Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2000
Get your house ready for warm weather with these tasks:
Clean Rugs, Carpets, and Floors
Vacuum rugs and carpets. Machine-wash or dry-clean area rugs, and shampoo wall-to-wall carpeting. Wash and wax floors.
Remove dust, dirt, and cobwebs with a soft brush. Wash windows inside and out with a mild dilution of either ammonia or white vinegar in water; dry with a squeegee followed by a rag.
Renew Mattresses and Cushions
Vacuum mattresses and box springs. Rotate and flip mattresses before replacing them on the springs. Flip sofa and chair cushions.
Clean Refrigerator and Freezer
Unplug refrigerator; discard any items past their prime. Store food in a cooler, then wash fridge from top to bottom with warm, sudsy water. Add baking soda to solution to deodorize surfaces.
Clean Shades and Curtains
Take down window treatments. Dust slat blinds, and launder curtains and fabric shades: either hand-wash and lightly steam in place, or send to a dry cleaner.
Sort Through Wardrobes
Separate clothes into piles: off-season, give away, dry cleaner, tailor. Wash and mend clothing before replacing in closet or storing.
Perform a Safety Check
Check smoke detector batteries frequently; replace every six months. Check batteries in carbon-monoxide detectors and flashlights; inspect pressure gauges on fire extinguishers.
Vacuum and clean grates, coils, and condensers on furnaces, refrigerators, stoves, and air conditioners. Remove filters in furnaces and air conditioners, and either clean or replace them.
Replace Storm Windows with Screens
Remove storm windows; replace cracked panes, recaulk windows, and repaint the frames before storing. Before installing screens, repair holes with tweezers (or replace entire screen).
Did You Know?
Your vacuum needs spring cleaning too: Cut away threads from the rotating beater, replace the motor's belt if stretched, and install a new bag.