spring-cleaning-to-do-listNow that spring has officially begun, it’s time to start readying your home for the warm weather ahead. Take some time this season to address those areas of the home missed by your regular cleaning routine.

1. Clean those overlooked areas

Dust or vacuum the tops of wall-mounted cabinets and the floor beneath large appliances. Dry-clean fabric draperies and use a damp cloth to clean wood and vinyl blinds. Vacuum upholstered furniture and mattresses, and rent a carpet cleaner. Try to remove dust, mites, and allergens, wherever they have settled, to achieve a healthier home. If you have grease residue in the kitchen, wash your cabinets, backsplashes, and walls with warm water and mild detergent. The same goes for the bathroom, where there is soap scum, mold and mildew.

2. Organize a closet or two

Many of us would rather keep the door closed on the subject, but cleaning up your act storage-wise can yield abundant daily and long-term benefits. Pick one closet as a starting point and set a goal for what you want to accomplish. List what you want to store in this closet and identify how the closet is currently letting you down. You can buy large bins and boxes for storage, or even shelving. Budget, style, and the amount of space you have available should all factor into your decision-making.

3. Start planning your garden

It’s probably too early in most parts of the country to start planting your garden, but it’s never too early to plan. Look through seed catalogs or online retailers to find varieties you want to experiment with in your yard. Nurseries and home improvement chains only have room to stock the most popular plants, so if you are looking for heirloom or rare varieties to make your yard truly distinctive this summer, you may need to do some research.

4. Paint something—anything

Applying a fresh coat of paint to a room is easy and very rewarding. Any room in your house would probably benefit from a new color or touchup. There’s no need to stop at the walls either. You can use paint to give new life to an old piece of furniture, worn-out cabinets, or a dull stairway.

5. Create a home office that works for you

Creating the right design decisions in your home office can make the difference between working hard and hardly working. If you already have a home office, consider if there might be a better place for it. Be sure you have room for everything that is essential to the work that you do. If your work area is small, take advantage of vertical space by installing shelves above your desk or putting tall bookcases adjacent. A home office should work for you, so if the setup you have isn’t working, change it.