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Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen once said that “Autumn arrives in the early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.” And, after such a long, cold, and challenging year, most Americans can relate! With spring literally just around the corner, we have an opportunity to refresh and reenergize, blossoming forth anew! Here are some simple tips to help get your home ready:

Clean your gutters and windows.

Begin cleaning gutters near a downspout, removing large debris, and then flushing alternatively using the hose. If the water doesn’t drain, recheck the downspout strainer and clean as necessary. For your windows, do as the pros do and utilize a squeegee. While it may take a little extra time, doing it the right way will make an otherwise tedious task less frustrating.

Get your landscape prepared.

Clear out flower beds, checking your plants for winter damage, and fertilizing. Consider planting some plants that are native to your area to enhance the environment and have a flourishing garden this year. Best of all, native plants are usually low-maintenance, which is a  relief to those who want their home looking great but don’t have the green thumb (or time) to do it!

Use this as a time to get your home organized.

Focus on one area of your home at a time, using the keep, donate, discard principle. If something has a genuine plan or purpose, find a suitable location for it within your home or place it within a storage unit for safekeeping. If you don’t have a real plan or purpose for an item, but believe someone else can benefit from it, donate it to your local Goodwill.  And if you don’t have use for it and no one else will? Throw it away, and don’t look back!

Once the clutter is removed, find ways to maximize your living space.

If you are like millions of other Americans and choosing to live small, renting a local self-storage unit can help provide you with space for items you need access to on a daily basis. Consider storing your sports equipment, camping gear, or seasonal decor off-site this spring, helping to improve the quality of life within your home this season and the whole year through.

Deep clean your home from top to bottom.

According to Martha Stewart, there is a detailed spring-cleaning checklist we should all complete at least once a year, which includes wiping your walls and ceilings, resealing grout lines, vacuuming, and shampooing rugs, cleaning upholstery, polishing hardware, and waxing wood.  While this may seem a bit-over-the-top, she is right by stating these items need to be tended to, and what better time than the spring to tackle them!

You need to replace any filters and check your alarms.

Replace the HVAC filters within your home and check to make sure all fire and carbon monoxide alarms are working. It is also wise to call in a technician to conduct some preventative maintenance on your cooling system to make sure there are no issues prior to the warmer months approaching.

According to Nobel Prize for Literature winner Pablo Neruda, “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.” Spring is coming, and with it, the opportunity for something new! Take hold of this opportunity to make the rest of this year clean, fresh, and one to remember!

Wishing you a happy, clean, and clutter-free spring!