Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spring DIY

With snow on the ground but the distinct feel of Spring in the air (or maybe that's wishful thinking), I went around the house, making notes on some little niggly things that need to be done before the weather changes. (Honestly, this is a my list of b.o.r.i.n.g. Spring things to get done before moving on to the F U N Spring things.)

Get the doors in full swing. Our front door is squeaking. Not so annoying when it's the dead of winter and no one is using the door much, but soon to be used all day, everyday, and likely to be really annoying! Spray a little WD-40 onto the hinges, moving the door back and forth to work in.

The lock sticks a little on the back door - Squeeze in graphite powder. (Don't use oil, which can attract dirt, and make matters worse.)

The light fixtures need dusting. Dust the ceiling fans, chandelier, and pendant lights. (Turn them off first, and allow them to cool.) Here's a trick I read: wear a pair of white cotton gloves - I got a bunch of thin winter gloves from Target in the after-winter sale for about $1 a pair. Put them on, one dry, one sprayed liberally with glass cleaner. Clean the fixtures and glass shades with the gloves. I'm sure this will be a helpful tip, especially if you have an elaborate chandelier, with lots of little pieces.

The bathrooms need a good, well, bath. Dawn dish and vinegar for the baths and showers. Mix 1 cup warm vinegar with 1 cup regular dawn dish liquid and shake well. Spray on liberally and let sit for 2 hours. Use a scrub brush or sponge, and then rinse VERY well. (If you don't rinse very well the surface will be VERY slippery.)  Use this cleaner and you won't believe how clean your shower or bath will be.

While in the bathroom, dissolve mineral deposits plugging up the shower heads. Just remove the shower head, soak it overnight in a 50-50 vinegar-and-water solution, rinse it, and reinstall it to improve water flow. If the shower head is too hard to remove, fill a plastic bag with solution and secure it around the head with a rubber-band overnight.

Check the gutters and downspouts.  Spring = rain. And the gutters need to be working properly. There might be leaves and pine needles that need to be removed. Even birds nests! Once the gutters are clutter free, you need to get all of that water away from your foundation so make sure you have extra long kick-outs at the bottom of down-spouts.

Kitchen floor. We have a squeaky floor board easily silenced by sprinkling on talcum powder. Use a paintbrush to work the powder into the joints between boards and then sweep away the excess.

Lights. Got a room everyone leaves the light on? We do too. Alright, it's me! I leave the basement light on all the time...  Screw a First Alert PIR725 Motion Sensing Light Socket into the fixture and leave the wall switch in the on position. The light will illuminate as soon as anyone walks in the room, then automatically turn itself off when you leave the room. Perfect for the basement, attic or closets.

You can order these at Amazon:

They have great reviews and are $17.99!

Let in the sun! Our master bathroom and bedroom need a lot of privacy because they face the driveway. Rather than leave the blinds closed at all times, apply window film. It'll create privacy without blocking natural light.

The Etched Leaf Window Film 24-by-36-Inch has great reviews.  Actually all of the patterned and non-patterned window films have great reviews, are easy to use.  The patterned products are made so that you can cut and/or place them together for the repeating pattern easily.

So that's my Spring fixer-up list. Shouldn't take long, and then we can move on to