Now that your taxes are in the mail, which was a big accomplishment on your to-do list, it is time to start another list: a spring cleaning list. Here in Kansas City it is hard to think of the weather we have right now as spring. Don’t let that stop you from starting the list. Crossing things off this list will leave you feeling much better than doing your taxes and sending them off to Uncle Sam! Each home and homeowner has different requirements when it comes to what needs to be accomplished to get ready for the summer. If you have kids, your list may be longer and because you have dependents, I mean kids (hard to not think of them as little tax write offs the day after taxes were due) you may have extra hands to help you cross things off your list. So let’s start with some not-so-obvious items for your spring cleaning list top to bottom.
How many times a year do you go into your attic? You may have stored some Christmas decorations there, or some old taxes (there we go again. We need to move on don’t we?) When is the last time you checked to make sure your attic had the proper insulation or that critters did not make a home is your insulation during the winter? Check your attic to make sure it is properly insulated. This item on your list can be a game changer for your wallet if you find your insulation needs attention.
Next Stop: Bedrooms
Clean and organize the closets. Tackle one at a time or one each Saturday till they are all done and you won’t feel overwhelmed. When going through the closet, pull everything out. When you pull an item from your closet, assign it a pile: the keep pile, the throw out pile and the garage sale/donate pile. If you have to linger over an item too long, donate it. It may mean it’s good enough to keep and you don’t really need it and chances are someone else needs it more than you do.
The Least Favorite to Clean: Bathrooms
Have the carpet or the tile in the bathrooms cleaned. This is an area of the house that gets ignored. We take the floor in the bathroom for granted but if you take a moment to “really” look at it, you’ll discover it needs to be professionally cleaned. Clean out drawers and anything under the sink. Make 2 piles: the keep pile and the throw out pile. It feels good to get a lot done, right?
Really Clean the Kitchen
Open up all your cabinets and just look for a moment. You probably have a lot of things in your pantry that are way past their due dates. We buy things with the intention of cooking like a “Top Chef” only to have the items expire past their freshness dates. Same goes for the refrigerator. Take everything out, including the removable shelves. Wash and dry them and re-install them. Throw out the food that has gone bad. Get rid of items that you don’t need. Then organize the content of the fridge so you can see what you need. Then gather your family together in the kitchen, show them all the work you’ve done and then beg them to put the items back the same way they found them. (They’ll do it for a little while and you’ll be happy).
Down to the Basement
Go through the winter coats. Did you wear them all or can you hang onto them for next season and donate them? What about going through the toys? Kids outgrow toys but they seem to pile up. It’s hard for them to let go of some of the things they may have outgrown. Make a deal to split the profits with them on the items that get sold at the garage sale. Better yet, donate them to a local shelter. It is a great opportunity to talk to small children about sharing with those in need. Check the water heater and make sure it is not leaking and call your HVAC company to check your equipment in anticipation for warm if not hot summer days.
Spring may have sprung where you are, but there is always time to make a spring cleaning list and tackle the items one by one. You’ll feel better and you may save and make yourself some money in the process!
Next time: Spring Cleaning List for the Great Outdoors!