Jumping into Spring with Tips to Get Ready for a New Season

Spring has sprung and we couldn’t be happier to start packing away the winter clothes, snow boots and basically anything winter related. It’s time to embrace this new season with an appreciation for all it promises to bring. It’s a known fact that the shorter days and colder weather can make you feel down; there’s even a name for it, season affective disorder (SAD, an appropriate acronym). As a result, we are ready to not only dust off of our state of mind but also get our home in order. Just like us, they take a beating from the cold, so it’s important to take care of things we’ve had to neglect due to the weather.  Tackling these projects now will ensure you’re ready to enjoy spring before moving into summer!

Since the exterior of our homes bear the brunt of the cold season starting outside is best:

  • Check all windows and doors – the cold weather can break down the caulking and stripping that seals your doors and windows so take a walk around your home to check for any damage. Replace any old, cracked caulk and/or stripping for proper insulation. You don’t want to let the warm air inside especially when you’re running your air conditioner this summer!
  • Clean out gutters and downspouts – During the winter leaves and other debris can accumulate inside so it’s important to clean out and ensure proper functionality. Gutters direct water away from the perimeter of the home and with rainy months ahead you don’t want clogged gutters, they’ll only cause trouble.

Gutter

  • Service your air conditioner –To ensure you’re prepared for the hot summer days that follow spring, it’s a good idea to begin servicing your air conditioners Begin by replacing the filters to ensure the efficiency of the unit. Clogged filters make it difficult for the unit to work properly. For anyone with allergies, consider replacing the filter about every 60 days or so. For the more complicated servicing consult an HVAC professional at least once a year.
  • Landscaping – Check the surrounding areas of your home, both front and back, and sweep away any old leaves, debris, and tree branches. If your yard contains any bushes or plants give them a trim; most likely they’ve gotten a bit overgrown during these last few months. And don’t forget to replace that winter ravaged door mat for a fresh new look.

Trimming

  • Trim and siding maintenance – Icy and windy winter conditions can wreak havoc on the exterior which can be fragile. Contact a professional if you spot any damage.

Once you wrap up outside, here are some inside spring cleaning tips to get your home in order:

  • Replace damaged or torn window screens – For anyone who likes to keep their windows open it’s important the screens are in perfect condition. This will allow the maximum amount of fresh air to get into your home as well as keep insects like mosquitoes and flies outside where they belong.
  • A deep clean – Give extra care to cleaning your windows; take down and launder the window treatments, dust off the blinds, and clean them with a damp sponge. Carpets and rugs take a hit during the winter months so a deep steam clean will revitalize them. You can either hire a professional service or if you have some extra time, there are places that will rent the machine to you on an hourly basis.

Window Cleaning

  • Test all emergency systems – Check all of your systems (house, smoke, carbon monoxide alarms) to make sure they’re working properly. These units should be tested regularly and spring and fall maintenance are the best times to do this.
  • Ceiling Fans – You might not realize this but the direction of the blades makes a difference. In addition to giving the fan a good cleaning, you’ll want to change the direction of the fans to blow air down to give the room a breeze and make it feel cooler.
  • Store dry goods in airtight containers – With the warmer weather insects return so it’s important to store all your dry goods in sealed containers as well as wash out your pet’s bowls after every meal.

Food Storage

  • Organize, organize, organize – File, shred, and eliminate any clutter. Clean out cabinets, toss anything old such as medicines and cosmetics, and donate or discard get rid of any unnecessary items you don’t use or need.

A Mean but Green Kitchen Clean!

If you spent Winter hibernating like us, then your kitchen probably got quite a workout. Between roasts, pastas, soups and stews, our cookware, appliances and counter-tops are in urgent need of a refresh. So we’re having a kitchen clean party! Harmful cleaning products are not invited however – all guests must be au naturel.

 

e0351210b8387e40If You Can’t Stand the Heat…

Turn the oven off and clean it! Tonight you’re whipping up a homemade cleaning concoction of liquid dish soap, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemon and vinegar. Delish! Give your oven a quick wipe-down with warm, soapy water, then use a sponge to smooth the cleaner inside the oven. Shut the door and let the cleaner sit for at least four hours before using a damp sponge to remove. Now we’re cooking with gas again!

 

FRIDGEA Fridge So Fresh and So Clean

For a serious deep clean take out all food (storing perishables in a cooler) and outcast out-of-date items. Remove shelves, racks and drawers and wash them in hot soapy water. Wipe down all surfaces with a solution of 2 cups water and 2 spoons of baking soda. Rinse then dry. To prevent odors lingering store an open packet of baking soda in your fridge.

 

ecofriendlycleaningYour Finest Cookware

Baking soda, I got baking soda! For burnt-on stains and discoloration on stainless steel pots and pans mix baking soda with some warm water and a little dish soap to form a smooth paste. Rub on, let sit for a few minutes, then scour off stains and rinse. For cast-iron cookware wash with warm water then simply sprinkle with some coarse salt, scour and wipe pan completely dry. Salt also works for wood cutting boards!


Painless Stainlesssink

Sink your teeth into this quick and natural clean! Give the entire sink a once over with a mixture of baking soda and water and remove water spots with white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. For stubborn stains mix cream of tartar with hydrogen peroxide and buff. For extra shine, toss some flour into the sink or a few drops of baby oil and rub. Polished to perfection!

 

 

Got Guests? Fastest Ways to Clean your Apartment!

Being a New Yorker means that you usually don’t have time to look before crossing the road, and so you definitely don’t have hours to dedicate to apartment cleaning before entertaining guests. We’ve put together some top tips for a tip-top squeaky-clean apartment, faster than you can make brunch plans!

kitchen

Kitchen
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, so start here and fill the sink with warm, soapy water to soak dirty dishes while sweeping (or mopping if you have an extra 10 minutes!) the floor. Finish the dishes and put them away, clear counter-tops and wipe down the sink. Make sure the sink is completely dry and free of spots. A clean sink makes all the difference!

small-bathroom-600p

Bathroom
Wipe down the counters and sink using a disinfectant cleaning spray. For the toilet, use a toilet brush and cleaner and give the inside of the toilet a quick scrub. Next, use a glass cleaner to wipe down the mirror, and finally give the floor a quick sweep. If you don’t have time to wipe down the tub and shower (and let’s face it, you probably don’t) simply close your shower curtain!

Living Room
Grab an unused tote bag, collect any clutter and put it in the bag, and put the bag in a cupboard to be dealt with… one day. De-crumb couch cushions (shake them onto the floor – we’re all about saving time!) and fluff the pillows. Give the coffee table a quick dust, neatly stack magazines and other items, then run a vacuum through the space. As annoying as it can be, don’t underestimate the value of the vacuum! It can make a big difference in terms of perception and overall appearance. Light a candle to contribute to coziness and fill your home with a pleasant scent.

vacuum

Bedroom
Who has time to make the bed? Pull your comforter up to the pillows and voila – bed made! Head over to that one chair piled up with clean clothes that aren’t put away, rehang or refold them and finally put them away. Gather up all your dirty clothes and put them in a hamper to be washed another day!