Spring Cleaning Guide For The Homeowner

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Saving Money Is All About Getting Organized

 

There are many philosophies about making money, saving money and generally getting your act together.

We could talk all day about the ways to be more productive.

We could spend hours talking about how to save on your cheap homeowners insurance policy.

But more often than not, a good cleaning up will help.

It will help to free the mind and organize ones thoughts and daily lives.

For most of us, we live our daily lives in a rush.

We never have enough time to get the things done that we really need done. Even when we do, it is usually in a hurry.

But to make the most of our days, we should be organized. Having a “to do” list helps some of us.

Maybe a little extra coffee in the morning will get you in the productive mode.

When you really want to organize, save money and think about how your home is functioning, a spring cleaning is always in order.

There are ways to go about this that won’t leave your house in a heap of a mess either.

Here are some simple and fun ways to organize your life this spring.

Did I mention it doesn’t have to be spring to do a spring cleaning?

 

Getting Started

 

Getting started is usually the hardest part. First things first, have a timeline for your cleaning adventure.

Put aside a whole weekend if necessary.

Understanding why you are cleaning up helps too.

Some common goals for those of us wanting to “shed” are this:

 

  1. To feel free of clutter. There is no better feeling than to walk into a space where everything is in its place.
  2. To actually know what is in our house. What is in all of those boxes packed away.
  3. To find ways to save money. You never know!
  4. Itemizing items for your cheap homeowners insurance. Itemizing and knowing what valuables you have is a great way to evaluate how much homeowners insurance you might need.
  5. Reminiscing about the past and reminding oneself how important your life is.

 

If these reasons aren’t good enough, you might also think about this:

 

  1. How much easier will it be to entertain when your house is free from clutter and you know where everything is?
  2. Will you feel better when you finally find your child’s birth certificate you have had packed away for twenty years?
  3. How about those pictures from way back when, don’t you want to scan them?
  4. If you want to make this spring cleaning event a family affair, think of how close it will bring you all together.
  5. How many times have you wondered what is in the attic?
  6. How much easier will it be to show your home if you want to sell it? Cleaning up and moving stuff out will cleanse your soul and also make for an easier move.

 

For most of us, the idea of spring cleaning is terrifying. But making it a yearly ritual can really be beneficial.

Try starting in your own bedroom. This will probably be the easiest for you.

Itemize the items in this room first.

 

The itemization list might look like:

  • 72 inch flat screen TV
  • Pearl Necklace
  • Diamond Earrings
  • Antique Vanity
  • Rolex Watch

 

Try and only itemize those things that are worth value to you.

Anything that you might want covered by your cheap homeowners insurance policy is a good start.

 

Go Room To Room

 

Going room to room will help relax you. Instead of touring the whole house at once, just focus on the room you are in and finishing it first before moving on.

 

Once you are done with your bedroom which may look like:

  • pile of clothes for donation
  • itemized list of valuables
  • sorted dirty clothes
  • stacks of books to give away

 

You can now move on to the next room. Again, don’t overwhelm yourself. Stay positive!

 

Some great ways to have fun while cleaning through your house are:

  1. pour yourself a great big cup of coffee.
  2. turn on a great Spotify station and listen to your favorite music. Blast it if you have to!
  3. Tell the family to either pitch in and help or leave the house for the day. This is your time to shine!
  4. Wear something very comfortable. Don’t worry if it’s old sweat pants, no one is watching.
  5. Eat well on this day! Order in Chinese later in the day, or maybe have your favorite meal cooking while you work.
  6. Think about your home and why you love living in it. These fond memories will make the process easier.
  7. Don’t stop. Don’t get side tracked. Put that phone away and focus for a while.

 

 

The Dreaded Garage

 

We all know that the garage is the most dreaded place to organize for most families. It is filled with everything that we cast aside during the year.

This task might take you a whole day in itself. But if you make spring cleaning a ritual, every time you go through things, it will get easier and easier.

When you start on the garage, make a list.

Make a list of the things you want to keep and discard. Make post it notes of where these things will go.

Depending on how big your garage is and how much you have to throw out, you might want to call in for a dumpster.

There are many companies that will drop off small dumpsters, let you fill them, and pick them up the next day.

These services are great! Take advantage. It beats having piles of throw aways sitting around your home.

When you are done with spring cleaning, you will want to look around and have the feeling of satisfaction!

Try purchasing large rubbermaid containers. The plastic containers that you can buy at Target or Walmart will be great for storing items.

This would be instead of those cardboard boxes you have been using.

 

Why?

  • The plastic containers are water proof, so in the instance of a flood, or your washer breaking, your items will be protected.
  • These containers also have handles and even sometimes wheels.
  • They also have lockable lids.
  • The tops of these containers are easier to write on. Labeling your boxes or containers will make it much easier to stay organized throughout the year.

 

The Importance Of Labeling

 

One of the best things you can do for yourself and your family when organizing your home this season, is to label everything!

Getting out that permanent marker never felt so good.

