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  • Writer's pictureKate Fulford

Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks

We’re all familiar with Spring Cleaning - that time of year where we get a burst of energy and want our house to feel fresh and new (also, our bodies!). But what should we be doing to keep our home well maintained and a place that ignites delight?  

Make a Schedule

Start by creating a schedule for your spring cleaning. Identify areas that need the most work and where you usually skip during routine cleaning. Having a plan will keep you focused on the task at hand. Maybe the family can tackle one task per week? Some ideas that I am plan to incorporate into my own Spring Cleaning Plan include:

Declutter: Does a cluttered and disorganized home stress you out? You can create a more relaxing environment by getting rid of excess clutter. Why not involve everyone in the household (including kids)? Create a fun playlist to make the cleaning process more fun and have a dance party while you're at it.

  • Go through clothes and determine what can be put away (seasonal) or donated

  • Are there games, toys, knick-knacks that no longer serve you? Perhaps give away on Buy Nothing or donate.

  • Go through files, desk drawers, pen holders, etc and weed out what is no longer needed.

  • Pantry clean out and organize (maybe tie in to health goals!)

Outdoor Maintenance: Spring is a good time to get outdoors and tackle larger home projects. Check for any damage caused by winter storms, clean/repair gutters and downspouts, and inspect your roof for any damage. It’s a good time to get your roof cleaned of moss (they often will clean your gutters too). DO NOT let your roof get a green fuzzy look. This may be cute for a thatched home in a movie - but it is NOT good for your roof. 

This is a good time to prepare your yard, garden, lawn and plants for Spring!

  • Maintenance Tasks: Check fence panels, gates, and trellis for any signs of weather damage or decay. Does your deck need a new coat of stain/finish? Could your patio use a cleaning? The Portland summer is so ideal for enjoying outdoor spaces - so now is a great time to get things ready.

  • Weed Control: Pull up weeds and crabgrass, and remember to remove the entire root system by pulling firmly by hand or using a shovel or weeding tool. Spot-check your garden once a week to keep weeds from coming back.  

  • Lawn Preparation: Avoid walking on a wet and saturated lawn, as it can cause damage. If your lawn has a serious thatch problem, consider dethatching in the early spring before the lawn starts to green. Pay special attention to the edges of your driveway and along rock surfaces for crabgrass, as well as bare spots in your grass, which are prime real estate for weed seeds in the spring

  • Garden Preparation: Start by clearing all of your garden beds and lawn of broken branches, leaves, and other debris that have collected. Additionally, trim off any broken or dead branches from trees and bushes to prep for spring. Consider sowing summer crops! Perhaps plan a flower garden? Plan your berries!! And get those spring bulbs planted.

  • Compost: Consider installing a compost pile or compost bin in your backyard. Adding one inch of compost directly to the top of the soil can help enrich it, and you can either buy your compost locally or make your own with kitchen, yard, and garden scraps. Check with your favorite garden store for more tips.

  • Planting: Plan your garden according to your home's aesthetic and lifestyle. Consider mixing perennial flowers with some annuals to keep color in your yard longer. I love a tip I received many years ago for planters: Thriller, Filler + Spiller!

Appliances: Use distilled white vinegar and baking soda to disinfect appliances like your washing machine. This can help keep them fresh and high-functioning. Have you ever cleaned the filter in your dishwasher? You’re welcome.  Perhaps take everything out of your fridge, clean the gunk that can accumulate and reorganize. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to eat more vegetables and fruits too.

Freshen UP:  Are there small updates you can do to make your home feel brighter for Spring? I like to swap art around, change out my throw pillows, and re-arrange furniture!  Or change out bedding. For bigger changes, consider painting the walls a new color? Or adding  wallpaper. The inspiration you can gain from being in your own home is invaluable.

It’s not just about your house - you can make some fun changes to yourself too.

Here are things on my list for a personal Spring Refresh:

  • READ: I’ll be reading The Life Brief - written by one of the most brilliant +  intuitive humans I know (who happens to be a close personal friend). I’ve done early iterations of the Life Brief which led me down the path of Kateovations!  A worthwhile exploration to find what makes you tick and how that can alter the course of your life.

  • RECYCLE: Have you heard of Ridwell? It’s a company that helps recycle things that cannot go in your blue bin. They take plastic film, multi-layer plastic (think chip bags), batteries, lightbulbs, and a rotating bag of themes to repurpose things you no longer need. I always have a few freebies if you want to try! Just reach out to me.

  • HEALTH: As we age, it's more important to move! We need to keep our muscles and bones strong. We need to stretch and breath. We need mobility work! I have recently ignited my membership at Barre 3 and I absolutely love it - I feel so damn good! If you've never done this workout, I would love to invite you to join me for a free class!

  • WEAR: I’m all about shopping at consignment stores. It’s the most fun way to find special treasures that are not in all the shops. We have some absolutely amazing shops in Portland and I am personal friends with the owners (one is a client too!).  Is it because I shop quite often? Maybe!  I do like the give and get of it all - I bring in things  that no longer serve/fit me and then I can use my credit to find new goodies. It’s a great way to recycle clothes.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Kids: Beanstalk

  • Activewear: Revive Athletics

  • DONATE: We tend to accumulate more things than we need over time. I love to donate our items to various places, depending on the type of item:

    • Baseball gear: we donate to Wilshire Riverside Little League

    • Miscellaneous small items: I tend to find homes through my local Buy Nothing Group

    • Materials/fixtures: with my Kateovations, we always have perfectly good fixtures to donate that just don’t match the aesthetic I’m creating. Love donating these items to Habitat for Humanity.  Think is offering a special coupon for the Habitat for Humanity store (mention "the postcard" for $20 off pickup). And if you need anything from the store, use THINK2024 to save 10% off your purchase.

There’s a lot to do as the season changes - but always enjoy those flowers popping up, the leaves that start emerging from the trees, the feeling of wearing sandals!! I love to shift to brighter, lighter colors and enjoy that glorious warmth of sunshine. Spring ignites delight!!

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