Three Areas Of Your Home That Need a Deep Spring Clean

I don’t know what it is about the spring that gives most people the urge to clean their homes (and entire lives) up but it seems with the beginning of winter’s thaw, I instinctively want to clean, clean, clean!

The winter is full of busyness with Christmas and New Year’s, which though they may actually only be two calendar days, consume upwards of five weeks of your life between parties, decorating and then putting stuff away. Honestly after the insanity of the holidays, I’m exhausted. I have no desire to go through the efforts of deep cleaning my home but sometimes around March/April the weather starts to change, the days are longer and I can feel a boost in my energy.

deep spring clean

Any decently nice day I open the windows in every room, even for a few minutes, to get the stale winter air out and some nice airflow throughout the house. This is the easiest way to ‘’freshen up’’ the house without doing anything. There are a few areas of the house that do get neglected though and at least once a year I make sure to pay special attention to.

Windows and Doors

I have a two year old who loves to watch life outside the windows so I am constantly wiping down grimy little finger prints from the inside of window panes and doors, this isn’t the window cleaning I’m talking about. I’m talking about removing the screens from all the windows to vacuum and wipe them down as well as cleaning every tiny crevasse in the window, with Q-tips and rags. I was amazed when I took the screens off our bedroom window how dirty the inside of the casement window was from attracting dirt when it was open in the warmer months last year. They definitely all need a good deep clean.

Same goes from the tracks of any sliding door your home may have, they get disgusting. Full of pet fur and general grim that gets kicked up when sweeping and cleaning the floors. It took me almost two hours to deep clean every window and door properly but got it done with q-tips, rags and warm soapy water. They look amazing now!

Dishwasher

It seems sort of silly to clean an appliance whose job it is to clean dishes but cleaning the dishwasher is something that needs to get done! Last year we were noticing our dishwasher wasn’t cleaning as effectively so I did a little investigation and realized not cleaning the dishwasher regularly is a major catalyst to it dying prematurely and not working effectively. With common household ingredients (hot water, vinegar and baking soda) and a little help from good ‘ol YouTube I had our dishwasher disassembled, reassembled and sparkling clean. I’ll warn you to wear good gloves and be prepared for finding some gross stuff. The food processor in our dishwasher was nasty, and I consider is pretty effective at making sure the dishes are fairly ‘clean’ before placing them in the machine.

Cupboards

I don’t know about you but I don’t regularly clean and organize my cupboards. We get groceries and food gets placed away. We’re pretty good at not buying more food than we need and always shop with a list, but that doesn’t grantee some foods don’t spoil (like the large box of soda crackers that gets open for a bowl or two of soup then finds its way to the back of the shelf when it stales). Another attribute of my two year old is her love for playing the cupboards with mommy’s baking supplies and mixing bowls. They get messy and disorganized.

This past weekend I tackled one cupboard in particular (our main food cupboard) and went through everything in there. I took everything out, wiped and vacuumed the shelves down, since stuff like flour and sprinkles always find and escape, and reorganized it. Spring is an ideal time to do this and make sure everything is well sealed to prevent the impending summer ant population explosion!

 

There seems to be something refreshing about spring that I want to reflect in my home as well. Taking a few hours a week over a month of so to do some of these monotonous deep cleaning of your home can make a big impact!

The Great Debate: Starter Home or Forever Home?

The starter home vs. forever home debate was one I touched on a while ago on my own blog. I didn’t realize so many people thought the logic behind deliberately buying a home you have no intention of living in forever was so weird.

 

I grew up in one home (once we moved to this province) and that’s all I knew, but when time came for hubby and I to buy we didn’t really know what we wanted, or more importantly needed. We bought a home that satisfied our basic ”young married couple who may eventually have children” requirements (a place to sleep, cook and relax) but that was about it.

starter home vs forever home

I knew going into our first home purchase that we would not be staying here forever. I knew we wouldn’t stay here more than 5-10 years but we bought it anyway.

Benefits of buying a starter home

When we were looking to move from our one bedroom apartment into a home of our own our needs were significantly different from what they were today, as working parents. The biggest benefit for us having a starter home is that we have really figured out exactly what we want and don’t want in the home we will eventually call home, forever.