Going through boxes can be tiring. Never do it again!

Have everything labeled so that when you pull out a box or container, you know exactly what is inside.

Label your holiday items and be specific.

Getting out some colored tape such as green electric tape will make this process even easier.

 

Steps:

  • Get our colored electric tape.
  • Putting a large strand of it over your container.
  • Let’s say your containers have Christmas decorations in them.
  • Put across two lines of colored electrical tape.
  • The first line is the title: Christmas decorations.
  • The second line is specifics: Lights, nativity, and stockings. This will make Christmas decorating so much easier next year.

 

Organize your boxes or containers by frequency of use. If you have to stack boxes in a garage or shed, make sure that the ones you use the most are the easiest to access.

For instance, if you have old baby clothes in a box, that can most likely be put up in the attic for safe keeping.

On the other hand, if you have your grandmothers china which you pull out once a year, keep that on a lower level. Anything you use more than once a year, make sure these are on top.

 

For example, your stack may look like this:

  • Bottom row: Holiday decorations (only used once a year.)
  • Middle row: kids school work ( you may add to this container multiple times during the year)
  • Top row: business files for work ( you may need to grab these in a moments notice)

 

The garage doesn’t have to be such a scary place after all. Don’t forget to itemize the things in your garage. Old China sets, or antique doll collections can be valuable and irreplaceable.

 

 

Maintenance

 

A large part of spring cleaning and saving you money is maintenance on your home.

This could mean the difference between spending thousands on repairs and catching it before it becomes a problem.

Most of the time, when we think of a homeowners insurance policy, we think of the roof and protecting the structure itself.

The roof can be the most expensive item to replace on a home, and should be monitored. But it isn’t just the roof that needs a check up.

Depending on where you live, checking on your homes structure can be difficult.

Getting your house ready for the winter season, or cleaning out the gutters in fall could help save you time and money in the end.

The number one priority for you as a homeowner is the integrity of your home.

This means the foundation, the sides, the roof and the surrounding areas.

Trimming trees to keep your windows from shattering in a winter storm could mean saving you thousands later on repairs.

 

Here is a great list of maintenance to do while your spring cleaning adventures continue:

 

 

  • Gutters and downspouts. These need to be cleaned out. Remove debris and check that water can flow through them. Pull out leaves and check for holes. Patch up any holes in your gutters. Try doing this twice a year. Once before fall and once before spring time.
  • Caulking both inside and outside of the home. Any leaks through windows could mean serious damage to your walls and structure. Make sure that your windows are sealed, double paned and do not leak.
  • Window and door screens. Check your screens for cleanliness and holes. You want to do this to keep bugs and debris from entering the home.
  • Drains and vent systems. Make sure there are no blockages to your drains and ventilation systems. Clean these out. Call a professional if you need to.
  • Check your hot water heater. Lubricate the pump and motor. This will help with efficiency and save you money. But it will also make sure that your hot water heater is working properly so you won’t have to replace it.
  • Check the foundation of your home. You can do this by checking for cracks or deterioration on the outside of the home.
  • Look at your roof often. Check for cracks, eaves and uneven surfaces. Patch any holes but call a roof doctor if things seem damaged. It is always better to be on top of any damages than to wait for something worse to come along. Check your flashing and clean the roof off.¬† Trim trees that extend over your roof. Make sure they are back and that any fruits or twigs are not falling on your roof.

 

More maintenance…

 

  • On your porches or steps, check for loose nails or screws. Make sure that anywhere people walk, it is safe. This is huge when is comes to your homeowners insurance policy. You will wan to have liability in case someone gets hurt in your home. But to ensure that this does not happen, check your structure and add ons. Anything built with wood will expand and contract. Nail heads come up and recede.
  • The landscape of your home is very important. If you have older trees that look like they might fall over or break off, have them fixed immediately. Make sure that brush and shrubs are trimmed. This is not only important for fire danger, but so that you can see your house and be able to inspect it thoroughly. You should have fire coverage with your cheap homeowners insurance policy, but make sure you never have to use it. Cutting back trees and shrubs is for safety. Trees and leaves can cut into your homes paint and leave damage as well.
  • Sprinklers for your lawn should be checked. Even though¬† you only use them for a season or two, do routine maintenance on them. You may need to use them in case of a fire. You should also try and keep the exterior portion of your home wetted down. Especially in the summer, make sure you use your sprinkler system to keep the grass around your home wet.

 

Tired Yet?

 

Getting organized can be thrilling but also exhausting.

Start off your spring cleaning adventure with a list of things you want to accomplish.

After you see that list all checked off, you will feel very accomplished.

 

Look at the bright side of things:

  • You might save money on your homeowners insurance by bring so organized.
  • Dinner parties have never been so easy now that you have cleaned house.
  • Your kids will think you are a genius when you know exactly where everything is located in your house.
  • Your mind will be freed from clutter. There is scientific proof that a decluttered home makes for a decluttered mind.
  • You will impress yourself by sticking it out and getting the job done.

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