It’s that time of year when we get busy cleaning our house in and out. By letting the fresh air in, and making our homes clean, healthy and efficient, we make our homes a happy place to be.

Start on your exterior: The outside of your home has taken more wear and tear from the harsh winter, than the interior.

• Wash windows: Use a squeegee and dish soap with water.

• Replace old or cracking caulk and replace weather stripping.

• Inspect the roof for broken or missing shingles, or tiles, and clean out gutters and downspouts at the same time.

• Replace cracked or old garden hoses, and rake away leaves, tree limbs and debris from sidewalks, plant beds and surrounding areas.

• Pressure wash concrete and paved areas that have become dirty and power wash vinyl siding, brick walls and vertical surfaces on your home if need be.

• Clean entryway – Wash doors, mailbox, porch and clean or replace mat.

Now the interior: Begin each room with tidying, then dust, clean, and vacuum, in that order.

• Declutter! Start here. Clear out any junk or unused items from all closets – then clean and organize them. Start fresh each spring!

• Windows and Sills: For glass use a squeegee and dishwashing soap and water

• Curtains: Dry-clean velvet, tapestries, brocades, chenille, and interlined curtains. Cotton and similar textiles can be washed.

• Upholstery and Carpets: Hire a carpet cleaner or rent a carpet-cleaning machine should you not have the right equipment.

• Thwart Moths: Clean the inside of your drawers and wardrobe, and then wipe the insides with cedarwood oil.

• Lighting & Ceiling Fans: Remove their shades, globes and bulbs or blades and wash with soap and water.

• Bathroom Fans: Remove and clean

• Exhaust Fans,Vents: Remove grids and clean

• Freshen Beds: Turn, sprinkle with baking soda…then vacuum your mattress on a low setting. Launder all of your quilts, duvets, and pillows.

• Upholstery: Loose upholstery covers should be washed or dry-cleaned and then placed back on the furniture while still damp to reshape. Use upholstery cleaner for fixed fabric furniture.

• Picture Frames, Mirrors and Artwork: dust

• Appliances: Clean oven and fridge inside and out. Move for washing behind and underneath.

• Smoke Detectors & Alarms: Take down, clean and check batteries.

• Ducts & Furnace: Get ducts cleaned and clean or replace furnace filter.