spring cleaning

10 Ways to Enhance Your Home’s External Appeal

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Outdoor Spring Cleaning

Spring is here, and it’s time to tidy up! Read on for our handy checklist of outdoor spring cleaning ideas.

Windows and Screens

It’s best to clean windows when the sun isn’t out to prevent the cleaner from drying too fast and causing streaks. Be careful on that ladder! In addition, it won’t matter how clean your windows are if your screens are dusty and damaged. Remove your screens and vacuum with an attachment. If they are damaged, screens are fairly inexpensive to replace.

Garden Appeal

It’s amazing how quickly weeds can pop up in the spring – get a head start as soon as they show up. In addition, clear out any dead foliage and prune your shrubs and trees – this will make your garden area more appealing and encourage new growth. After weeding and clearing out old plants, lay down a new layer of mulch and take note of any plants that need to be replaced. Be sure to clean out and re-plant any pots or baskets as well!

Sweep All the Things

It’s not just your floor that needs sweeping! Take a broom to the ceilings and walls of your porches and eaves to clear out dust and cobwebs. Sweep out your garage from all your winter projects and then sweep the driveway and cracks. Replace any caulking in the driveway that may have been damaged over the winter.

Break Out the Furniture

Patio furniture can take a hit during the winter. Wipe down all furniture with a damp cloth and beat the dust out of cushions. Clean or replace rugs and umbrellas if necessary.

Get Ready to Grill

Wipe down the outside of your grill and give the inside a good scrubbing with a steel brush before first use. It’s not uncommon for creatures to take refuge in your grill during the winter, so take care when opening the lid the first time.

A New Life for Doors

Doors are one of those things we always touch but rarely clean. Give your exterior doors a good washing and touch up paint where necessary. For a fun project, repaint your front door a fun color like red or yellow!

Exterior Touch-up

There’s nothing like a hose to clean the exterior of your house! Especially with brick or vinyl siding, using a spray attachment on your hose to wash down the walls can instantly increase curb appeal. Now is a good time to spot-check your roof as well – if gutters or shingles are damaged, it’s time to replace.

Outdoor Lighting

Check your light fixtures – they can accumulate dust and bugs. Replace bulbs if necessary.

Maintain the Fence

Winter can be hard on fences and gates – walk the perimeter of your property and check for areas that require repair. A new coat of stain or paint certainly helps bring life to your property as well.

A New Lawn

Whether you have a lawn in place or you’re thinking of installing one, green grass in your yard adds wonderful curb appeal. Lay fertilizer down before a spring rain to bring new life to your lawn and replace any dead areas with sod. 

What other outdoor spring cleaning do you accomplish each year? Tell us in the comments!

Top 5 Things Not to Miss While Spring Cleaning

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It’s that time of year where the sun stays out longer and the weather starts to warm. We open our windows and shake out the lingering cobwebs from winter. There are the usual things that we think to clean like floors, floorboards, and vents, but what else? Here are the top 5 things to add to your cleaning list this year!

Windows

Even though you look through your windows every day, they’re easy to miss when cleaning up. The best day to clean your windows is a cloudy one – cleaning on a sunny day can leave streaks when the cleaner evaporates too quickly. Start by dusting your windows so that you’re not just smearing dust around. Next, vacuum your screens using an attachment – there’s nothing worse than cleaning all of your windows only to realize your screens are dirty! Finally, use your cleaner of choice. Pre-moistened wipes, a homemade solution with a microfiber cloth, or a sponge all work well, followed closely by a pass with a squeegee. You’ll love your new clean view!

Lighting

We often don’t think about cleaning our lighting, but you’d be amazed at how much dust gathers in those fixtures! Use a vacuum attachment to clean lamp shades and wipe down the lamp base with a microfiber cloth. Even the light bulb itself may be dusty if you have light bulbs that last a long time. Take a duster to your ceiling fans, chandeliers, and standing lamps as well. Finally, don’t forget to clean your light switches! If you think about it, your switches are touched more often than most anything in your house.

Appliances

From small kitchen appliances to your washing machine, your appliances need a good cleaning every once in a while too. Have a coffee maker? Be sure to clean it inside and out. Does your mixer sit on the countertop? Time to give it a good dusting. For washers and dishwashers, you can find a packet of cleaner in your local store – give those machines a run with a cleaner to prevent mildew and stains. Other appliances, such as your hair dryer, electric toothbrush, and alarm clocks are often neglected in the cleaning process as well. Take a minute to put them through some sanitation.

Cabinets

You’d be surprised how dirty the front of your cabinets can be! Your choice of cleaner will depend on whether your cabinets are wood or painted, but it is definitely worth a thorough wipe down of your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, especially the ones located below sinks. Feeling motivated? Time to wipe down the shelves inside of your cabinets as well, and maybe vacuum out the utensil drawer.

