With spring and warmer weather knocking at the door, you’ll want to be free to engage in all the outdoor fun. That’s why, when daylight saving time begins March 14, it’s also the perfect time to complete these eight, often neglected household tasks.
It’s easy to get caught up in daily life and neglect chores that only need to be done occasionally. However, before you know it, you could have several layers of dust, grime, and grease on those air vents and appliances.
Below are eight such tasks, and the start of daylight saving time is the perfect opportunity to perform them each year.
Flip and Rotate Your Mattress
Flipping and/or rotating your mattress every six months or so ensures it will last longer because you’re evening out its wear. Flipping literally means you turn the mattress over. To rotate it, you turn it 180 degrees.
Both actions help maintain the firmness and will even out any indentations that occur when someone sleeps on the same side of the bed all the time. It can also prevent the steel coils from wearing out prematurely and causing sagging.
Unfortunately, not all mattresses are dual-sided and, therefore, flippable. Just be sure to check the manufacturer’s note before you perform this task. If all is well, happy flipping!
Check Smoke Detectors
If you live in a residential building, chances are maintenance comes and checks your smoke detectors every six months or so. They’ll make sure they’re working properly and that the batteries still have juice.
However, if you own your own home, you’ll have to take care of this yourself. Daylight Savings Time, in both the spring and autumn, is the perfect reminder to perform this task.
Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper method of testing your smoke detectors, as different brands might have different ways of doing so. Don’t forget to alert anyone who lives with you, as well as your neighbors, that you’re about to do this. After all, you don’t want the high-pitched alarm to startle anyone or make them think there’s a real fire.
Replace Water Filters
Another tedious task that’s important to remember is replacing the water filter on your faucet and/or shower. Filters capture the impurities that build up over time, so replacing them is necessary to maintain good water flow and pressure.
Although it’s usually recommended to change your filter every six months, the frequency actually depends on how hard your water is. Use the manufacturer’s recommendations as a guide and adjust the instructions as needed for your water.
Clean the Oven, Dishwasher, and Washing Machine
Something pretty much no one ever remembers to do is cleaning the oven. This is also one that should be on your twice-a-year to-do list, especially if you use it on the regular.
Ovens can easily accumulate lots of leftover foods and grease that can change the flavor of your meals, and cause smoke. It can even be harmful to your health when these caked-on pieces of food are cooked over and over whenever you use the oven.
Baking soda is a fantastic cleansing agent to use on your oven. Just mix it with a bit of water to make a paste, then spread it evenly inside the oven. Let the mixture sit for 10-12 hours or overnigh,t so it can absorb all the grease. Afterward, spray it with some white vinegar, and then wipe it down with a damp cloth.
Many ovens have a self-cleaning option, and all you have to do is press a button or two to activate it. If yours has this feature, just follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Cleaning dishwashers and washing machines is another task that’s often overlooked because, after all, their entire function is to clean dishes and clothes. Still, detergent buildup is a problem in both machines.
Grease and fabric fuzz can accumulate and clog filters, lowering their efficiency at washing your dishes and clothes. Check the user’s manual for both machines to see what the recommended cleaning procedure is.
You can find many recommendations online that involve baking soda and/or vinegar, but modern appliances are far more sophisticated than those of the past. Many could be more sensitive to certain substances and could be damaged if you use the wrong cleaning agent.
Dust Ceiling Fans and Air Vents
Unless you live in a warm climate, you most likely don’t use your ceiling fans as much in the winter. This means they’ve probably accumulated a ton of dust on those blades. You’ll want to clean all of that off before you turn them on again and send those particles of dust flying all over your home.
A few swipes with a feather duster or a dry rag will do the trick. If you want to do a more thorough clean, good old soap and water works.
The same goes for your air vents. In fact, they’re known to accumulate a lot of dust whether you use them or not. Simply grab a duster and wipe them off, or you can use a narrow vacuum cleaner attachment to suck up all that dust and dirt.
Clean Out the Gutters
If you own your home, you’ll definitely want to clean out the gutters. During fall and winter, lots of leaves and dirt tend to accumulate in gutters and can even block them. It might be tempting to clean them from the roof, but for safety, it’s best to avoid that. Instead, use a ladder with a stand-off stabilizer.
Scoop out any leaves and sediment all the way around the roof. Then, use the garden hose to flush out any remained gunk. Start at the end opposite the downspout, and let the hose run for a full minute so you can make sure there aren’t any clogs.
Discard Expired Food
Cleaning out your cabinets, pantry, and fridge is another good task to perform in spring. You might be surprised how many things you find that are long past their expiration date. This is simply because we rarely check them.
Take this opportunity to do just that, then actually clean your refrigerator with some soap and water. Wipe down your cabinets or pantry after you discard any outdated items. This is also a good time to take an inventory and make a list of anything you need to replace next time you’re at the store.
Tackling larger household tasks can be a drag. That’s why, sometimes, a full year or more can go by before you realize you’ve neglected them. Let Daylight Savings Time be the perfect reminder for these 8 tasks and stay prepared with our list for March 14th.