When poet T.S. Eliot wrote, “April is the cruelest month,” he could have had northern New England in mind. Yearning for sunny days and glorious blooms, we often get mud and rain instead. Still, a number of chores that can be done now will help almost any home welcome better weather.

  1. shovelChop up any remaining patches of ice or snow with a shovel so they’ll melt faster. Otherwise, they can smother grass and promote fungus.
  2. Clear up dead leaves and debris. Consider tackling litter by the roadside as well, if you have the energy. Your neighbors will thank you!
  3. Walk around the house and look for winter damage. Storms and freeze-thaw cycles can dislodge flashing, tear off shingle tabs, and pop out nails in wood siding and trim. If there’s damage you can’t handle yourself, hire a pro now before they get booked up. (An equity line of credit can be a great “go-to” for home projects. See our Loan Officers for more info.)
  4. If you have a gravel driveway, rake the gravel out of your lawn. It’s much easier to take care of this now than after the grass starts to grow.
  5. tulipsPrune summer-flowering shrubs now, before the buds swell. Wait to prune spring bloomers like forsythia or lilac until after they flower.
  6. Prune back overgrown evergreens and hedges. Now’s the time to do it, before they sprout new growth.
  7. Check for leaks in the attic. If you discover a small water stain, there’s time to fix the roof before the leak gets bad enough to seep downstairs.
  8. Replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, unless you changed them when Daylight Savings Time started on March 12.
  9. If you’re going away, don’t count on good weather. Many a spring break has featured a surprise snowstorm or cold snap. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house in case of a power outage or heavy snow.
  10. lawn mowerTune up the lawn mower. Replace worn blades and belts, and fill the tank. Winter may struggle to hang on, but it will have to give up sooner or later—and before you know it, spring will be bustin’ out all over.