Bob Vila's 10 "Must Do" Projects for March

With February behind us, we know that spring will soon be here—despite recent freezing temperatures and the ongoing forecasts of snow. Whether it comes in like a lamb or lion, March is a month of transitions. It’s also a good month to bring some order and organization to your home (and life), and to refresh the house after it's been closed tight for winter. There’s yard prep to think about as well, from taking the first steps towards your best lawn yet to readying the deck and outdoor furniture for the balmier months ahead.

  1. Get a Jump on Spring Cleaning

    Get a Jump on Spring Cleaning

    This is the time to clean areas of the house that often go neglected. Dust or vacuum chair rails, window casings, tops of wall-mounted cabinets, and ceiling fans. Launder or dry-clean fabric draperies and use a damp cloth to clean wood and vinyl blinds. Removing dust, mites, and allergens will make for a cleaner and healthier home.

    Related: How To—Clean EVERYTHING

  2. Organize a Closet

    Organize a Closet

    Clean up your act storage-wise by organizing a closet or two. Big-box stores and specialty shops offer storage options that run the gamut from strictly functional wire systems to highly decorative cabinetry. The time spent creating order can yield abundant daily and long-term benefits.  

    Related: Top 10 Clutter Hot Spots—and Quick Tips for Tackling Them

    Lowe's Creative Home Ideas

  3. Plant Some Seeds

    Plant Some Seeds

    Get a jump on your garden by starting seeds indoors. There are plenty of seed-starting kits out there, but almost any flat, shallow container will do. Sow the seeds according to the packet directions, position them in a sunny location, and water frequently. Before long, your seeds will become seedlings eager to move outdoors.

    Related: Starting Tomatoes from Seeds


  4. Give Something a Makeover

    Give Something a Makeover

    There’s nothing easier or more rewarding than applying a fresh coat of paint, but don't just stop at the walls. You can use paint to give new life to just about anything—furniture, kitchen cabinets, even a lackluster stairway.

    Related: Walk on the Wild Side—14 Amazing Painted Floors

    Megan Tucker from Estuary Designs

  5. Lawn Prep

    Lawn Prep

    Rake the lawn to remove any branches, debris, and leaves that you might have missed in the fall; if left, they can suffocate the grass beneath. Even if you can’t see weeds, they are more than likely waiting for optimal conditions to propagate. If you want to prevent them from germinating, consider an organic herbicide; fertilizers are better suited to the fall.

  6. Take a Walk About

    Take a Walk About

    Spring cleaning is by no means confined to the indoors. Take a walk around the exterior of your house to evaluate the condition of your home’s roofing, siding, and foundation. Snow, ice, and fluctuating temperatures can take their toll on your home's exterior. Also, check to see if weatherstripping and caulk have remained intact. Making sure your house is still tightly sealed will help keep your cooling costs down this summer.

  7. Refresh Lawn Furniture

    Refresh Lawn Furniture

    If you stored your lawn furniture for the winter, bring it outdoors and give it a rinse with the hose or wash it with a mild detergent. For metal furniture, check for signs of rust or paint erosion; a simple remedy with spray enamel will prevent further damage from sun, rain, and humidity in the months ahead.

    Related: Care and Repair of Outdoor Furniture

  8. Clean Windows

    Clean 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. If screens were on all winter, remove them and clean with mild detergent. Lay them on a dry surface (for example, a driveway) to air-dry before putting them back in.

    Related: How To Clean Windows

  9. Spring Forward

    Spring Forward

    Daylight saving time begins this month, so observe the occasion by changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have a fire extinguisher, check to make sure it is accessible and operational—in other words, make sure the pressure is at the recommended level. If you don't have a fire extinguisher, get one.

    Related: Smoke Detectors for the Design Set

  10. Prep the Deck

    Prep the Deck

    If you have a deck or patio, give it a good sweep and check for any minor issues in need of repair. You can remove a year’s worth of grime and mildew in minutes with a pressure washer and an oxygen-based bleach solution. If your deck finish is faded or worn, revive it with stain and a top sealer.

    Related: Planning Guide—Wood Decks

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