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by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance

10 spring cleaning and home maintenance tips

Man scrubbing his counter while spring-cleaning

On March 20 we wave goodbye to winter and, with open arms, welcome spring back into our lives. In Indiana, spring brings sunshine, flowers, showers (and even an occasional snow flurry), and it is the perfect time to make sure your home gets a spring makeover.    
To some, cleaning sounds tedious and takes away from enjoying the warmer weather. But the warm weather is the excuse you need to open your windows, blast your favorite tunes and get cleaning!    

What is spring cleaning?   

Spring cleaning is the idea of starting fresh with the new season. Winter in Indiana is known for being brutal, leaving snow, grime, dirt and a huge mess throughout our yards, garages and homes. That is why when you see the sunshine and warmer weather, it may be a good time to grab your cleaning supplies and your loved ones and begin dusting off for spring.    

When to start spring cleaning?   

There is not an exact date to begin spring cleaning, in fact, you can do it whenever you find time in your schedule. Spring cleaning can sound like a chore, but the more people you get to help you, the quicker the cleaning goes!    
A good time to start is March 20, the first day of spring! But if you’re reading this after March 20, the rest of March, April or May can still be the perfect time to begin the cleaning process. Spring cleaning is supposed to be a positive process following the transition of winter to spring. Although you may not feel positive while cleaning the gutters or sweeping the dirt and other residues from the garage floor, take it as a time to start fresh going into the spring of 2024.    
Make the process as fun as you want it to be. In fact, make spring cleaning a party weekend! Choose an upcoming weekend with a clear forecast and plan a weekend spring-cleaning party. Create a playlist, buy snacks and drinks for your cleaning helpers and make it a weekend to enjoy.    

Tips for cleaning and maintenance inside your home: 

  1. Plan and organize the cleaning process  ̶̶  If you are nervous that there may be too much to clean throughout your home, create a plan and get organized before you start cleaning. This can help reduce stress and keep you on track to get the job done. If your family is going to assist in the cleaning process, assign everyone a different task or room so they can stay focused. An eco-friendly spring-cleaning tip is using washable rags or cutting up an old t-shirt to clean with instead of using paper towels. Also, make sure to recycle while cleaning. If you empty a bottle of cleaner, rinse it out, dry it and place it in the recycling bin to help the planet stay clean, too!    

  1. Clean room by room  ̶̶  Not only does cleaning room by room help with organization and planning, but it also can make things go more smoothly. Grab two different colors of Post-It notes from the store and have one color designated  “dirty” and one color marked “clean.” On each door or entryway place a designated note to show if the room has been cleaned or not. This will help track the progress you have made and make cleaning more interactive.    

  1. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors  ̶̶  On March 12, we spring our clocks forward for  Daylight Saving Time (DST) in Indiana to get an extra hour of sunlight in the evening. According to the American Red Cross, DST can serve as the perfect time to check to see if your smoke detectors are working; if you didn’t do it then, spring-cleaning is also a great time to check. Check all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly and have fully charged batteries.    

  1. Clean the inside of your windows  ̶̶  If you want to see the bright sunshine stream through, you’re the windows throughout your home, grab a bottle of window cleaner and scrub the inside of each window. Not only will this increase the amount of natural light that enters your home, but it will also keep your windows in great shape throughout the years.    

  1. Clean your washer and dryer  ̶̶  Cleaning videos have become a viral phenomenon on many social media platforms in the last couple of years. The videos consist of individuals showing their cleaning routine for unique places throughout their homes. Some appliances highlighted as places to clean in these videos are washers and dryers. So, how do you clean your washer and dryer? Simply look online to learn how to do it. Millions of self-made videos will pop up demonstrating how you can clean the inside and outside of your washer and dryer.    

Tips for cleaning and maintenance outside your home:

  1. Clean the outside of your windows  ̶̶  Now that you cleaned the inside of your windows, it’s time to clean the outside of them, too. This will help provide natural light inside and keep the windows in excellent condition.    

  1. Clean your house’s gutters  ̶̶  This is a job for an adult because it may involve a ladder depending on how tall your home is. When your gutters and downspouts have leaves, branches and debris inside of them the gutters will get blocked. This blockage could result in water damage to the interior and exterior of your home. If you don’t feel comfortable climbing a ladder to clean your gutters yourself, do not hesitate to call a qualified, licensed and insured company near you to help with this spring-cleaning task!    

  1. Organize and clean your garage  ̶̶  During the winter season, it may seem like your garage is colder than the outside at times. Because of this issue, things tend to get out of place in the garage during the chillier months of the year. This spring is the perfect time to open your garage door, sweep out the dust and organize clutter throughout the space. Did your workbench become the “put everything on this bench” pile? If so, go through the pile of stuff and find a home for it. If you do not need something anymore, instead of throwing it out, donate it to a local charity or thrift shop so that other individuals may get use out of it.    

  1. Clean up your yard  ̶̶  After being snowed on for months, your yard may not be in the best shape. There are many ways to clean your yard after winter. Pick up the debris that has accumulated during the season such as sticks, branches, leaves, trash that may have gotten under the snow and yes...worst of all, pet droppings. If this is your least favorite part of the cleaning process, you may need to pull out a bribe for this one. Tell your kids you will buy them pizza for dinner, or they get an extra hour of screen time after cleaning this weekend. Whatever works for you, make it as fun as possible!    

  1. Dispose of extra pinecones or create a DIY project  ̶̶  There are many eco-friendly spring-cleaning tips out there, but one that you may not think of is what to do with your pinecones. Activities to do with pinecones include making bird feeders, adding them to your compost pile, using them as mulch throughout your landscaping or creating DIY projects with your children!    

Additional spring-cleaning tips for homeowners   

If you are a homeowner, you know you need a qualityhomeowners insurance policy. Homeowner policies help protect your home and valuables from the unexpected. Purchasing dwelling, personal property and liability coverage will help protect your home, your stuff and your assets.   

If you want additional protection for your home and other belongings,Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance offers optional coverages and endorsements that you can purchase for extra peace of mind.    

Decluttering tips from United Way of Central Indiana   

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance is proud of our long-term partnership with United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI). UWCI’s vision is that Central Indiana will be a community where children, individuals and families thrive.   

Having an organized, decluttered home can help improve our quality of life. UWCI is generously sharing two recent webinar videos that include helpful tips to better organize your life.

Rightsizing Your Stuff: Decluttering with Always United   

Rightsizing Your Stuff: A Deeper Dive into Decluttering with Always United  

Bonus tip:  

If you want more advice or instruction on how to clean something, or maybe you want natural spring-cleaning tips or help with buying safe products, simply go online and look it up. Cleaning may be strenuous for you, but for others, it can be a common hobby or even a stress reliever.    

Make spring-cleaning fun this year by bringing the family together and following these spring-cleaning tips throughout the inside and outside of your home!

*The information in this article was compiled from a variety of sources and is intended to provide helpful tips only