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Spring cleaning 101

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There few rituals more associated with a change of season than the customary spring cleaning. As the snow and ice slowly disappear for another year, who doesn't want to start fresh this coming season and shake off the hibernation cobwebs of winter.

To get your home ready for welcoming spring, here are some tips to help you get your house and outdoors in order so that you will have time to focus on enjoying the warmer season ahead.

Safety first

The most important thing you can take care of this season is to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and ensure that all devices are in working order. Also, complete a check of your fire extinguisher to confirm that it is functioning properly.

Organize

Set some time aside to get rid of clutter. There is nothing more satisfying than finally getting rid of all those unused items taking up space in your storage area. Remember that just because you have room for something does not mean you should keep it. While you're at it, don't forget about your bedroom closet; go through your clothing and donate any items that you no longer wear. Anything you haven't worn in more than a year is probably just taking up space.

When eliminating clutter, take care to organize important items such as work documents, receipts and photos that you want to keep. Pick an organization method that works best for you (filing cabinet, boxes) and make sure that things are labelled correctly. The last thing you want to come from this is to be searching in vain four months from now for that furniture receipt you filed away.

Clean fabrics

You've spent a good chunk of time indoors during the cold winter months and your carpet and upholstered furniture is probably showing evidence of this. Shampoo your carpet and fabric furniture to remove any dirt and dust. If you rent a carpet cleaner, make sure to test the machine in an inconspicuous area to verify that the application will not damage the colours or fabric.

Appliances

After being well used lately to prepare holiday treats and tempting comfort food dishes, give your oven a thorough clean to remove any spills. For those who use their oven's self-cleaning functions, do not forget to wipe out any ash residue that collects at the bottom once the cleaning cycle is complete.

For your refrigerator, clean shelves and doors and vacuum dust from the coils located behind your fridge. Excess dust on these coils can result in overheating, which will shut down your fridge.

Outside

Use a pressure washer to clean any external siding to give your home a refreshed look, while also removing unsightly mould and mildew. Keep an eye out for areas that require a paint touch-up; taking care of areas in need of a touch-up as soon as you notice them can help prolong the life of your siding.

If, like most Canadians, you leave your barbecue outside throughout each season, your grill could benefit from a scrub to remove build-up from grease and food spills. Before cleaning, remember to first disconnect it from any fuel source. With a solution of vinegar and warm water, use a scrubbing brush to clean the inside components (burners and cooking grates) and wipe down the inside lid of your barbecue.

After all your cleaning is done, fire up that grill and sit back to relax in your freshly-cleaned outdoor furniture - you deserved it!

By Erin Kelly

 

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