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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
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 &
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