Easy Home Improvements That Can Counter the Winter Blahs

With rain, snow and ice in the forecast, the temptation is often to hole up and spend some quality time with the TV. But after you’ve shoveled the walk and streamed all of your programs, you may start to notice that your surroundings are looking a bit dingy. Fortunately, winter is a great time to pursue #home improvement projects large and small, whether you go with a professional contractor or do it yourself.

Get the ball rolling by #organizing a small space. #Donate or sell any clothes you no longer wear to ClothingDonations.org to give closets some breathing room. One good upgrade is to install shelves and bins that keep clothing neatly folded and grouped by color and category, The Washington Post says. Over-the-door #organizers can help store shoes and other garments.

Another simple project to consider is to #declutter the #garage and install more #storage. Garages often have lots of overhead space that can hold bins of seasonal #stuff such as sports equipment and #holiday decorations until you need them. All you’ll need is a drill and a few screws to get started on a new set of shelves or overhead racks.

People who work from home now have even more time to consider their home environment, and ample incentive and opportunity to keep things #clean (or not). Instead of thinking of #household #chores as insurmountable, time-consuming tasks, schedule five-minute breaks throughout the work day to do a load of laundry or scrub the sink; your productivity will skyrocket.

For a quick refresh, try painting a room. A fresh coat of paint in a new or tired-and-true color will instantly make the space look #cleaner and can take less than a day to accomplish, depending on the space. The secret is in the prep work: Sand uneven areas, fill nail holes, dust and tape before you start rolling out the new paint.

Another option is to upgrade the lighting in your home to counter the energy-sapping dark days of winter. Simply upgrade and replace the light bulbs already in use, install a “smart” lighting app, or opt for a new “statement” light fixture, Forbes says. All can help improve the warmth and livability of your space.

You can pursue most of these ideas in an afternoon or over a weekend, but larger projects are fair game for the winter, too. Take advantage of contractors’ slowest season if you’re looking at a larger home project, and get started today!

Dust to Keep Your Home Allergen-Free

Dirt and dust collect fast in winter, when houses are closed up against the cold. To keep your air #allergen-free, do a top-down #cleaning that includes the tops of moldings, framed artwork, blinds, books, and other hidden horizontal surfaces, Broomstick Cleaning says. Change the furnace filter on a regular basis to maintain air quality and optimize your heating dollar. And remember that a #cluttered home is harder to keep #clean, so try to eliminate any #clothing, papers and tchotchkes that you just don’t need or want and are getting in the way. #Donate any lightly used items to ClothingDonations.org. #WinterCleaning

Tackle Winter Cleaning Tasks Now

With the holidays over and lots of indoor time, now is a good time to complete #cleaning projects that help keep your space dirt- and allergen-free. Make a checklist, House Beautiful says, so you don’t miss any spots as you go room to room. Radiators and vents, windows and window treatments, bedding and upholstery, and rugs and carpets should be on the list since they are the biggest dust-catchers. And don’t forget to clean out the refrigerator, throwing out anything that’s expired or just unused. Do this ahead of your next trip to the grocery store, so you’ll have less to remove and replace. #WinterCleaning

Declutter as You Deep-Clean for Fall

Now that you’ve done the hardest parts of the home, you can tackle the bedrooms and living areas. Start by refreshing any bedding that doesn’t get washed regularly, Apartment Therapy says, such as comforters and pillows. Vacuum the mattresses, and swap warm-weather bedding for cold. In the closets and dressers, switch out seasonal clothing, culling out any you no longer use and #donating them to ClothingDonations.org. In living areas, dust flat surfaces, wash baseboards and vacuum upholstered furniture thoroughly. Finally, #clean your screens and remotes, and kick back for some binge-watching. You’ve earned it! #FallCleaning

Deep-Cleaning the Bathrooms in Your Home

Any area that sees water and steam is likely to get dirtier faster than the rest of the house, so #fall is a great time to #deep-clean the bathrooms in your home. Go beyond the usual scrubbing of the porcelain fixtures, says Housewife How-Tos: Remove and wash shower curtains and/or descale glass shower enclosures. Clear, clean and #declutter bathroom shelves and cabinets. Clean drains, mirrors and grout. Wash all textile items such as towels and rugs. Vacuum the exhaust fan, wash down the walls with a mild cleansing solution (warm water and white vinegar works well), and finally, sweep and mop thoroughly. #FallCleaning