February Home Care Tips

February Home Care Tips

February is a time of year to indulge in home comforts like cooking big-batch meals, reading in the afternoon and watching movies with the family. Here are some ideas to add to your to-do list this month. I’d love to know which ones you plan on tackling!

1. Rotate your mattress. Next time you put on a fresh set of sheets, take an extra minute to rotate the mattress. Rotating your mattress quarterly will help it wear more evenly and extend its life and, more importantly for some, its comfort.

2. Pack up a bag of old sheets and towels to donate. If you bought new sheets or towels lately or received some during the holidays, make some room by letting go of an old set or two. Homeless shelters and some churches accept donations of bedding and towels in good condition, and animal shelters are often in need of towels. If you have really worn sheets and towels, cut them up and use as rags!

3. Clean entryway floors. It is still winters and rainy here, and can mean your entryway floors take a beating. Pick up clutter, give the floors a good mopping, and wash or replace your entry mat.

To keep floors looking their best between cleanings, stash a few old towels in a basket or bin near the door to wipe up messes.

4. Cook to stock up your freezer. Dedicating a few hours of cooking on a weekend can produce major dividends! On week-nights you’ll appreciate those suppers that are frozen and reheated after a long day. Just add crusty bread and a simple salad and dinner will be ready in no time.

5. Organize bookshelves. Pull out books that you didn’t enjoy or are finished with and sell or donate them. You can sell books at Third Place Books or Half Price Books, leaving a bit of extra room on each shelf for new ones you find. And if you get distracted by beloved old books you had forgotten about, just roll with it. After all, there are few better places to spend a winter afternoon than in a comfortable chair with a good book.

6. Refresh your TV watching zone. Winter is a good time to catch up on movies you missed in the theater or to binge-watch your favorite shows. So make your TV watching zone as comfy and cozy as possible! Start by vacuuming the floors and upholstery (using a vacuum attachment). Next, assess your collection of movies and games, donating extras to charity. Finally, make sure there are plenty of comfortable pillows and throw blankets and lighting that can be dimmed.

7. Boost warmth. Stay toasty and save on energy bills by blocking drafty doors with door sweeps or door snakes and warming up with rugs, throws and duvets. For even more energy savings, shut doors to unused rooms, move furniture away from heating vents and close the chimney flue when it’s not in use.

8. Check bathrooms for moisture, mildew and mold. It can be hard to give bathrooms enough ventilation when the house is closed up tight for winter.

Unfortunately, that buildup of moisture can lead to mildew or even harmful mold. Give the bathroom a thorough cleaning, paying special attention to any tile grout, the ceiling and any other areas showing signs of excess moisture. Check to be sure your ventilation fan is properly working and clean.

9. Clean the dryer vent (and check for blockages outside). Having the buildup of lint cleaned from your dryer vent at least once a year is essential to keeping your dryer working efficiently and preventing a potential dryer fire. Take a walk outside your home to inspect the vent and remove debris if needed.

10. Indulge in weekly fresh flowers. With Valentine’s Day happening, the markets will be filled with fresh flowers at good prices. Treat yourself and your home to a bouquet once a week to add a little cheer — spring may still be a ways off, but that doesn’t mean your dining table can’t look like a garden in bloom!

If you’re considering putting your home on the market this year, it’s a good idea to start the process now. Set a timetable and make a list of projects that need to get done to help your home show well. I’d be more than happy to chat about the checklist here and what will net you the best return when it comes time to sell!

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