Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 6, 2015

Say goodbye to spring cleaning


Travis Close

Spring might be more than a month away, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait to start cleaning. You’re already spending a lot of time indoors, where it’s warm and dry. You might as well improve your indoor air quality and rid your home of the dirt you accumulated last summer and fall.

I realize I’m risking my wife seeing this column and my Honey Do List suddenly getting longer as a result. Regardless, completing these tasks now can keep spring cleaning to a minimum. On its consumer website, HouseLogic.com, the National Association of Realtors provides several tips for winter cleaning.

For example, get out the vacuum and tackle the dryer vent. Not only does removing the lint build-up help dry your clothes faster, it also eliminates a potential fire hazard. And while you have the vacuum out, ask yourself when you last looked under your furniture. You might be surprised by how many dust bunnies are hiding underneath.

Before putting away the vacuum, pull the refrigerator away from the wall and clean the coils. Periodically cleaning the refrigerator helps it maintain efficiency, which can save you money each month in utility costs.

You can also wash and disinfect your garbage cans, wastebaskets, and toilet brush holders. Let the garden hose do the initial work for you, and then use a disinfectant. An added bonus is letting them dry outside in direct sunlight, which helps eliminate bacteria.

Also, change out your HVAC filters every 60 days. These filters trap dust so you don’t breathe it in, but after a while, they’ve caught all the dust they can hold. Swap them out regularly to keep dust particles off your floors and furniture and out of your lungs. When purchasing new filters, consider their efficiency rating – the higher the rating, the better they are at removing dirt, mold spores, and pet dander.

Finally, get out the dust rag and clean the tops of your doors, trimming, and artwork. Tackle anything with a horizontal surface. Chair rails, electrical wall plates, smoke detectors, upper kitchen cabinets – they all collect dirt and dust, and often are not part of your normal cleaning routine.

Don’t let the winter blues get you down. Check off these chores now, and by the time spring arrives, you’ll have more time to spend outside enjoying everything Greater Chattanooga has to offer.

The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors is “The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga.” The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,500 members, and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of REALTORS nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net.