April Checklist for a Smooth-Running Home

Spring has arrived! Wake up your home and prepare for the season ahead by deep cleaning, sprucing up outdoor areas and simplifying your living areas, one shelf at a time. And when you are finished, pour yourself a nice glass of something cold to drink and toast your lovely, freshly cleaned home.

Freshen patios and porches.

The lengthening days never fail to draw people outdoors onto porches, patios and decks to savor the longer-lasting light. Make sure your outdoor spaces are ready for the season by cleaning away cobwebs and leaves, washing floors and refreshing outdoor furniture.

Clean the exterior and inspect window screens for tears.

Increasing your home’s curb appeal is as easy as turning on the hose(or a pressure washer) and giving the siding a quick blast to remove accumulated dirt and debris. Also be sure to check window screens for small tears that can let bugs in, and repair or replace the screens as needed.

Clean ceiling fans and overhead light fixtures.

Grab a tall ladder and (carefully!) get to work. Use a duster or soft rags to remove dust from fans and light fixtures – wet rags will only make the dust harder to remove. For caked on grime, start with a dry duster or microfiber cloth and then move on to a fresh damp cloth if needed.

Deep clean the kitchen and prep for seasonal meals. 

Give your kitchen a fresh spring start with a thorough cleaning. In addition to your usual cobweb clearing and floor mopping, wipe down walls and doors and vacuum behind the fridge and stove. Encourage healthy seasonal eating by cleaning out the fridge and pantry, and stocking the space with fresh local produce and other healthy picks.

Organize one shelf.

If an organized home is a goal you want to reach this year, set yourself up for success by starting small. Working on a single shelf, drawer or cupboard at at time will help you build momentum. Try starting with the spice rack, a bedside table or a frequently used desk drawer.

Simplify the living room.

Pare down books and media to create a more relaxing space. Donate used books, movies and music to your local library or sell them. Organize what’s left, hiding anything unsightly (gaming, equipment, I’m lookat at you) behind closed doors. To keep things from getting out of hand in the future, pencil in a date about a month from your paring-down date to spend an afternoon culling unwanted media.

Streamline files.

Since you will likely be digging through your old paperwork this month as you prepare taxes (ugh, I know), take the time to toss junk as you come across it rather than stuffing everything back into the files. A slimmed-down file drawer will make it easier to find what you need, so it’s worth the extra effort now. 

Lighten up tablescapes.

If you’ve had the same arrangements on your tables for months, now is a good time to shake things up. There is no need to spend money – simply look around your home and see what can be moved or repurposed from another room. Try displaying flowers on the dining table in vintage tea tins or jelly jars, or put fresh herbs in your vases instead of flowers. Streamline the decorative objects you choose to keep out, and store the rest to rotate in at a future date.