Believe it or not, Spring is on the way. Put in a little elbow grease now, and you'll be able to enjoy the outdoors when the weather warms up.
1. Clean Shower Curtains
Whether you have fabric, plastic, or vinyl curtains, toss them in the washing machine to remove all the soap scum, shampoo, and mildew that built up over the previous year. Thinking about a bathroom makeover? Start here.
2. Grow Herbs Inside
Start kitchen herbs inside and transplant later in May. Basil, chives, dill, parsley, and fennel can be started from seeds. Oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, and tarragon do better if you start them from small plants or cuttings. Fill your home with flowers with these fun (and cheap) ideas.
3. Check Your Mattress and Wash Pillows
Flip or rotate your mattress. Check the warranty card for the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations. Wash pillows and curtains to help reduce allergens and dust mites. Find out how to make the most comfortable bed.
4. Wash Your Windows
Clean the residue left behind by winter storms by tackling the job while the weather is still cool to prevent streaking. Start indoors before installing your screens, then finish the job outside on a dry day.
5. Put Away Linens
Now is the time to swap heavy quilts and blankets for lighter-weight bedding. Be sure to wash them beforehand because body oils are what attract moths and insects. Stow them in under-bed boxes, zippered bags, or vacuum-seal storage bags, which save space and protect against insects. Insert cedar or lavender sachets for extra freshness. Stock up on new dishtowels from one of our favorite Etsy.com shops.
6. Prep Your A/C
Install window-unit air conditioners. Carefully go over the unit with the brush attachment of your vacuum. Remove and wash the filter and let it dry completely, then reinstall it.
7. Organize Cupboards and the Refrigerator
Clean out cupboards and the fridge, discarding canned goods and other items that are past their expiration dates. This is a perfect time to conquer clutter in kitchen cabinets, too!
8. Clean the Deck
Scrub the surface with a deck cleanser or this homemade cleaning formula: Add 1 cup of powdered laundry detergent to a gallon of hot water, and add 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach to kill moss or mildew.
9. Get Rid of Dust
When dusting, move around the room in a circle, starting with the highest points and working your way down to the floor. Use Swiffer dusters, air purifiers, and vacuums with sealed HEPA filters to get the most thorough clean.
10. Check Your Detectors
Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. In addition to testing batteries regularly, you should change these twice a year without fail.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.