Spring Cleaning: House and Yard

Spring Cleaning: House and Yard
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Spring cleaning is just as important outside as it is inside, especially after a long cold winter such as we have in the Midwest.
The first step is to assign your kids or grandkids jobs that match their age group and provide fun snacks and drinks during breaks as a reward. Remind them that we tackle one task at a time, and with everyone pitching in it will be done in no time!

-Rain Gutters: Check all of your gutters and the downspouts for debris. Wash them out with a hose-you can buy small power nozzles to fit on the end of your hose. (more uses for this later!). Make repairs if anything has come loose or add to your list of replacement projects if need be.

-Porches: Sweep and clean off, then if you've been bothered by stray cats or other animals, wash down the porch with white vinegar and rinse with the hose. Determine again if you need to paint or repair. I also like to find new things to add to my porch each year. I find birdhouses and decorative feeders to hang and watch for wooden signs, wicker decor and plaques at garage sales. It's fun to add new things each year! I have a bench I'm going to paint this year.

-Window wells: All kinds of debris makes it's way into basement widow wells. Clean them out completely and wash the basement windows. (Great job for the kids!).

-Using your hose: My husband loves his hose, or actually, his power nozzle. This is not an expensive power washer-it's a simple nozzle we found at Home Depot last year-it's only about 2-3 inches long, but it has VERY strong spray. It was less than $5.00! I'm sure you'll find something similar yourself and you can use it for all of the following this spring:

*Wash out all of your garbage/refuse containers, recycle bins, large plastic pots and pails.

*Spray off the driveways, walkways, stone and brick walls or fences, cement porches, patios and decks.

-House Checks: Look around every inch of your house (chimneys, vents, foundations, etc) for any bird's nests or other debris that may have stuck in small spaces. While doing this take note of cracks, peeling paint or any other damage that happened over the winter. Add to your replacement or repair list.

Tool Check: Put away any tools you used this winter like shovels and snowblowers. Clean them and store them out of the way. Get out all of your garden and yard tools, the lawn mower and any other items you've had stored. Check them for condition, clean them and use the time to make sure everything is within easy reach and organized. Same goes for your pots and other gardening containers.

Grilling Time: It's time to fill the gas grill tanks, and check the connections, replace the lava rocks and give the grill a good cleaning. To check your tank connection to make sure it's not leaking mix dish soap with water and brush or spray it on the connection. If any bubbles form it's a sign of a leak. Use a good wire brush to clean the grill. Heating the grill first makes this easier. If you have a chiminea or other type of barbecue give that a good cleaning too. Don't forget that wood ashes can be added to the compost pile or your soil!

Birdfeeders and Birdhouses: Clean them out! The birdhouses should be emptied of any nesting materials from last year. The birds will make new nests-the old material can harbor insects and fungus. Clean them out and if you wish you can add cedar shavings- the kind used for pet bedding-in a thin layer on the bottom. Feeders should be emptied, and soaked in a solution of one cup bleach per gallon of water. Use a bucket and soak the feeders. Use an old toothbrush to really get in there and clean out the corners and bottoms of the feeders. Rinse and allow to dry.

Outdoor Iron Furniture: Spray it down with that nifty power nozzle and allow it to dry. If they are rusty, use a wire brush and some course sand paper to get off the rust or old paint. Wash it down, and allow to dry. Paint it with a metal primer and allow to dry completely, then spray paint with a new color!

Fishing Equipment: It's time to get out the tackle boxes and clean all that worm residue and other stuff that's in with the broken hooks and loose splitshot. Work on a flat surface and take all the items out-throw out the broken stuff-clean the inside and outside of the tackle box. Oh,by the way, get rid of the old fishing guides from 1988 and 1990... then put it all back in, buy your new license, spool new line and get ready to catch fish!

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About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.


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