Tools

Your cleaning tools need cleaning too! You’re certainly not sanitizing your home if the mop you’re using is dirty as well. Take a moment to clean the parts of your vacuum, run your mop heads through the washing machine, and replace any sponges or brushes that are worse for wear. Check the dates on your cleaning products as well, and spot test any new cleaning products to ensure that you won’t stain your carpet, flooring, or upholstery.

Feel free to reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for any larger projects that may arise while you’re spring cleaning. We’re happy to help!

Three Ways to Freshen Up the Look of a Room

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It’s finally springtime and aside from the usual ‘spring cleaning’, you might be looking for other home improvement ideas to keep yourself busy while the weather warms up enough to do the outside projects. Here are three ways to spice up your rooms this spring.

Add a Little Paint

You may be looking for something simple and affordable rather than a big expensive project, so know that a coat of fresh paint (chosen well) never hurt any aesthetic. Take to Pinterest to inspire you with a new color scheme to carry the fresh feel of spring throughout the rest of the year. Maybe you aren’t looking to repaint the entire house, but you know that big wall in the living room that you can never figure out what to do with? Turn it into an accent wall with a color that ‘pops’ or upcycled panels. Trellised rooms are exciting to the eye and can be a great creative project that will occupy some time.

Hang & Rearrange

Redecorating always feels good when you’re in the need for something fresh. If you aren’t emotionally attached to the artwork you have already, consider finding some new pieces to accent the room. A nice mirror or a creative family portrait montage brings a new energy into an otherwise stagnant space. There are thousands of DIY projects to incorporate some crafty art into your home during the season of fresh starts. Sometimes, even the rearranging of the furniture can give you the fresh new look you are craving! Plants can also bring a brand new life to your space.

Add Some Depth to the Walls

If you are feeling adventurous and motivated, wainscotting or paneling might be just the spring project to take on. Wainscoting is not only aesthetically pleasing, it also protects the lower portions of your walls from damage. Adding trim or molding to wainscoting creates an elegant, classy look to an otherwise boring wall. Some people are even taking to decorating their ceilings with different panel designs to add a little extra charm. However, this undertaking doesn’t have to be pricey. A suggestion is to apply a grid of 1x6 drywall panels to a drywalled surface, add a coat of paint to the grid, and then magically, the boards, stiles, and rails create a look like something out of a design magazine.

Whatever it is that calls to you, all three of these are easy enough and have millions of points of inspiration throughout the internet to help get you started on spicing up the rooms in your home before summer projects start. It is time to let go of the old and bring in the new! Reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for all of your home renovation needs in Philadelphia and South Jersey!

Keep Your Home Safe from Pests & Critters

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Critter Control

Spring is in the air! The sun is out, flowers are popping up in your yard, and it’s starting to warm up during the day. The saying ‘spring cleaning’ exists for a reason – many of us see these signs of the seasons changing and are ready to shake off the doldrums of winter by cleaning house.

One big item on your to-do list should be ridding your home of any pests that may have moved in during the cold winter months. In partnership with our friends at Critter Control, here’s a list of some things you can do to make sure those pesky critters evacuate your home and fast.

Clean, Clean, Clean!

Often critters are seeking refuge in your home because there are so many delicious things for them to eat! Make sure your food is stored on high shelves in sealed containers. Have pets? Elevate their food off the floor so pests don’t have access. Regularly sweeping your kitchen and dining areas for crumbs and taking out your garbage at least once a week will help too. Make sure that your sinks and bathtubs have no standing water while not in use.

Seal the Entrances

Regularly check your home, especially doors and windows, for holes and other gaps that allow pests to get inside. If you find them, close them up! Make sure your doors have tight seals and install screens on all the windows. Check places you might not see without looking, such as cabinets and outlets. Home improvement stores are stocked with sealants and pastes especially designed for repairing any cracks and crevices.

Plant a Pest-Fighting Garden

Many common garden plants can deter pests naturally. Basil, lavender and catmint can help deter mosquitos. Garlic and sage prevent ticks from taking up shop. Planting some rosemary close to your home scares the moths away. And of course, if you are able to prevent these pests from coming near your home, you’ll also diminish the number of spiders taking up residence. Win win!

Call Critter Control

If certain household pests like mice, ants, or snakes have made a home in your home, it’s time to call in the experts. Invading nuisance wildlife can wreak havoc on residential properties and structures and if left unattended wildlife and pests can cause costly damage to your property. Check out the Critter Control website to find out more information about these critters, and then give them a call!