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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Spring Cleaning the Yard and Outside the House

Lawnmower Sitting in the Yard.

 Getting the House and Yard Spiffed Up for Spring

In our last post we talked about Spring Cleaning the Inside of the House. Now let's move to the outside of the house and what we can do to spruce up some things that might need a little TLC.

Cleaning Windows and Screens

With all the wind, rain and snow, windows and screens take a beating when it comes to dirt and debris. Cleaning these will help all that beautiful sunshine fill any room in the house and brighten the mood.

Cleaning Interior and Exterior Glass

Cleaning Patio Furniture

Take the covers and cushions off your patio furniture and wipe them down or hose them off. Make sure to clean under tables and chairs to get all the cobwebs removed. If you have covers for your furniture, rinse them down with the hose and let them dry before storing.
If your outdoor furniture has been left in the elements you'll probably need to wash them.  You can clean most furniture with a gentle soap and water combination.  A good recipe is:
  • 1/3 cup dishwashing liquid
  • 1 gallon warm water
Pre-rinse then use a soft bristle brush to remove dirt, bird poop and mildew. Rinse completely.
If there is mold or mildew, add 1/2 cup white vinegar.  Don’t forget about cleaning the cushions and umbrella too. If there are removable covers on the cushions wash as instructed otherwise mix equal parts white vinegar and water, use the soft bristled brush to clean and rinse well when done.

Below are instructions for cleaning Teak Furniture and Wicker Furniture.
Cleaning Teak Furniture
Cleaning Wicker Furniture

Cleaning the BBQ Grill

Your outdoor grill might not have gotten much use over the colder months but if it wasn’t cleaned after the last use, who knows what it looks like inside.

  • If you have a charcoal grill, remove any remaining charcoal and rinse with a garden hose and use the recipe above to clean the inside and outside of it.
  • If you have a gas grill, remove the grates and scrub with a wire brush and soapy water and carefully clean the burners.
  • Make sure the drip pan is clean of grease and do check this quite often throughout the grilling season so no fires happen.

The grill, grates, and burners aren’t the only things to clean, check all parts of the grill and make sure all the screws are tight, tires are good, etc.

Cleaning Gutters and Roof

During the winter months leaves and debris can get blown onto roofs and into the gutters, so it’s a good idea every spring to clean these areas. Remove leaves and check the roof for any moss and other buildup of debris.  If you don’t feel you can safely get on your roof to clean, see if a family member can help or call a professional handyman.

Make Sure the Driveway, Walkways, Patios and Deck are Cleaned

Take a walk around your house with an old broom and get rid of any cobwebs you might run into.

Depending on where you live either sweeping or pressure washing the driveway, walkways, entryway, patio and deck will spiff these areas up. If there is any mildew on these areas, pressure washing will help remove it and keep anyone from slipping and falling.

Read the instructions for the proper tip and proper way to use the pressure washer so it doesn’t damage wood or cause a chunk of concrete to break loose.

Cleaning the Garage

Don’t forget to take a look at the garage, it can often be one of the messiest places of the house with boxes piling up, garbage that needs to go to the dump, things that need to be donated and the piles of stuff you’ve stocked up on from a big box store.

In order to clean it properly, you may have to organize first. You’ll have to move the car out and if you don’t have a shed, the lawn mower, bikes, etc.

Decide what you need the space for, will it be for the car, kid’s toys, lawn mower, maybe have a little room for a workbench? Then start going through your things in the garage, throw out the junk, donate items, and clean the floors.

When it’s time to put back what stays in the garage, look for new and different ways to store what you have left.  There are some great shelves, hooks, and cabinets made for garage storage. Find what will work best for you.

Cleaning the Yard

The yard is an ongoing project each spring and summer, but there are a couple of things you can do to clean it up.

  1. Take a good look around the yard and remove all the dead limbs, trash and stuff that may have blown in with the winter winds.
  2. Your lawn is also starting to wake up and it will need feeding to strengthen roots. Check with your local home improvement store and see what is right for you and the area you live in. 
  3. Plan your spring planting and clean the gardens by weeding and removing plants that didn't survive the winter. Do you need to mulch? When you've finished cleaning your gardens and those fall bulbs start blooming, your gardens will look great for their arrival.
Have fun doing your Spring Cleaning!

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