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.

Handy Halloween Hints for Fall Craft

Looking for cost-effective gall decoration ideas the whole family can enjoy making? Freak, and you shall find.

Here are our top 4 easy DIY decorating picks.

Show some local love and get your supplies from EconoCrafts and Michaels.

Ready, set, ghost!

151027 - ghostSave time and dimes with this tricky display that’s sure to be a treat. All you need is a liter soda bottle, starch, cheese cloth, an old towel, scrap piece of felt, Styrofoam ball (preferably white), scissor and wire.

After covering your work area with a towel (starch washes off easily!), place the foam ball on top of the clear bottle. Use a wire to create the ghost’s arms, lay the cheesecloth over your display and spray it down with starch.

You can even use a hair dryer to speed up the drying time. Once the starch is dry, pull it off and glue on some felt eyes. It’s dead easy!

Knock knock. A mummy’s there!

Before the doors are opened to unlimited candy, give the kids a scare.

As you date your front door by thousands of years, take your own step back in time by running your childhood fingers through good ole fashioned crepe paper streamers! You’ll also need 2 circles of white printer paper and two slightly smaller circles of black paper (or use black contact paper for a real throwback that’ll stick directly on!).

Then it’s time to wrap, wrap, wrap it up. Use double-sided tape to keep each strip in place and criss cross your strands in various directions for the best effect.

Eye spy

151027 - eyesJust toilet paper rolls and glow sticks go a long way.

Simply draw eyes onto the toilet paper roll, most effective with lashes or slits so they’re not just plane oval shapes. Cut the eyes out and leave a cracked glow stock inside.

For those of you lucky enough to have front and back yards with lush trees (like some of our huge homeowners in Madison and Gravesend!), hide these glowing eyes among the bushes and shrubs to terrorize the trick-or-treaters.

A handy tip redy to scare

Mixing Elmer’s glue with red food coloring will give you a bloody great time. It’ll cling to just about any smooth surface. The insides of windows are an obvious choice. Our tip? Cover your chosen area with clear plastic wrap first so that the post-party clean up is just peeling it off – no scrubbing!