You’ve heard of spring cleaning, winter is also another great opportunity to check off a few home maintenance task. The next few weeks are a great time to accomplish the little chores that you’ve been putting off.
Kickoff 2019 with a fresh, clean, and safe start by checking these tasks off your to-do list!
1. Clean Vent Covers.
- Detach the grates from the vents and use the brush attachment of your vacuum to clean the grates thoroughly.
- Scrub them with warm water and soap.
- Use hose attachment to remove dust from the edge and the opening of the vent so the dust bunnies won’t be blown into the room when you turn the air back on.
2. Clean the Range Hood
Grease, dust and food particles can create a sticky buildup on the hood. Consider these steps to remove the buildup.
- Remove the range hood’s mesh filter if the hood’s instruction manual says it’s removable.
- If dishwasher safe, place it in the dishwasher, otherwise hand wash with warm soapy water.
- Heavy grease buildup use some grease-fighting dish detergent on a wet cloth to soften it and break it up.
3. Get Your Oven Spic-and-Span
- Run your oven’s cleaning cycle.
- Clean your burners. Use of warm water and dish detergent with a little elbow grease will remove build up.
4. Unclog the Drains
Buildup can occur in your bath or shower, try these simple home remedies.
- Combine hot water and a half-cup of table salt and pour down the drain, followed boiling water.
- To unclog your kitchen drain, pour a half-cup of baking soda with an equal amount of white vinegar, cover the drain with a damp cloth, and leave for about an hour to allow it to bubble away. Final step, flush the drain with boiling water.
- Tackle stubborn clogs with a drain clean from your local hardware store.
5. Replace the Refrigerator’s Filter
- Most manufactures recommend you replace the refrigerator’s water filter every six months, or sooner if the water has a odd taste. Replacement filters can be purchased at most home improvement stores or online.
- Once the filter is replaced, flush it by running water through several times before you drink.
6. Organize Your Closet
- Sort clothes by category, season, or color.
- Consider getting rid of clothing you no longer use or haven’t worn in more than a year or so. Donate gently use items.
7. Check Your Fire Extinguisher, Detectors, and Alarms
- Annually inspect your fire extinguisher to ensure the locking pin and tamper seal are both intact and checking for any clogs, leaks, corrosion, or damage.
- If you do not own a fire extinguisher, it’s a good idea to invest in one for home use.
- The National Fire Protection Association advises to immediately read instructions and become familiar with the parts so you know how to use it right away. Many local fire departments offer classes on proper use.
- Test the smoke alarms monthly by using the test button. Replace the batteries at least once a year.
- The CDC recommends everyone to check or change the batteries in carbon monoxide detectors at least twice a year.
8. Inspect First Aid
- Refresh or purchase a first aid kit.
- Have kits available in multiple rooms within your home to ensure the supplies will be within easy reach wherever you are.
9. Remove leaves and debris from gutters and roof
- Remove leaves and debris from your gutters.
- Weather permitting, remove leaves and debris from your roof.
10. Update Your Home Inventory
In the event of a fire or natural disaster, having an up-to-date home inventory will help verify your losses, get your insurance claims settled faster, purchase insurance and assist with tax filing. The Insurance Information Institute suggests keeping important documents and home inventory in a safe deposit box.
If you don’t have an inventory use a cloud-based app to create one and not need to store a hard copy. A few free cloud-based apps or low cost options include BluePlum, Home Inventory, My Stuff, Inventory Manager, and Encircle. Forbes.com recommends these top five home inventory apps.
11. Check Attic Insulation
Check out your attic insulation before the temperature drops.
- Seal any air leaks and make any other necessary repairs.
- The US Department of Energy suggest if the thickness of the insulation is less than an equivalent of R-30, you may consider adding more.
12. Store Holiday Items
- Coil each strand of lights and place them in a resealable bag.
- Pad breakable items with holiday linens or towels to be stored and place in plastic totes.
- To prevent ornaments from breakage use coffee filters to wrap and carefully store.
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