Written By Roger Runswick, Director at The 50plus

The snowdrops are out, and the days are getting longer, which can only mean one thing – it is nearly spring. There is nothing quite as satisfying as having a good clean-up before you emerge from your winter hibernation. Ideally, a spring to-do list will include jobs in the garden, as well as a spruce up indoors, and perhaps a spot of redecorating to brighten up a room or two. It is a lot easier to decorate in the spring and summer when the light is bright.

Garden must-dos:

Clear the gutters and check the downpipe filters

Safely access your gutter and then remove any debris or leaves, wiping down the outside as you go. This is also a good opportunity to repair any joint seals that need attention whether you have a uPVC or an iron gutter.

Mow the lawns

The first mow of the season is important. Before you start, check for any hedgehogs or other wildlife who may have taken up residence in your garden. For the first mow, take just a small amount off the top of your lawn to prevent causing stress to the grass. Gradually over the next few weeks of mowing you can cut more off.

Smarten up the lawn edging

Creating a sharp edge around your lawn not only prevents grass from creeping into borders, it also provides the finishing touch to your freshly cut garden. Wait until the soil is dry as working on wet soil will compact it and damage the lawn. Use a half-moon edge tool to carefully work your way around the border.

Tackle the weeds

Removing weeds early means you avoid them setting seed. In the borders, most annual weeds are easy to remove by hand if you loosen up the roots with a hand fork or hoe first. For established weeds that are trickier to pull up, use a corkscrew weeder.

Remove any sycamore seedlings

Preventative action is needed with sycamore seedlings. Leave them on the ground and they will set seed and become saplings making them harder to pull out. Rake up any seeds on the ground as soon as possible and apply weedkiller. Spring is the best time of year to chemically treat sycamore saplings while they are actively growing.

Clean out the pond pump

The pump is the heart of your pond and giving it a clean and an examination for any wear and tear ahead of the new season will ensure an optimal flow of water keeping your pond healthy and clean.

Clear the patios and driveway ready for power washing

Before you reach for the power wash, it is always best to clear the workspace first by removing any furniture, plants, pots and other items from your patio. There is nothing worse than finding you have missed a spot under a bench after you have put the power wash away.

Clean the garage doors

Regular cleaning will extend the life of your garage door, as well as keep it looking smart. Use mild soap and water and scrub both sides of the door with a non-abrasive cloth. Hose it down gently to wash away any soap suds.

Check the fences and repair them as necessary

The winter weather can take its toll on fences – a good place to start in terms of maintaining them is to check all along the base for any signs of rot including the posts. If you have timber posts, then check for rot at the bottom. For concrete posts, check for any major cracks or structural weaknesses.

Wash down and check any paintwork

A good clean can give the appearance of a newly painted exterior without going to the trouble of repainting. Remember to cover any light fixtures and plants that are close to the exterior you are cleaning.

House to-dos:

Scrub the kitchen cabinets

Dropped cutlery here, and a spilled glass there – it does not take long for splashes and drip marks to appear on your kitchen cupboard doors and drawers. Use a cloth to wash away any grime – paying special attention to places where grease collects, like handles and crevices.

Deep clean the fridge

It is time to empty out that fridge – remove all the shelves and drawers and hand wash them in warm, soapy water to rid them of any food residue and bacteria. Fridge drawers can be delicate and easy to crack so be especially careful when removing them and replacing them.

Deep clean bathrooms

Start with the tile grout which can start to look dull and grubby from all the steam in a bathroom. To help restore its sparkle, use a grout cleaner to scrub the grout and it will be back to its bright self in no time.

Clean the carpets

Deep cleaning at least once a year can give even the most tired-looking carpet a new lease of life. Carpets collect all sorts of allergens from dust mites to pet hair so removing them is also essential for good health.

Choose a room in the house to spruce up with fresh décor

You can repaint a room in a day if it is just a freshen-up and if you choose a colour not too dissimilar to the colour already on the walls. Sugar soap the walls first, then make good any minor discrepancies and rub down the woodwork. Apply one-coat paint on the walls and a single coat of topcoat on any woodwork.

Clear any clutter from the house

Whether you tackle the whole house or just one space like the garage, spend some time removing items that have not been used in years or products that have gone off (think pots of paints in the garage, or make-up items in the bathroom cabinet), will bring a sense of organisation back to the room.

Always remember to work safely and within your own capabilities. Check all your garden tools and ladders are in good condition, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using cleaning products. Wear gloves, eye protection and strong boots or shoes when using garden machinery. At any height you are working at – even if it is just a few inches off the ground – always check the ladder is on level ground and secure.

Spring cleaning can be an overwhelming task but break it down into small chunks over the space of a week or two and you will be reaping the benefits of all your hard work in your sparkling home in no time. If you need assistance with any of the above, call The 50plus on 01494 784448 or go to their website to book a call out.