10 Tips for Spring Clean Up

10 Tips for Spring Clean Up

By Andy Cook

One of the nicest things about living in the Lehigh Valley is that we get to experience four distinct seasons. Having been born and raised here, I have an appreciation for each time of year, as we live in a great part of the country and the scenery is vibrant and varied. Given that, as we move into spring, it’s the perfect time to prepare for warm weather. Coming out of the colder temperatures, we need to ease into projects to get ourselves moving, and begin incorporating more activity into our lives.

Here you’ll find 10 tips to help you get started on your clean-up. One of the best ways to ensure success is to partner or engage others to help you, whether they are friends or family members. Nothing makes time go by faster than having a helping hand or two, as well as someone you trust to help you decide to keep some of those clothes jammed into the back of your closet!

While there are certainly many more ideas than the ones provided here, my primary recommendation is to do something, whether it’s a small easy task or a large one. Even if you have only a small block of time (15-30 minutes), you can accomplish a lot, and have a sense of forward motion.

Five Tips and Ideas for the Inside

1. Clean out those closets. Take stock of your clothing. Now is the perfect time to go through your closets and drawers and inventory what you have, what actually fits, what needs to be donated and what needs to be repaired. Do you really need 11 black t-shirts? Keep the items that fit you, make you feel good and you love. There’s something called the 80/20 rule which applies here in this manner:  we wear only 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. Knowing that, make sure the “20%” truly reflects who you are… and don’t hang on to those old items in hopes you’ll fit into them once again (or that the style may come back in again).

2. Wash those curtains and bedding. The changing of the seasons is a great time to take down those curtains and sheer panels, and dust ruffles and comforter covers and put them through the washer. Even if you don’t change these out for the seasons, it’s also good for your health to periodically wash these items, as these fabrics can impact your indoor environment.

3. Clean your windows and let the sun shine in. When you’re taking down your curtains in Tip #2, take time to give the insides of your windows a good cleaning. You may be surprised how much brighter it makes things. If the weather is good, do the outside windows at this time too. I recommend wiping one side horizontally and the other vertically, so you can tell if the areas you’ve missed are on the inside or outside. I actually bought a 12” squeegee at a big box home center and use that after I’ve given the window a good scrub with an old kitchen sponge and a bucket of suds.

4. Attack those junk drawers. We all have them, admit it. Those drawers (or in some cases, rooms) of our home where we put things when we don’t know where to put them.  Find a space-saving organizer which will make your life easier. You may come across those iPod headphones (or cellphone cord, or digital camera battery or rebate coupon) that have been missing for months.

5. Assess what you have vs. what you really need. With spring comes renewal and a great time to look around your home and determine what is adding to your life and what is not. Maybe “less is more” and you want to simplify your life. There’s no time like the present to donate or sell that old piece of furniture no one sits in or you don’t use, and it will open up your space for new opportunities.


Five Tips and Ideas for the Outside

Just as we prepared you a few months back with the article “Is Your Yard Ready for Winter?”, we have our landscaping expert, Chris Prorok, Plantique Senior Account Manager, back providing us with some great tips for the getting the outside of your home ready.  

1. Pick up winter debris. This includes branches and leaves on your property and in your planting beds. With all the snow and rain we’ve had this winter, rocks and stones may have shifted as well, and this is a good time to get things back in order.

2. Remove any leftover annual plantings or dead shrubs. Annuals are the “one season and done” plants.  “It’s important to create a clean slate before you consider any new additions to your landscape,” Prorok added.

3. Trim off any dead branches from your trees. Prorok says you can tell what’s dead by its color, and if they look brown, dry or dead. “Trimming these dead branches not only makes the trees look better, but help the tree to promote new growth.” This includes trees like cherry and weeping Japanese maples.

4. Cut back any perennials or ornamental grasses. Perennials are the plants that should re-emerge season after season. Prorok says many customers keep the grasses into the winter because they like the look, but it’s essential to cut these back so they will grow correctly in the Spring.

5. Re-edge and establish your planting beds. “Doing this now before you begin any planting will not only give you a defined, clean look, but enable you to change the design as well,” Prorok advises.  Think now about if you want to expand your beds for more added distinction to your home.


Want some immediate Spring color? Prorok recommends planting some pansies and snapdragons, as they are cold-weather annuals and will tolerate the colder temperatures until the weather truly warms up.


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