1. Clean your home’s lesser-considered interior spots. Wipe down baseboards, clean out closets and empty cabinets. Base- boards are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning. So are kitchen cabinets and your linen closet. It can be tough to muster up the energy to get on your hands and knees and clean below, but it is something you want to do at least once a year to keep dust and dirt from building up.
2. Declutter. Take this opportunity to get rid of extra stuff you don’t need. Find your local Buy Nothing Page on Face- book and give away your old treasures! It’s believed that the angels love to visit a freshly cleaned home.
3. Do a test of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries or units if needed.
4. Get your cooling system ready. For our clients who live on the sunny side of the Caldecott tunnel: Consider getting your air conditioner serviced. This one is especially important for summer home maintenance since you don’t want to be stuck without air conditioning when the temperature starts climbing! For the rest of us, we can consider installing window AC units. If you are pulling out the ones you used last year, make sure to clean off the filters before starting them up again. And check the instructions. Some manufacturers recommend cleaning the filters every two weeks during heavy use.
5. Clean and adjust your ceiling fans. Dust ceiling fan blades and check that fans are working properly and reverse the direction if needed. During the summer months, your ceiling fan blades should be set to spin counterclockwise. When your ceiling fan spins quickly in this direction, it pushes air down and creates a cool breeze. This helps keep a room’s temperature consistent throughout the day and reduces the need for an air conditioner to run constantly.
6. Get your chimney cleaned. Yes, you might not use your fireplace again until fall or winter, but that’s exactly why this is the perfect time to call a chimney cleaning service. They won’t be as busy!
7. Deodorize the garbage disposal. When’s the last time you tackled your garbage disposal? Exactly. Flushing with dish soap and hot water can do the trick. For persistent odors: with the unit turned off, pour in 1⁄2 cup baking soda and then 1⁄2 cup vinegar; when the fizzing stops, flush with hot water. And/or for a fun citrus-y refresh anytime, pulverize a lemon, one half at a time in the disposal with the water running.
8. Keep the outdoors outside. If folks are going to be running in and out of the house with dirty or sandy feet this summer, consider having a basin of water by the door for everyone to wash off their feet before coming inside. A super-absorbent floor mat inside the door, or a towel for drying on a hook nearby, might also be a good idea.
9. Wipe down windows and screens. An indoor/outdoor tip: homeowners generally clean our interior windows throughout the year, and summer is a good time to do that as well as to wash the exterior windows. You may also want to remove and wipe down or replace dirty screens, for the most sparkling effects.
10. BONUS indoor/outdoor energy-saving tip: Consider an outdoor clothesline. Take advantage of the warm weather and put up an outdoor clothesline, so you’re not using your dryer as much.