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<< Home Improvement Articles >>

Spring Chores at the Cabin

By Elly Kendall

Whether you live in your cabin year round or it's been closed up for the winter, it's time for spring cleaning. It's hard to get motivated. We'd all rather be out playing in the sun and enjoying the spring after the long cold winter. I thought I would share my "to do" list and some helpful tips to get you started so we can both get the chores done.

I like to start with my fireplace. Hiring a local chimney sweep is not always possible in very rural areas such as we live. I have a heavy 25' chain that works very well. From the roof I remove the spark arrester then slowly drop one end of the chain down the chimney, holding onto the other end. Slowly rotate the chain so it rubs firmly against the inside of the chimney. Keep swirling the chain for several minutes, pull out the chain, clean the spark arrester with a soft brush and replace the arrester. Keep in mind 2 things: 1. make sure the pitch of your roof is safe to stand on and 2. Your chimney must be straight with no elbows for this technique to work. If the pipe has an elbow use the chain technique then disconnect the pipe at the elbow to clean it with a wire brush and remove the ash and pitch. Reattach the pipe. All that's left is to clean the inside of the fireplace or wood stove, remove all the ash and pitch residue that has dropped from the chimney cleaning. I use oven cleaner, a Teflon scrubby then window cleaner on the heat tempered glass when the pitch has built up that awful amber film. My wood stove gets a new coat of black stove polish too.

Now that the fireplace and wood stove are clean and all the ash has settled I dust and vacuum the entire cabin thoroughly. I use lemon oil on my log walls and a small pan of water stays on my wood stove to put some moisture back into the dry air from wood heat. Next I tackle the windows.

Okay, so everyone knows how to clean the windows but don't forget the window runners, check for any leaking that may have occurred during the winter and clean all the window treatments. Drapes, curtains, louvered blinds, cornices, screens and sunscreens all get a thorough cleaning. It's a good days work just on windows but it's worth it as I love to open my blinds and enjoy the beautiful spring sunshine and blooming flowers.

Something I always do as part of my spring cleaning is bug control. Our local feed store sells a battery operated fly spray dispenser. Every spring and fall I change batteries and replace the canister as needed. We still have open range in parts of Arizona and when the cattle come in they bring flies right along with them. I have found the fly spray dispenser helps a great deal and it has a fresh scent as well. I have one by my front door and one by the back door which helps keep them out of my cabin. Spraying pest spray inside and out is a must. Hire a pest control company or do it yourself but do spray.

A very important part of my spring chores is outside! All dry material is hauled to the dump. Keeping weeds, leaves, pine needles and grasses under control is very important to help keep your cabin safer against forest fires and helps keep snakes and small varmints away from the cabin too. We also keep trees away from the cabin for the same reason. This is also a good time to check all the fire extinguishers and have them recharged if necessary. Make sure your garden hose is in good shape and attached to the outside spigot. Yes, I am forest fire paranoid! I have a log home with all wood heat in the middle of the forest; fire safety is always on my mind.

My husband doesn't get out of spring chores either. Tuning up the chain saw, boat and quads are on his list as well as outside furniture cleaning and the grill but I keep finding him admiring his fishing poles. "Don't let spring fever sidetrack your chores, get the work out of the way!" As I throw out my dusting cloth and bait up my hook ready for friends and family to enjoy spring at our cabin.

Elly Kendall resides in Arizona and writes for Log Cabin Fever Gifts & Decor Stop by to enter our Free Gift Drawing! You are welcome to share this article as long as you keep it intact and include the resource box and credits. You are welcome to link to our site.

Copyright © 2005 Log Cabin Fever Gifts - All Rights Reserved.

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About the Author
MSM is a Practicing Planning Agent & building design team offering Architectural Services to their clients specialising in residential development.  The views & opinions expressed here are personal ones based on relevant life experiences.  These views & opinions are not intended to be actioned or copied by others.

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