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  • Larry Miller

5 Simple Ways to Prepare Your Home for Spring

The arrival of spring means longer days, more time spent outdoors (resulting in more dirt tracked into your home), and you guessed it: spring cleaning. I know this can be a daunting task, to simplify the process I created an ultimate spring cleaning guide to ensure you create a plan you can handle. Not only do these simple steps significantly enhance your home's curb appeal, but they also create an outdoor space perfect for lounging and entertaining.

1. Groom Your Lawn

Your lawn is the first place you should start. I recommend surveying your yard for any trouble spots and then tackle problems head-on with the tips and tricks listed below:

  • Remove any debris cluttering your lawn. Pick up any fallen branches, twigs, or pet messes.

  • Rake leaves when the ground is completely dry. (Raking over wet grass can tear grass from the roots, leaving you with even more bare patches.)

  • If heavy traffic and pet messes have ruined your grass, sprinkle soil over the area with a combination of grass seed and fertilizer. Keep dirt moist until the seeds sprout into the grass

Tip: Instead of bagging up leaves and twigs, repurpose them as the foundation for a compost pile.

2. Garden Beds

Flowers are a great way to increase your home's curb appeal without increases your credit card statement. After the soil has thawed clear your garden beds of fallen leaves, dead foliage, and unruly weeds before spring is in full swing.

Not sure where to go from there? Follow these tips:

  • Dig up perennials, including daylilies and hostas, and divide them into three-stem groupings. Use them to fill in any sparse spots in the garden bed.

  • Shovel out last year's mulch to provide a blank slate for a new layer, which should be added once spring planting is complete.

  • Interested in adding more plant beds? Use a tiller to break new ground, or build raised beds to make a statement. Starting in early spring, plant trees, shrubs, and hardy perennial flowers (bleeding heart and geraniums, for example).

Tip: Plant trees and hardy perennials (bleeding heart, geraniums, etc) in early Spring.

3. Remove Mildew on the Porch/Deck

Moisture trapped beneath planters and debris is one of the leading causes of mildew/mold. Use my go-to solution below to remove stains in less than 20 minutes.

To remove mildew stains, mix 2 cups of liquid chlorine bleach and 2 1/2 tablespoons of powdered laundry detergent into 1 1/2 quarts of warm water. Saturate the area with the solution and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Tip: To remove the stains quicker scrub with a stiff broom and rinse thoroughly.

4. Clean Patio Furniture

Before you take advantage of your outdoor space, make sure that it's properly cleaned. Follow my guide below for effective, DIY cleaning solutions.

  • Metal and Plastic Outdoor Furniture: Mix a generous amount of dish liquid soap with warm water in a bucket. Then spray the furniture down with a hose. Using a nylon scrub brush, wash the chairs with the solution; then rinse thoroughly.

`Tip: Cut the drying time by tipping the furniture on its side in the grass to let the water drain off.

  • Refresh Wicker and Rattan Furniture: Wipe off the furniture's surface with a warm cloth and mild soap.

Tip: Use a toothbrush to remove any dirt in the grooves

5. Get Rid of Mud and Grime

For tough stains and discoloration follow my 30-minute solution below.

  • Clear the patio and sweep away any remaining debris, hose down until clean.

  • Create your own natural cleaning solution of one cup baking soda with two cups of distilled white vinegar and spread it across the patio with a mop. Let sit for 30 minutes, then use a nylon-bristled scrub brush to deep clean.

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As I enter my 25th year as a Real Estate Professional I realize the journey started way before the destination was in sight. On my path to building a contracting business a recession developed in Wash

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