Help Around the Home : March

spring design trends

Spring Design Trends

Warmer days are near, and it's time to incorporate bold graphics and nature-inspired decor into your home through bed pillows and accessories.

More: How to Make Felt Flowers and Paper Pinwheels for Spring

dusting electronics

Monthly Chore

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.

More: 12 Playful Game Rooms

family buying a house

Fun Fact

Most buyers will look for six months to a year before finding their dream home.

mardi gras macarons

Celebrate Mardi Gras

Bring Mardi Gras to your home this year — decorate your home in purple, gold and green and make traditional recipes.

More: King Cake-Inspired Macarons Recipe

paving stones

Fix Stepping Stones

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.

How-to: Build a Stone Pathway

storm windows

Swap Storm Windows

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.

clean out ponds

Water Cleanup

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.

More: Choosing Water Feature Materials

use baskets to organize

Organize Your Life

Get rid of newspapers, pieces of no-longer-necessary mail and outdated magazines this week. Instead of letting things pile up in the future, get a gorgeous basket to put by the door and toss in your outdated papers every day.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.

More: Clear Paper Clutter

replace smoke detector batteries

Spring Forward

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.

More: Link All of Your Alarms

clean the fridge

Check the Fridge

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.

More: Clean Out the Fridge

welcoming front door

Weekly Task

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.

get rid of yard pests

Tame the Tunnel

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.

More: Spring Gardening To-Dos

keep your pet healthy

Groom Your Dog

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.

More: Top 3 Pet Don'ts

bright accent pillow

Update Home Accessories

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.

do your taxes early

Prepare Taxes Early

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.

More: 10 Tips on Home Office Design

dust for cobwebs

Monthly Chore

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.

More: How to Keep Dust Down

organize your kitchen pantry

HGTV Reader Tip

"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."

More: Tricks to Keep Your Pantry Organized

three-way light bulbs

Buy New Bulbs

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.

More: 12 Stylish Lamps for Your Home

check your siding

Inspect Siding

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.

More: How to Repair Wood Siding

add new garden mulch

Touch Up Mulch

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.

More: Tips for Cultivating Tulips

change your bedding

Weekly Task

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.

More: Easy Ideas for Organizing Your Linen Closet

bugs in your garden

Fun Fact

The spots on a ladybug fade as they get older.

More: Garden-Friendly Bugs

cleaning the oven

Clean the Oven

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.

detail your car

Detail That Car

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.

weed your lawn

Treat Your Lawn

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.

More: Lawn Care Advice

level the lawn

Check for Divots

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.

More: 14 Simple Gardening Tips From Paul James

change your wall art

Rotate Your Art

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.

More: Create a Gallery Wall in a Stairwell

clean your microwave

Monthly Chore

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.

More: Microwave-Friendly Recipes

check seals on your doors

Check Doors

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.

More: Exterior Doors That Make a Statement

vacuum under the sofa

Vacuum Under Things

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.

brighten your lights

Clean the Lights

Dirty bulbs reduce the amount of light given off by up to 20 percent, so dusting them periodically really makes a difference. To add even more brightness, clean lampshades using a lamb's wool duster or vacuum with the brush attachment.

More: Vern Yip Shares Table Lamp Tips

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1
Spring Trends
2
Monthly Chore
3
Fun Fact
4
Celebrate Mardi Gras
5
Fix Stepping Stones
6
Swap Storm Windows
7
Water Cleanup
8
Organize Your Life
9
Spring Forward
10
Check the Fridge
11
Weekly Task
12
Tame the Tunnel
13
Groom Your Dog
14
Update Home Accessories
15
Prepare Taxes Early
16
Monthly Chore
17
HGTV Reader Tip
18
Buy New Bulbs
19
Inspect Siding
20
Touch Up Mulch
21
Weekly Task
22
Fun Fact
23
Clean the Oven
24
Detail That Car
25
Treat Your Lawn
26
Check for Divots
27
Rotate Your Art
28
Monthly Chore
29
Check Doors
30
Vacuum Under Things
31
Clean the Lights
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