Spring cleaning season is upon us! The most common projects include linen closet organization, cleaning out drawers filled to the brim with paperwork and tossing old bottles of aspirin and cough medicine that have been collecting dust in the back of a cabinet. But what about the outdoors? The exterior of your home is equally important and could use a little TLC now that the snow has melted.
Where do I begin?
Spring cleaning isn’t an easy task, but that’s why we’re here to help! Thinking about what needs tackling outdoors may be a challenge, which is why we recommend you take the following steps even before you begin:
Make a plan. Are you a spreadsheet person, or prefer pen to paper? Either way, make notes about what it is you want to do outside. Once you have an idea of what you’ll be undertaking, you can plan how many people you’ll need to do it and schedule a time for when it’s going to happen. Having a plan in place will give you peace of mind and keep you on the right track.
Timing is everything. Now that you’ve developed your plan of action, you must decide how much time to allot to each task. Rather than squeezing in every task into one weekend, spread them out over a few weeks to ensure that everything gets done and you’re not overwhelmed. Do this by estimating how much time you think it will take and where you can fit it into your already-established schedule. Don’t forget to schedule in breaks!
Round up some troops. Chances are good the work you’re about to do will require some help and that’s fine! In fact, if you have a team of people working with you, you’ll get the job done faster, giving you more time to enjoy the space you’ve worked so hard to get cleaned and organized. If that’s not the case, consider hiring an expert. We have a database of house cleaning professionals who can assist you with your spring cleaning needs.
Now that you know how to prepare, here’s what you should be focusing on to get your home in tiptop shape. We’re not going to lie – these aren’t glamorous jobs, but a good spring cleaning will refresh your home just in time for warm evenings and summer BBQs.
Clean exterior windows
Your home has survived the elements another season and the windows are no exception. Winter storms have a tendency to leave residue on the glass, which make them look old, tired and dirty. Before you invite guests over, fill a bucket with soapy water and use a clean sponge or squeegee to give them a good wipe down. Your home will look refreshed and your windows will be ready to let the sunlight in.
Wash the outside windows before you move indoors. Otherwise, you won’t be able to tell if they’re actually clean or not.
Does the thought of cleaning out the gutters make you want to groan? It’s not the most fun job to tackle, but should be made a priority. Leaving the gutters full of debris and water can actually cause damage to your home. Instead of removing the leaves and twigs by hand, wear gloves and use a scoop to gather it all. It’ll keep your hands safe while you’re up on the ladder.
Organize the garage
Since the weather is getting warmer, you’ll probably be spending more time outside, enjoying the weather and sunny skies. Instead of tripping over boxes of tools and other clutter while taking out the lawn mower every three days, why not get the garage organized? Chances are good it could use it! Divide your storage space based on your needs. For example, designate the corner of the garage for summer equipment, car materials and the like. Install cabinets or shelves on the walls to house your tools, making them easily accessible when you need them.
Spruce up the lawn
Your yard takes quite a beating in the winter months thanks to the cold, heavy snow. Want a lush, green yard your neighbours will be sure to notice? Get rid of soggy leaves on the grass (and if you’re an avid gardener, in the flowerbeds). A rake is the best tool to gather the debris, but remember to switch sides periodically and don’t twist your torso. Otherwise, you could end up injuring yourself, leaving you couch-bound with back pain when you should be enjoying the outdoors.
If you have a fairly large yard and don’t think you can manage to clean the space yourself, consider hiring a landscaper to do some maintenance for a day. Check out our list of landscaping contractors who can help!
Power wash the driveway
Now is a good time to do some maintenance work on your driveway, which could surely use a touch-up after a long, cold winter.
Remove any grass or weeds growing in the cracks of the driveway.
Using a pressure washer or hose, remove dirt and grime.
Apply a coat of sealer to make the driveway look brand new.
Congratulations! You’ve not only improved your home’s curb appeal, but also tackled the jobs often neglected by homeowners. Don’t forget to spend as much time outdoors and reap the rewards of your hard work.
Speculation about the future of Toronto’s red-hot real estate market is an everyday conversation piece, with journalists, economists, real estate brokers, policy-makers, and investors all having opinions. Will the steadily rising property values in Toronto (often speculated to be a “real estate bubble”) continue to climb in the coming years? Will foreign investment play a larger role in occupancy, prices, and density? And in particular, will the condo market reflect the boom of non-condo residential property values, and to what extent?
First, consider the fact that this mythical “bubble” is really not one at all. Robin Wiebe, a senior economist with the Conference Board of Canada,