Warmer days are near, and it's time to incorporate bold graphics and nature-inspired decor into your home through bed pillows and accessories.
Unplug your electronics, and use an electrostatic cloth to wipe all surfaces, front, back, underneath and especially the vents. Once a month, spray compressed air into all crevices of keyboards and desk drawers.
Most buyers will look for six months to a year before finding their dream home.
Bring Mardi Gras to your home this year — decorate your home in purple, gold and green and make traditional recipes.
Heavy rains plus freezing and thawing can destabilize stepping stones in your yard. Make your space safer this spring by lifting loose stones and adding enough filler to even them out. Sand or stone dust make for better support than soil.
Take down, clean and store storm windows for the season. Before you install screens for summer, inspect and repair any tears or holes. Install your screens, and treat yourself to an early glass of lemonade.
Skim the bottom of garden ponds this week to remove fallen leaves and other debris. Get pumps and filters operating again as soon as the weather permits.
Get rid of newspapers, pieces of no-longer-necessary mail and outdated magazines this week. Instead of letting things pile up in the future, get a gorgeous basket to put by the door and toss in your outdated papers every day. Shred anything confidential and empty the whole thing often.
Today, we'll turn our clocks forward one hour for Daylight Savings Time. Use this as a reminder to install new batteries in smoke detectors, and make sure carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers are in working order.
Move your refrigerator away from the wall this week and vacuum its back coils. This helps the fridge work more efficiently and avoids a fire hazard. Then check the seals by closing the door over a dollar bill. If the bill stays put when you pull it, the seals are tight. If not, adjust the latch or replace the seals.
Use a thick-bristled broom to say farewell to the residue of winter traction grit and de-icers. Set out some big pots near the door that say "Welcome! Spring's almost here," even if plants can't be potted up yet.
Got yard pests? Use a metal rake to level out tunnels and mounds created by moles and gophers. Tamp firmly but wait to reseed until later in the spring.
Twice a year, treat the family pet to a visit to the professional groomer to stem the shedding from the change of coats. As weather warms, a reminder: Is your pet on a flea and tick preventative regimen? Refill medicine to keep them safe and healthy.
Just as you'd add a scarf or necklace to enhance an outfit, do the same with your home. Look for accent pillows in bright colors for spring. Put away the winter throws and drape light, bright throws on your sofa.
Get a jump on your taxes and file electronically if you can (especially if you're getting a refund). Otherwise, get a handle on what needs to be done while you still have time to get professional help if you need it.
To dust hard-to-reach areas, wrap a damp cloth around the end of a long broom or stick. Reach up to your highest ceilings and corners and simply move it back and forth. This action will catch the cobwebs and dust together.
"Put labels on your pantry shelves so the whole family can help put groceries away," says Audrey from Island Park, ID. "It'll also save time later on when you're hunting for long lost ingredients yourself."
In the spring, you can get away with less light, so swap your high wattage bulb for a 3-way bulb and your room will have a softer feel. Opt for energy-efficient CFL-type bulbs, which last longer and can cut down on electric bills.
After winter weather subsides, check your home's exterior for cracks and holes in siding or paint. Touch up with caulking as needed to keep the rain and bugs out this spring and the cool air in this summer.
Winter weather can pack down or even wash away the mulch in your beds. So when the sun comes out, use a metal rake to fluff and level your mulch, then add more where needed. Ideally, you want at least a two-inch layer, and three to four inches is even better for a garden in the South.
Wash sheets and pillowcases in warm water every week, but use cold water for quilts and blankets made of 100 percent cotton to avoid shrinkage. Freshen up duvets by airing outside for an hour or two.
Run the self-cleaning cycle today and wipe off the door as needed. Remove the plastic knobs to be sure they won't warp in the process. If you have a regular non-self-cleaning oven, use an oven cleaner, a stiff brush and thick gloves. Never use abrasives and above all, be sure to open a window.
Winter's muddy feet and road salts wreak havoc on the family car, which is probably also home to stray mittens and who knows what else by now. Besides washing it this week, make time for a thorough clean-out and detailing, including shampooing the floor mats.
Apply organic herbicide before the weeds have a chance to sprout this spring — and do it again six weeks before you plan to reseed any parts of your lawn.
Walk your lawn to identify dips and bumps, then level them by cutting away high spots with a shovel. Reseed or fill the low spots with topsoil. You'll avoid scalping the high areas with the mower and save the low spots from poor drainage all summer long.
Tired of seeing the same stuff on your walls? Separate your art into piles for summer and winter display. Hang the lighter, pastel colors during spring and summer, and put the deep-colored oil paintings in storage.
To clean the microwave, spray a grease-cutting cleaner on the walls, door and rotating plate. Wipe with a sponge or cloth. To disinfect, pour a tablespoon of water on a plate, and place a lemon cut in half on top — cut-side down. Microwave for one minute, and wipe the inside with a paper towel.
Do your windows and doors have tight seals? It's time to find out because small cracks can add up to a big waste of heat and money. Replace weather stripping now to reduce energy bills all year long.
Give your floors a good cleaning by moving the furniture and vacuuming these rarely-seen areas today. If you have carpet, use a small hand brush to fluff the indentions and vacuum again. Don't forget to pull up all carpet runners and area rugs too.
What is your favorite spring activity?