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Outdoor Spring Cleaning Checklist
With winter winding down, you look forward to the fresh start a new season brings. And while you may already have a plan to tackle a spring cleaning list for inside your home, what about outside your home? Your yard, garage, porch and deck likely need some TLC too!
After being cooped up inside during a long winter, head outdoors and get the exterior of your home ready for the months to come using our outdoor spring cleaning tips.
Why Clean the Exterior of Your Home?
It’s common to neglect the outside of your home during the colder months — after all, you’re likely not gardening or mowing the lawn when there’s snow on the ground! And now that your home has accrued months of winter grime, it’s time to give it the makeover it deserves.
Taking the time to clean up the exterior of your home not only rejuvenates your home’s curb appeal, but you can find areas that need maintenance, which can help you avoid costly repairs later on. And, simply put, it’s more enjoyable spending time outdoors in a cleaned-up environment.
Prepare an Outdoor Spring Cleaning Checklist
You may be tempted to just dive in and get to work, but the key to successful outdoor spring cleaning is to have a plan in place. Our advice? Divide the chores by specific areas to stay on track and set realistic goals. Here are some key areas to tackle:
Cleaning the Exterior of Your Home
Since the fall and winter, your home has likely faced windstorms, snowfall and other elements that give it a grimy look. Here’s how to clean it up:
Hose off the siding. Get out the hose or hire someone to come and clean your home’s siding. This’ll remove the dirt that’s accumulated over the winter and give your home a refreshing look.
Begin at the highest parts of the home so you’re not sending dirt onto areas you already cleaned.
Wash the windows. You’ve been staring out at the cold, dreary winter for the last few months. Get your windows sparkling clean so you have a great view of the warm months ahead! Soon it’ll be warm enough to keep your windows open during the day — get the screens out and wiped off so you can enjoy the warm breezes to come. This is also a good time to check for signs that your windows need replacing.
Clean out the gutters. You may have done this in the fall to protect your home from ice dams, but it’s important to clean them out when spring rolls around too. Leaves and other debris could still accumulate in the winter, so give your gutters some more attention to make sure they’re working their best for the rain that’ll come in the spring and summer.
Cleaning the Garage
Cleaning the garage can be a full-day chore itself, so it’s okay to do this a separate day than the other items on your list. When it’s time to take on the garage, follow these tips:
Empty the garage. Ideally you’ll be cleaning the garage when it’s a nice day with no rain. This way you can empty your garage and place everything in your driveway. Take everything out that can be moved.
Remove motor oil stains. Oil stains are bound to find their way onto your garage floor. To get rid of them, you can use items you may have laying around your home, like clay cat litter, dish soap and a wire scrub brush. The cat litter will absorb the liquid, and once that’s gone you can saturate the stain with dish soap and scrub with the wire brush.
Clean the walls. We’re sure cleaning the walls of your garage isn’t exactly how you want to spend your weekend. So if you do plan to clean the walls, put your attention on areas where mold might be growing. Get rid of the mold by mixing water and oxygen bleach. Then, wearing rubber gloves and a protective face mask, scrub the mold away with a scrub brush. Once you’ve gotten rid of the mold, get a bucket of hot water and a new sponge to wipe down the walls.
Purge items you don’t need. See all those belongings in your driveway? Chances are there are a number of items hidden in there that you don’t ever use. Start sorting into four piles — keep, donate, throw out and sell. Once you’ve gotten rid of the junk and clutter, you’ll have more room to store things you actually use!
Organize. Now that you’ve cleaned your garage — keep it that way by organizing! Separate sports equipment, seasonal decorations, tools, winter stuff and other categories. Use wall hooks, shelves, clear containers and other techniques to keep each category in its dedicated space.
Cleaning the Deck/Patio
Unless you live in warm climates, the winter likely kept you from enjoying your deck and/or patio for a few months. No worries — with these tips you’ll be back to enjoying these spaces in no time.
Furniture refresh. Whether or not you stored your outdoor furniture, you’ll want to give it a good scrubbing. Use hot, soapy water and spray it off with a hose. Brush off cushions and spray those with a hose as well. No one enjoys sitting on filthy furniture!
Prepare the grill. You’ve been dreaming of firing up your grill all winter long — but before you get out the lighter fluid take some time to clean it up. Even if you cleaned it before storing it away for the winter, give it another look over, wipe it clean and make sure all of the connections are in proper working order.
Fix up the flooring. Sure, your deck or patio are tough enough to withstand all types of weather, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need some upkeep every season. For wooden decks, check that the wood isn’t rotting or decaying and make sure your railings are tight. After sweeping, scrub the wood with the proper cleaning solution and re-stain the deck if necessary.
If you have a concrete patio, sweep it off and spray it down with a pressure washer or wash it clean with a brush. Make sure to look for any cracks or chips that might need repairing so you can avoid a costlier repair later on.
Outdoor lighting. Replace old lightbulbs and clean off the dust and debris, like bird nests, from fixtures. Check to see that the fixtures are working correctly and are properly mounted.
Cleaning up the Lawn
The snow has officially melted, the ground is thawing and your lawn is begging for some love. Follow these simple ways to spruce it up:
Get out the rakes. The weight of the snow on grass all winter flattens it and gives it a dreary look. Bring your lawn back to life by gently raking and removing dead grass. This is also a good time to pick up any litter, sticks or lingering leaves that fell during the winter.
Feed it some nutrients. Treat your lawn to some fertilizer for a much needed boost of nutrients. This will help it grow strong during the spring and summer.
Welcome back the sprinkler. It’s time to get that grass growing! Check your sprinkler system to ensure it’s in good condition and doesn’t need any repairs or new parts.
Cleaning Other Exterior Areas
Now that you’ve finished cleaning the key areas of your exterior, consider adding these other tasks and watch your home transform:
- Check your fences and gates
- Weed and mulch the garden
- Re-pave your driveway
- Wash your garage door
- Clean out garbage cans
After you’ve knocked off everything on your outdoor spring cleaning checklist, it’s time to sit back, relax and start making plans for all the fun things you’ll do this summer!
Related Topics: Home DIY