Spring. It’s officially here! Will it stay?? I make no promises and hope that by writing this I am not jinxing anything *knocking on wood*. But let’s proceed like it’s here to stay, shall we?
We’ve all been couped up in our homes over the long winter which was made particularly trying with the restrictions imposed on us from the pandemic. The days are now getting longer, weather warming, and if the full patios throughout the city are any indication, Spring fever is running rampant.
While catching up on your social game is good for the soul, may I suggest channelling some of that energy into some spring clean-up action? While perhaps a bit of a hassle in the short term, the long-term effects will be well worth the effort.
No matter what your living situation is, ie. apartment, townhouse, single family home, there are a multitude of things you can do to breathe some fresh air and energy into your living space. Our first tip would be to set yourself a realistic timeframe. You’re not going to get it done all in one day and that’s okay. Setting yourself smaller achievable goals over a period of time will set the stage for success.
- Implement a four-category sorting system to reduce clutter: trash, give away, put away and store. Work through your home room-by-room and be honest with yourself about each item. If it hasn’t moved in months, it doesn’t fit/look good anymore, or you found it under a pile of “stuff” and haven’t missed it (granted it’s not a seasonal item) chances are you no longer need it.
- Re-arrange your furniture. I always find it incredible how moving your bed, shifting your couch, or rearranging an art display will enhance your homes energy and give your space an entirely different feel.
- Get out the vinegar and water and tackle the windows. While you’re at it, pull off the screens and run them through the shower, gently rubbing away the accumulated dust and debris. Let the sun shine in!
- Change your furnace filter. This should be done every 2-3 months regardless of the season. Changing the filter will not only improve the air quality in your home but also help to mitigate damage to the heating system.
- The deep clean – while you’re moving items and furniture around, there is no better time than now to do a once over on those often-missed areas ie. under the couch/bed, behind the stove, the baseboards, etc.
- Remove piles of heavy debris and piles of heavy leaves. While it is advised to maintain a thin layer of leaf litter in the early spring, heavy piles take ages to dry out and may harbour mold, disease and decay. A thin layer of leaf litter, on the other hand, will protect our early season pollinators who may still be tucked away and slumbering until the weather warms to consistent temperatures.
- Wait to mow the lawn until the it’s grown to 2-3” tall. Not only does the lawn need time to recover after winter, but the long blades will shade the roots, which will prevent fewer weed seeds from sprouting.
- As the snow melts, damage to the lawn from pets, shovels, and/or traffic may be revealed. As such, you may wish to re-seed some spots. Prior to seeding, use a steel rake to scuff up the area and loosen the soil. Sprinkle a thin layer of compost into the area and apply grass seed to the spot. Keep the soil moist and cover with straw or grass clippings to hold the seeds in place and protect from any ravenous birds.
- This is also a great time to get a head start on those weeds before their root system has a chance to take hold.
- Finally, have a look to see/feel if the eaves need cleaning. Twigs or small seedlings visible from the ground are good indicators that the eaves could use some attention. If you are not confident or don’t have the means to reach and clean them yourself, notify your property manager and they would be more than happy to coordinate this with a professional.
Not unlike a yoga class, there are very little people who will look back and say that they regret putting in the work. In no time, you’ll be BBQing with drink in hand relaxing on your deck or patio with a satisfied smile on your face. Thanks for coming back around again Spring, and cheers to you!