February's Top 10 Home Maintenance "To-Do's"
1. Rotate your mattress
This month, before you go ahead and put on a fresh pair of sheets, take a minute and rotate that mattress if you haven’t done so in awhile. Making sure to rotate your mattress every few months will help it wear more evenly and extend its life not to mention preserving its comfort.
2. Pack a bag of old sheets and towels to donate
Many of us find ourselves with new sheets and towels whether it was from the holidays or during January white sales. Well, make some room and let go of any old sets you may have taking up space. Homeless shelters will accept donations of bedding and towels in good condition, and animal shelters are often in desperate need of towels. Before you go, make sure that donations are being accepted. Really worn linens can be cut up and used as rags or dropped in a textile recycling bin.
3. Clean your entryway floors
Winter in Colorado seemed extra cold this year and that means with all the road chemicals and melting snow, our entryway floors take a beating. Pick up any clutter that's gathered between all the hats, jackets, gloves and scarfs and give the floors a good mopping. This is a good time to seal grout and coat wood floors. However, to keep floors looking their best between cleanings, keep a few towels in a basket near your heavily trafficked door to wipe up any messes.
4. Keep sidewalks and entryways clear of ice and snow ...even while you’re away
Ice and snow can make walkways dangerous for anyone visiting and can become a liability to you as the homeowner. Do your best to shovel snow right away, and then consider sprinkling gravel, straw or wood chips to provide traction instead of salt or other chemicals which inevitably melt and drip into our rivers. Frequent light shoveling is better than letting the snow build up and if you plan to be away during an expected winter storm, hire someone to clear the sidewalk and front steps of your home while you’re gone. Usually all it takes is a quick post in your neighborhood groups. Your neighbors and mail carrier will thank you!
5. Cook a little extra to stock your freezer
Cooking on a weekend for a few hours can produce major results if you focus your efforts on making larger batches that can be frozen and reheated later. Knowing that you have homemade soup, stew, chili or casseroles in the freezer makes facing weeknight dinners much easier. Just add bread and a simple salad and dinner will be ready in no time.
6. Organize your bookshelves
Pull out books that you didn’t enjoy or are finished with and sell or donate them or better yet, set up a book exchange in your neighborhood. Be sure to leave a bit of extra room on each shelf for new finds. If you get distracted by certain books you adore and have forgotten about, just roll with it. After all, there are few better places to spend a winter afternoon than in a comfortable chair with a good book and let's not kid ourselves, we still have a few months to go before we can count on warmer days.
7. Refresh your movie lounging area
Its hard to get through Winter without catching up on a few movies you may not have caught in theaters or binge-watching your favorite shows. So why not make your movie watching spot as comfy and cozy as absolutely possible? Have fun with it! Start by vacuuming the floors and upholstery (using a vacuum attachment) and by clearing away clutter but then assess your space and add what makes you feel cozy. Flip through your collection of movies and games, donating any extras to charity. Finally, make sure there are plenty of comfortable pillows and throws and don't forget lighting! Lighting makes a huge difference especially when it can be dimmed.
8. Boost warmth
Stay extra toasty warm and cut those energy bills by blocking drafty doors with door sweeps or door snakes and warming up underfoot with rugs and around the house with throws and duvets. For even more energy savings, close doors to any rooms not being used, move furniture away from heating vents and make sure the chimney flue completely when you're not using it.
9. Check bathrooms for moisture marks
Bathrooms suffer when we can't just crack a window and air them out with the cold outside. Unfortunately, that buildup of moisture can lead to mildew or even harmful molds that can collect in your bathrooms. Give each room a deep cleaning paying special attention to any grout lines, the ceiling and any other areas showing signs of excess moisture.
10. Clean the dryer vent
This is something I like to do twice a year however cleaning out any build up of lint from your dryer vent at least once a year is essential to keeping your dryer working efficiently and keeps you safe. Every year we see fires from a lack of maintenance to dryer vents. It's also important to go out and check for any blockages. In winter, snow can block the exterior vent, so take a walk outside your home to inspect the vent and remove snow or debris if needed.
11. Start planning for a spring or summer home sale
If you’re considering putting your home on the market sometime this year, it’s vital that you start the process now. Set a timetable, interview potential real estate agents and make a list of projects that need to get done to help your home show well. Now is a great time to schedule a consultation with one of our agents so we can help you set proper expectation when it comes to a timeline, what needs to be done and what to expect once you get the ball rolling. Nothing takes the place of being properly prepared.
12. Indulge in weekly fresh flowers
With Valentine’s Day happening this month, the markets will be filled with fresh flowers. While they might be marked up for a week or so, treat your home to a Spring bouquet of fresh-cut blooms once a week to add a little cheer — spring may still be a ways off, but that doesn’t mean your dining table can’t look like a garden in bloom and bring some cheer to the house.