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While year-round maintenance is necessary to keep your home in the best shape, there are more specific, once-a-year chores that all homeowners should pack into their typical spring cleaning list.

When the ground thaws and the inspiration to be clutter-free hits, here are some of the first tasks to tackle:

  1. Store your off-season items: You don’t need them, why keep the clutter in your way? Pack up winter clothes including coats, gloves, scarves and other extra-warm items. You can also stow away winter decorations and snow/ice removal tools.
  2. Organize your garage: this goes hand-in-hand with storage. A clean, organized garage can be a one-day project, but can save you time and stress for months to come. Any perpetually un-used items can pull in some extra cash for you in the aptly-named garage sale.
  3. General outdoor areas – are you ready to entertain outside? Start with brushing off your outdoor furniture and deck or patio. Check your home’s exterior and other structures for any needed repairs. Continued lawn maintenance and perennial plants can keep your yard beautiful without much attention needed.
  4. Washing windows – both an in and outside job, it would be hard to enjoy the signs of spring with dirty windows. New outdoor window cleaning systems make this process pain-free – just attach to your hose and spray away the dirt.
  5. Furniture and carpet – might be time to call in the professionals on this one! Or, you can rent professional-grade upholstery and carpet shampooing devices at your local home improvement stores. Nothing will make your home smell (and feel) fresher than a full-scale upholstery and carpet shampoo.

And finally, keep in mind well-planned spring cleaning can help you get your home ready to sell if that is in your plans. Or, if you’re not selling, spring cleaning will help you keep a happier, healthier home the whole year through.

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