For us at least, these are things I could not have known unless I have lived with (or without) them in this current home. I still find myself discovering new wants in our next house. For one, this home only has one full bathroom. Honestly I didn’t understand the need for an ensuite. Neither hubby or I grew up in a home with an ensuite and I didn’t think twice about buying a 1.5 bathroom house as our first home. Then I had a kid. Now I totally get it. I love her but hate having her bath stuff consuming my somewhat pretty, neat and clean space. Also, why do kids like playing with feminine hygiene products!? I just want a private space for our stuff, a no-kid or guest zone! I’ll never require a double sink but I know I want an enuite in our next home.

A starter home really lets you discover what kind of homeowner you are. What makes you tick and what you can live without. It allows you to make mistakes and gives you a ”practice round” before making a life-long commitment.

Maybe a forever home is for you…

While I’m more of a ”learn from mistakes” kind of girl, some people know exactly what they want. I have friends who, before ever living in a home, designed a built their dream home, outlining every last detail. Things I couldn’t have possibly thought of adding until I knew such a thing did or did not exist.

The biggest advantage to making your first home purchase your last, is that you’ll never have to move. If your purchase is move in ready there will be little to no work so you can continue on with maintenance and if you’re the type who can know exactly what they want out of a renovation that’s great too. As long as you don’t invest money into a renovation, only to have regrets later (this chick right here already dislikes the kitchen reno we did only four years ago) then you can work on paying down that mortgage and enjoying your abode debt free.

I really think the ”starter home” vs. ”forever home” debate has many points that need to be considered. For us, we decided that building equity on an appreciating property was more important than finding our dream home in our early 20’s before we had life figured out. But others would rather save until they can afford the one and only home of their dreams. Neither opinion is wrong, every situation is different!

Was your first home purchase the one you plan to stay in forever?

My Experience with Owning vs. Renting

Before buying our current home, my husband and I rented a nice one bedroom apartment not far from where we currently live. Though we had major lack of storage (for us, a normal person with regular hobbies probably would have been just fine), we loved that apartment. We were the youngest tenants by probably 50 years (no joke) and our evenings usually consisted of my husband going next door at least once to turn the television on for our 87 year old neighbour whose son insisted she get a fancy flat screen TV so she could actually see the screen with her aging eyes.

While we were living in the apartment every day we would dream about homeownership. Owning something. Being able to paint the walls. Something to call our own and start our lives in. In hindsight I feel like I was being brainwashed by advertising because though I’m glad we have a home for our family, renting really wasn’t that bad.

renting or buying

I already wrote about why you absolutely need tenants insurance and our experience with dealing with a massive flood in our apartment. I cannot even imagine the headache of dealing with a flood in our house.  Our house. Not a rental unit you don’t care as much about. While dealing with the flood was a headache, I knew everything would get fixed, I mean obviously the landlords wouldn’t not fix it, it was their building! Just like I’d be freaking out if property I owned was damaged. The stress of the ”what if’s” can be overwhelming sometimes when you own a home.

My husband and I recently made a detailed, prioritizing list about what we need to get done around the house. Some things are small like replace a door knob but some are bigger like replace  flooring and new front door. Big bucks. Though I love being able to do basically whatever I want to my home and really personalize it, I miss the days of being able to call the landlord and have them deal with a problem, like a broken door. The peace of mind that comes with living in a rental unit (assuming you have responsible landlords) is a great feeling. I’d gladly replace the feeling of financial stresses related homeownership with it any day!

Finally, though our money is now going into an appreciating asset and we’re gaining equity, I can guarantee if we were as financially responsible as we are today when we were renting, we’d have a lot more money in the bank and likely be debt free. I have no way of guaranteeing this but I’d like to think if we had learned the financial lessons we did just 18 months ago while we were renting, we’d have significantly more money. Our rent was about $500 less than our current mortgage (though if we had a kid while renting would have needed to get a larger place) and our utilities were significantly less with both heat and hot water being included in our rent. Even upgrading to a larger two bedroom unit in our old building would give us over $500 more per month than our current bills.

Some days I wish we were still renting for all the reasons listed above but most of the time I love our home. I love our yard and the fun time we have in it. I love my clothesline and use it almost daily in the warmer months. I love that we can do whatever we want to it and that even though we need to pay for a new front door I will buy what I want 🙂