Jump-Start Your Spring Honey-Do List ... Today!

Leladyb/HometalkWhen your backyard is buried under a few feet of snow, it might not seem like warmer weather is ever going to return but hey! We just celebrated that major American holiday, Groundhog Day, which traditionally heralds the approach of spring. So why not start getting yourself in a fair weather mood ... today? Think about what you'd like to do to make your home fresher, brighter, and all-around better once spring has sprung. Then go ahead and make a honey-do list of what you can accomplish right now, to get a jump start on spring.

Clear up your closets. Get ready for a great spring cleaning and decluttering mission. Organize your closets, dressers, and other storage space today by hanging shelves, repairing broken drawers, and putting up clothes hanger rods.

Fix that (super annoying) sticky door. You know the one you have to push and pull and grunt and groan to open or close? Every time you struggle with it, you tell yourself, "What a pain! I really should do something about this @#$!? door." Well, there's no time like the present. And this minor adjustment will give you one less thing in your life to stress about. Sounds like a great way to get in the mood for spring.

Change up a light fixture or two. Now is the perfect time to switch out your boring old kitchen fixtures (frosted glass shades are so 1980s!) for those pendant lights you've been wanting. It's a small change, but one that will make a big difference. Not only will you end up with more efficient illumination for your food prep chores, you'll also have a better-looking kitchen to work in. Before you know it, you'll be slicing local strawberries and packing up picnics there.

Order an air conditioner. Yes, really. Of course, you won't want to use it for a few months -- unless perhaps you live in South Florida -- but when those hot, humid July days come along, you'll be ready and waiting. You may even be able to get a great deal on the air conditioning unit and the installation service right now during the late-winter slow season.

Add a backsplash. This is one of the most enjoyable home improvement projects around. Take your pick from among all the pretty and practical backsplash materials available -- ceramic, glass tile, marble, copper, tin, brick, chalkboard, and tons more options. Whichever you choose, a new backsplash will give your kitchen or bathroom a burst of design energy that shouts, "Spring is on its way!"

Re-caulk bathroom fixtures. If the silicone caulk around your tub, shower, or sink has become cracked and brittle, that means it's sending out an urgent SOS! Don't usher in the spring gardening season by springing a leak or cultivating a crop of mold in your bathroom. It's easy and cheap to replace old caulk, so have that task taken care of ASAP.

Get your patio furniture in shape. On your mark, get set, go! Jump-start the outdoor living season by revamping your outdoor tables, chairs, and loungers. Here's one home improvement project we can really get excited about. Fix any cracks or creaks, then refinish and reupholster in bright new warm weather colors. Do all painting, staining, and sealing in a well-ventilated work area, such as a screen porch or your garage, to avoid spreading fumes in your home's indoor air.

Install a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide monitor. What can we say? If you don't already have these essential pieces of equipment, get them! Your family's safety is the number one home improvement priority any time of the year.

Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.

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