a step ladder anyway, consider giving your light fixtures, ceiling fans, and curtains a wash too.
Perk up your houseplants
Houseplants make for a lively addition to any room, but after a long winter with low humidity and less sunlight, they may be looking a little lacklustre. Prune any dead leaves and gently wipe away dust with a damp cloth. Spring is a great time to repot houseplants – soil left too long can develop an unhealthy buildup of minerals and may harbour diseases and pests. It’s also an opportunity to pick out a new container for a simple way to spruce up your home décor!
Update your home inventory list
As you go through your home, consider making a list of all your valuables. It could save you a lot of time and energy if anything is damaged or stolen and you need to make an insurance claim to repair or replace them. Remember to note any belongings you may have in an offsite storage unit since they’re also covered under your home insurance policy. If you’ve added several big-ticket items to your list, contact your insurance broker to ensure your contents insurance amount is up-to-date and everything is covered.
If you have questions about your current home insurance coverage, contact us at 1-833-494-0089. If you are shopping for home insurance and want a quote, connect with an OTIP broker at 1-833-615-9326.