To-Dos: Your May Home Checklist
May is a month for getting outdoors, firing up the grill and celebrating. Take advantage of milder spring days and schedule some much-needed home improvements this month, so you’ll be ready to savor those barbecues and evenings on the porch. From having your house painted to cleaning out the shed, here are 14 tips and ideas for a fabulous month.
Have your house painted. Spring, with its milder weather in many regions, is a good time to paint your house. If you’re looking to hire a house painter, ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, search on Houzz and, as always, check references before hiring a pro.
Check irrigation systems. It can be disastrous to find out too late that your irrigation system has a clog or leak. Turn on each hose and irrigation system and check that it is working properly.
Clean gutters and downspouts. Remove leaves and debris left by winter storms from rain gutters and make sure downspouts are clear.
Clean and repair screen doors and windows. A mosquito can sneak in through even the tiniest tear in a window screen. Keep bugs out by carefully checking each screen (including doors) as you clean them, and patch up holes and tears.
Check your yard for fire hazards. If you live in a dry climate, or one that is experiencing a drought (hello, California) it is vital that you do your part to protect your home in case of a fire in your area. Keeping landscaping away from the sides of your home is a good first step; check with your local fire officials for recommendations specific to your area.
Check safety devices. Test the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and replace batteries as needed. Check fire extinguishers.
Maintain heating and cooling systems. Change the filters on window air conditioning units. If you have central air, have a pro come out to service the system. Schedule a cleaning for your heating system.
Refresh bedrooms. Rotate mattresses and flip them if possible. Swap heavy winter bedding for lighter quilts and blankets; have winter bedding laundered before storing. Clear clutter from under the bed, in and around bedside tables and atop the dresser.
Give your bath a mini-makeover. Treat your bathroom to a fresh shower curtain, fluffy new towels and a fancy soap or two. Want to go a step further? Swap out an old medicine cabinet for a stylish mirror, change the light fixture and paint the walls.
Touch up interior paint. Do a walk-through of your home, paying attention to walls, trim, ceilings and doors, and make note of any spots where the paint is stained or chipped. Use leftover matching paint to touch up those areas. Sand chipped areas lightly and apply primer before covering with color; small marks can be touched up without priming. If you have moisture spots on your ceiling, that could be a sign of a leak, so be sure to investigate.
Have furniture reupholstered (or slipcovered) as needed. If your favorite old sofa or chair has seen better days, consider having a local upholsterer give it a fresh look with new fabric, or have a washable fitted slipcover made for it.
Clean out your shed or garage. You’ll probably find yourself digging around in your storage shed or garage as you hunt for lawn tools and beach umbrellas, so why not make things tidier while you’re at it? If tackling the entire space in one go sounds daunting, sort through a small section each time you get something out. Once there is a bit more breathing space, set aside a few hours on a weekend to get through the rest.
Clean grill and set up outdoor kitchen. Give your grill a good scrubbing, test that everything is in working order and stock up on fuel for the grilling season.
Book a summer vacation. If you are planning to take a trip to a popular destination this summer, book now to reserve a spot before rooms and rentals start filling up. It wouldn’t hurt to also begin considering who will watch your home and pets while you are away, and get that favorite house- or pet-sitter lined up.