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An indoor checklist to get started on spring cleaning

Under the blanket of snow, those nearly budding daffodils attest that spring is still right around the corner.

Perhaps between the shoveling and extra laundry our frozen week brought us, you had an opportunity to dream of what this spring and summer will bring to your house.

Do you have major projects or remodeling plans? Is this the year to paint the house, replace the deck, put up a new fence? Or perhaps you’re already itching to get to some deep spring cleaning.

Today we’ll give you a few things for you to either start on immediately or put on your Spring Cleaning To Do list for next month.

Even though we just had snow, in less than a week we’ll be in March!

This week we’ll start with an inside checklist with our Outside Chore checklist coming in an upcoming column.


  • Plan large home maintenance projects. Plan roofing, major repairs, painting exterior, ductless heat pump installation, etc. – around a written scope of work. Contact contractors ASAP to get the apples-to-apples bidding done. That way you will be in your successful, licensed and bonded contractor’s schedule before the busy construction season starts.

  • Have specific, written contracts. Bigger projects go more smoothly when your written contract including your final scope of work, states how much it will cost including tax and permits, and has start and end dates. It should also contain clauses about labor-material cost of change-orders and how the contractor will get the final payment after all work needing permits is inspected and after you have a written, unconditional lien waiver in your hand.

  • Wash the inside of the windows. While you may want to wait a bit before tackling the outside of the windows, you could be surprised what a difference just shining up the inside of the windows looks like.

  • Dust around the window frame and the blinds. Clean out the window tracks where mold, dust and dead bugs accumulate.

  • Open windows and doors for a few hours. This takes the stale smell away and lets out trapped moisture. Also, the extra light and fresh air help kill spores – Pick a time without extreme lows or rain, of course!

  • Pull all appliances away from their footprint. Move your stove, refrigerator, freezer, washer and dryer. Then, thoroughly sweep and wet mop behind and under where each appliance gathers lint, toys and food that attracts insects and vermin.

  • Dust the coils of the refrigerator. Then replace the back cardboard covering the dusty motor to maintain the proper ventilation for the appliance. Also, take the vent off the front of the refrigerator and wash it.

  • Clean your dryer. Vacuum all the extra lint in and around your clothes dryer, including the exhaust tube and the outside at the flapper vent. A stuck flapper allows critters to nest in your dryer. And with spring on its way, the last thing you want is a nest of mice with easy access to your house!

  • Clean or replace the furnace filter. Blow out each Cadet wall heater and vacuum. Then wipe-down each baseboard. Ask yourself if you are ready for a super-efficient ductless heat pump. Note to self: Call local PUD to ask about rebates.

  • Tidy garages, out buildings. When the weather turns more spring-like, you will want to spend your energy in your garden and yard. So, now is the time to begin tidying up your garages and sheds. That way when the nice weather comes, you won’t be stuck inside doing that and you will know where all your tools and supplies are to begin your outside gardening and DIY-projects.

  • Establish piles to give away, throw away. Free Spring Cleanup days at the dump are not that far away. Now is the time to establish piles to give away, sell and take to the dump!

Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.

Do you have questions about home repair, renting, remodeling or becoming a homeowner or one of our contractors? We have rehab loan funds at tailored rates! Call us at 533-7828, write us or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen.

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