Outsmart winter weather by making your home inside a clean, cozy and healthy haven. Put a pot of soup on the stove, plan a trip or get a jump-start on spring cleaning with a whole-house refresh, from the air you breathe to the floors underfoot. And since this is a leap year, you’ll have an extra day this month to get it all done.
Purify the air. In winter, we’re more likely to keep the heat on and the windows shut — which makes for a warm house but not very clean air. Refresh your space by cracking a window for a few minutes every now and then (even if it’s cold!), investing in air-cleaning houseplants or setting up an air purifier.
Do a home safety check. It doesn’t take long to check home safety devices and update (or purchase) an emergency kit, and the peace of mind is well worth the effort.
- Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, changing batteries as needed.
- Check the expiration date on fire extinguishers and replace as needed.
- Check emergency supply kits and restock as needed — be sure to include enough bottled water for all members of your household (at least 1 gallon per person per day for at least three days) as well as food and water for pets.
Tidy up cleaning spaces. Prepare for spring cleaning by decluttering and neatening the laundry zone, and any places where cleaning supplies are stashed. Toss expired products, consolidate half-empty containers, and wipe down shelves and cupboards before replacing items.
Clean walls, floors and interior windows. A midwinter cleaning can help cut down on dust — especially important for allergy sufferers. Vacuum cobwebs from high corners, walls and baseboards; vacuum and mop floors; and clean interior windows and sills.
Change furnace filters. Replacing the filters regularly helps your furnace run more efficiently and keeps the air in your home cleaner.
Protect entry floors. Road salt, sand and melting snow can wreak havoc on entryway floors. Protect your flooring by using interior and exterior mats, and a tray to collect wet boots. Invest in a stack of washable rugs, so you can always keep a fresh, dry rug in the entry.
Show your home some love. Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14, so why not give your home a little extra TLC? Pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers just because, hang a new art print on the wall or host a cozy gathering with lots of candles and twinkle lights.
Start prepping for a spring or summer home sale. If you’re planning to put your home on the market in the spring or summer, start working with your real estate agent to compile a list of repairs to tackle. Hire any pros you need (stager, painters, contractor) and create a schedule for work to be done.
Keep an eye out for ice dams. If your area gets a lot of snow, be sure to regularly remove it from the roof and inspect your roofline for signs of ice dams beginning to form. Once established, they’re nearly impossible to remedy (until spring), so keeping ahead of their formation is definitely best!
Plan a getaway. Can’t take any more winter weather? Cozy up inside with your laptop and plan a getaway for spring or summer — you’ll have something fun to look forward to, and by planning early, you’ll have your pick of places to stay.
Tell us: What’s on your home to-do list this February?