You’ve come through another winter, and you’re getting geared up for warm weather, spring cleaning and summer fun. Those cold mornings, the runny noses and winter doldrums are now just distant memories. But winter can take a toll on your home just like it does you and your family.
From that stale air inside your house to the wear and tear of snow and ice on the exterior and yard, your house may not be ready to enjoy the warm weather to come just yet. Put away your winter clothes and welcome spring by showing a little love and prepare your home for warm weather.
Bring Your Home Out of Winter Hibernation With These Handy Tips
Is your HVAC ready to keep you cool?
You may have enjoyed a warm, toasty winter thanks to all that heat from your HVAC unit, but that doesn’t mean it’s ready to keep you cool for those hot summer days. Here are some ways to make sure your air conditioner is ready to keep things cool.
Start by changing the filter. A clogged or dirty filter makes your unit run longer, costing you more money. Turn on the a/c and make sure it’s ready to do its job. If you don’t feel the cold air flowing after a few minutes, check your circuit breakers. If everything seems to be in order and you have no a/c, it’s best to call an HVAC service to check things out.
Is your roof in good shape and your gutters ready for spring showers?
Ice and snow can wreak havoc on roofs and gutters. As soon as weather permits, head up the ladder and take a look. Check for missing and damaged shingles, check flashing around pipes and chimneys and inspect any caulked areas like skylights. Check the chimney for cracks and missing mortar in joints.
Move on to the gutters and give them a good cleaning. Carefully check the facia (the wood behind the gutters) by gently lifting the shingle and look/feel for wood that is decaying or wet. After you clean the gutters, run a hose to the roof and test that all downspouts are unobstructed and ready for rain.
Get your yard ready for warm weather fun.
Give the yard a thorough walk-through and pick up any fallen limbs and other debris. Take a good look at any trees and make sure there are no broken limbs that could eventually fall and injure someone. Check your sprinkler system, faucets and other outdoor plumbing to make sure there are no busted pipes.
Pull out the lawn and patio furniture, wash them off and check to make sure everything is safe and working right. Get the grill ready by checking for clogs in burners or the feeder tubes and give the cooking grate a good wipe down with some vegetable oil. Don’t forget to check and see if you have gas in the tank, too.
Get ready for warm weather pests.
There’s plenty you can do to prepare your home for warm weather and minimize how many ants, spiders and other creepy pests will show up for summer. Do a careful inspection inside everywhere pipes or conduit come into your home and seal up any spaces around or near them. Head outside and look for any holes or cracks and do the same.
Identify any places where water can accumulate like empty flower pots and other catch-alls and remove them to help prevent mosquitoes. If your area is prone to heavy mosquito infestations, you might want to consider hiring a certified pest control company to treat your yard. These treatments are typically done monthly and take a lot of the aggravation out of summer fun in the backyard.
How to Store Winter Clothes Over the Summer
Start with decluttering.
Take an inventory of all your winter clothes and gear. Anything that’s damaged beyond repair, no longer fits or gets rarely used from season to season needs to go. Toss or donate them to a non-profit. If something you get rid of is going to be a necessity when winter rolls back around, spring is a great time to buy winter gear at a discount.
Clean and repair anything that’s going into storage.
Machine wash or dry clean your winter clothing and make sure everything is completely dry before moving on to storing them. Scents like perfume, sweat, food and smoke naturally attract moths and other insects that can damage clothes, so get everything as clean as possible before storing.
Use the appropriate storage solutions.
Plastic bins with lids are ideal for storing all sorts of winter clothing, gear and decorations. They prevent moisture buildup that can cause mildew, keep pests at bay and are a handy way to store things for long periods. They come in all sizes and shapes to help you make the most of the room you have.
Plan out your storage areas.
When possible, store your winter clothes out of the way. Under beds, in the top or bottom of hall closets and the old standby, the attic, are suitable for most items stored safely in bins and other containers. To make more room and stay organized through the warmer months, rethink your closet layouts. Consider using storage caddies, adding or removing shelving and other closet organization options to make the most of the room you have.
Shrink your winter clothes.
You’re not really shrinking them with this tip – you’re just compressing them to make them less bulky for optimized storage. This method is not suitable for silk, wool and any other “delicate” fabrics, but those puffy parkas, ski bibs and other outdoor gear are perfect candidates for vacuum sealed bags. You can get more clothes stored in less space and have the peace of mind knowing pests and moisture can’t do any harm.
Use an organizer to store smaller winter accessories.
Hats, gloves and wool socks don’t take up a lot of room, but they are susceptible to getting lost or misplaced between winters. Use a closet door organizer with small compartments to keep everything organized and out of the way or designate a specific container to keep everything together before you store it for the season.
Special fabrics need special storage.
Some fabrics are more delicate than others or more susceptible to damage from pests, so you have to store them a bit more carefully. For cashmere and other fine wool and silk clothing, investing in cotton-canvas storage bags is a perfect solution. These bags allow you to stack clothing inside to prevent moisture, pests and other dangers from getting to your expensive clothes while still giving them room to breathe. Fold each item loosely and stack them in the bags allowing some space between items by using cedar panels or some other natural pest deterrent.
Don’t get “hung up” on how to store sweaters and winter coats.
Don’t store sweaters and coats on hangers. Storing them like this for a long time can cause them to become misshapen and damaged from friction with other clothing. Use your plastic bins and fold each item loosely to help them keep their shape and give them room to breathe. Include a cedar block for good measure.
Storing winter boots and shoes is a cakewalk.
Just like sweaters, boots and shoes can lose their shape and are exposed to damage if they aren’t stored correctly. For boots, use boot trees to help them keep their shape all summer long. If you have the room, store them standing up, but laying them sideways in a bin works, too. For shoes like ankle boots, stuff tissue paper inside firmly to help them keep their shape and store them loosely in a plastic container. Clean the shoes and make sure they are dry before storing and treat leather with a suitable leather conditioner.
With winter behind you and summer just around the corner, when you prepare your home for warm weather and store your winter clothing safe and sound, you’ll have a jump start on your seasonal to-do list. If you want to skip the spring cleaning and enjoy the outdoors, just call The Maids® and let us take care of the dirty work.