Bob Vila’s 10 “Must Do” Projects for March
Whether it comes in like a lamb or lion, March is a month of transitions. It’s a good time to bring some order to your home, and to refresh the house after it's been closed tight for winter.
With the change from winter to spring comes a new flurry of activity: The warm weather will undoubtedly draw the family outside, which is why it’s important to clean and maintain your outdoor spaces now (and maybe get some window washing done). It’s just as timely to turn your attention to cleaning the carpets and organizing your closet now, before blue skies and sunny days keep you away from the old tool belt.
1. Clean the Carpets
Your family has probably tracked in all sorts of ice melt, slush, and even mud throughout the winter months. Be sure to give your carpets and rugs a deep spring clean for a fresher start to the season. You can rent a carpet cleaner locally or buy your own machine. (Our researched guide to the best carpet cleaners is a good place to start browsing.)
RELATED: How to Get Rid of Every Carpet Stain
2. Get Your Closets in Order
As you’re swapping out your parkas and hanging up your windbreakers this month, take the time to organize your closets. Donate or sell any winter clothing you didn’t wear this year, then pack clean off-season clothes into bags, bins, or boxes—right after you double-check the forecast. If your closets need an additional dose of organization, buy or build new shelves, shelf dividers or storage bins, or install an extra tension rod to double your usable space.
3. Prep Your Patio Furniture
Get ready for barbecue weather by rescuing your outdoor furniture. Remove flaking paint and rust from metal furniture using a wire brush and sandpaper, then repaint it for a fresh, new look. Clean patio cushions of mold or mildew using a mixture of 1/4 cup of Borax and warm water. Now it’s time to fire up the grill!
4. Stage Your Home
With weather warming up, March is a prime season for home buying and selling. Listing your home? Properly staging your home can help you sell the place at a higher price. If your style won’t appeal broadly to buyers, try putting your furniture in storage, then borrow neutral pieces from a professional stager until you can close the deal.
5. Prepare Your Garden
It’s not too early to start your spring gardening routine: Trim dead and damaged branches from trees and shrubs. Plant summer-flowering bulbs after the last frost, and ready your garden beds for other early plantings. Then lay down a layer of mulch to retain moisture and prevent weed growth.
6. Maintain Safety Devices
Daylight savings time begins this month, so be sure to follow the tradition of changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on Sunday, March 12, 2023 or “spring forward” day. If you have a fire extinguisher, make sure it is accessible, hasn’t expsired, and the pressure is at the recommended level. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, get one while safety is on your mind.
7. Repair a Battered Deck
In most regions, temperatures are finally warm enough to comfortably work outdoors, but it’s still not quite backyard hangout season. If your deck needs routine maintenance or repairs, do them now. Start by checking deck boards for deterioration. Soft, spongy, or cracked boards should be replaced with new pressure-treated wood. Make sure that handrails and deck posts are secure: If they feel wobbly or appear rotted, repair or replace them.
8. Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades
When cutting the grass, dull mower blades are more than just an inconvenience: They increase mowing time and can harm your lawn. Dull blades tug at grass blades, leaving a lawn ragged and discolored, while sharp blades cut grass cleanly and neatly, resulting in a yard that looks lush and green. Sharpen your blades now so you can be prepared for peak lawn mowing season. You can sharpen lawn mower blades yourself, or pay a pro at your local home store or licensed mower dealer to do the job.
9. Level the Yard
Low spots in the yard can turn into a soggy mess after spring rains. Not only do these depressions lead to muddy, damaged portions of lawn, but they also encourage mosquitoes and other pests in the yard. Here’s how to level the yard: Fill large low spots by cutting pieces of sod away from the area with a spade. Set the pieces of turf aside and add topsoil, bringing it level with the rest of the yard. Replace the grass and water it to conceal your work.
10. Wash Windows
Whether you choose to use a store-bought or homemade window cleaning solution, improve your outlook by cleaning your windows inside and out. Apply cleaner with either a squeegee or a soft cloth. Remove and wash your window screens with mild detergent. Lay the screens on a dry surface (for example, a driveway) to air-dry before putting them back in.
RELATED: How To Clean Windows