Easy Spring Spruce Up

This time of year in New Jersey is peak spring pollen time. Our porches, sidewalks, windows and cars are all covered with a thin layer of green dust. Sometimes you can even see it blowing off the trees in a greenish yellow swirl – ugh.  The good news is that it’s almost over and soon we can spend more time in the yard without fear of itchy, watery eyes and sneezing jags!

This gets us thinking about the yard work we’ve been putting off and can now tackle.  Whether you’re getting ready to sell your house, or planning on staying put, a little regular maintenance  goes a long way. One of the easiest ways investors & homeowners improve curb appeal is just by cleaning up.  Of course you can pay someone to come in and tackle all these jobs, but why let them have all the fun and satisfaction? We’ve put together a quick list of easy tasks to get your exterior ready for the next open house or  BBQ…

Washing Windows–  If you have tilt windows all the better, but if not, grab a step ladder,  a bucket of clean water with a small squirt of dish soap added, a rubber tipped squeegee and you’re ready. Simply dip a sponge into the bucket of soapy water, run it back & forth over the window, squeegee with the rubber end and wipe the excess with a soft, lint-free cloth. Done.  Your house will look so much brighter! While you’re at it, hose off the screens and set them in the sun to dry while you clean.

Clean Up the Entryway by hosing off the porch and setting out new welcome mats.  Remove all porch furniture (give these a wipe down too), hose off the decking, sweep off the excess water and you’re done.  No doubt you’ll also get rid of any lingering spider webs!  Also keep in mind that the porch is the entrance to your home and often the first impression for visitors. Don’t clutter it up with old newspapers, recycling, dead plants etc. (see left) Give your eyes a treat with some freshly potted geraniums, impatiens, or begonias  instead.

Rake up any debris from spring rainstorms and fertilize the lawn.  This is very easy and depending on your yard can take as little as half an hour.  You can do this anytime and it’s a great way to either start or finish a day! Beware, once you get started, you may want to pull a couple of weeds, trim the overgrown hedge, throw on a bag of mulch…you’ll be tempted to spend a couple of easy  hours on this  if you break it up over the course of a week.

Clean out the gutters! We can’t stress enough how important this is in keeping your basement dry and eaves rot free.  Unlike the other chores, we gladly pay someone to do this.

What is on your must do spring spruce up list? We’d love to hear from you!

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2 Responses to Easy Spring Spruce Up

  1. Peggy says:

    I love the photo of the flora growing from somebody else’s gutters! I have just cleaned all our windows inside and out . . . . loads more light in the house but now I see that some rooms could do with being repainted.

    • Steve Moran says:

      Isn’t that a great picture and so very typical after a long winter? We try and clean out our gutters in the fall after the leaves and pine needles have finished falling but before the downspouts are so blocked by debris and decaying matter that we’re creating an entirely new eco-system in our gutters. Gutters which are left clogged into the wintertime are probably the greatest contributors to ice damning and eave wood rot, so it is best to avoid this from happening as it can result in costly repairs. If you’re like me and terrified of heights, it’s a great opportunity to “face your fears” and challenge yourself to get up there or just bite the bullet and pay someone to do so once per year. When they are up there, consider having them install gutter guards and downspout cages which are incredibly cheap to buy from your local hardware store, Lowe’s, or Home Depot and cut way back on the build-up of material in the gutters.

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