Every year, I tell myself that I am going to get better at keeping up with maintaining my health, my home and my relationships with friends and family. I have started using my calendar to help me to stay on track, adding events to remind myself of when to do certain things.

Now that the start of spring season is just two days away, I can see the spring-cleaning agenda items popping up on my to-do list. Staying on top of these things will not only help to keep our home in tip-top shape, but it also will motivate me to maintain it better. If the start of the season is motivating you to get productive, too, add these items to your checklist:

Trim landscaping


Anything that touches your home is a potential walkway for insects and other critters to get inside. Trim back anything that touches or anything that looks like it will touch eventually.

Deep clean your floors

If you have hardwood, polish it. If the wood is scratched, consider buffing and polishing. For carpets and rugs, steam clean. You can hire a professional or rent a steam cleaner from a grocery store. Keep in mind that although the rental can be relatively inexpensive, when you include the cleaning solution and other fees, it can add up to be more than $100 a day. Price out a professional service before you decide to do it yourself.

Move the big stuff

Pull out your fridge, your stove, your couch, your bed and any other large items you can. Clean underneath and behind them. Start with a vacuum and then wipe down with your preferred cleaner.

Reorganize under the sink


Purchase an under-the-sink storage system from the hardware store or home organization store. Start with your kitchen sink one day, then, move to your bathroom sinks on subsequent days. Remove everything and wipe down the surfaces. Dispose of or donate anything you have not used in over a year. (Think candles, grocery bags, coffee cans and the like.) Then, install the organization system. This will allow you to take advantage of the vertical space and neatly stack your items.

Clean where the sun doesn’t shine

Try to address the areas in your home that often get ignored. These include light fixtures, the tops of cabinets, stove hood and fan blades. You can start by vacuuming the areas before wiping them down. Follow up by vacuuming the flooring when you are done.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisin@gmail.com.