While the weather may still seem a bit unpredictable, spring is officially here. After a wild, wet winter – and a bizarre extra hibernation due to the coronavirus, it’s time to rejuvenate ourselves – and our homes!
It’s time for Spring Cleaning!
For some in Grays Harbor that means a free trip to the dump. To see if your city is included in those that offer such a time, check out the list at the end of the column.
Spring weather is notoriously capricious so today we are supplying you with this list of inside chores you can do to keep up your forward momentum in between mowing the yard and dealing with other outside concerns. So, when a squall hits, start knocking off a few of these!
INSIDE TO-DO LIST
Wash the inside of the windows. Even if you wait until later to wash the outside of the windows, you could be surprised what a difference just shining up the inside of the windows makes.
Dust around the window frame and the blinds. Clean out the window tracks where mold, dust and dead bugs accumulate.
Open windows and doors for a few hours. This takes the stale smell away and lets out trapped moisture. Also, the extra light and fresh air help kill spores – Pick a time without extreme lows or rain, of course!
Pull all appliances away from their footprint. Move your stove, refrigerator, freezer, washer and dryer. Then, thoroughly sweep and wet mop behind and under where each appliance gathers lint, toys and food that attracts insects and vermin.
Dust the coils of the refrigerator. Then replace the back cardboard covering the dusty motor to maintain the proper ventilation for the appliance. Also, take the vent off the front of the refrigerator and wash it.
Clean your dryer. Vacuum all the extra lint in and around your clothes dryer, including the exhaust tube and the outside at the flapper vent. A stuck flapper allows critters to nest in your dryer. And with spring here, the last thing you want is a nest of mice with easy access to your house!
Clean or replace the furnace filter. Blow out each Cadet wall heater and vacuum. Then wipe-down each baseboard. Ask yourself if you are ready for a super-efficient ductless heat pump. Note to self: Call local PUD to ask about rebates.
Tidy garages, out buildings. Now is the time to begin tidying up your garages and sheds. That way when the nice weather comes, you won’t be stuck inside doing that and you will know where all your tools and supplies are to begin your outside gardening and DIY-projects.
Establish piles to give away, throw away. This is a great time to designate what needs to be put away, fixed, thrown away, given away or sold.
Plan large home maintenance projects. Plan roofing, major repairs, painting exterior, ductless heat pump installation, etc. – around a written scope of work. Contact contractors ASAP to get the apples-to-apples bidding done. That way you will be in your successful, licensed and bonded contractor’s schedule before the busy construction season starts.
Have specific, written contracts. Bigger projects go more smoothly when your written contract, including your final scope of work, states how much it will cost including tax and permits, and has start and end dates. It should also contain clauses about labor-material cost of change-orders and how the contractor will get the final payment after all work needing permits is inspected and after you have a written, unconditional lien waiver in your hand.
Reminder of Spring Cleanup dates
As promised, we’re going to briefly review the Spring Cleanup dates offered to those living in certain municipalities in the county.
The following have either a free trip to the LeMay Transfer Station at 29 Gavett Lane N., Montesano, or an opportunity to bring refuse to large containers placed in their city.
— For Aberdeen residents — Your time is now! During the month of April you can bring one load to the transfer station free of charge. Just present the yellow voucher sent to you from the City for a one-ton, one- load limit.
A maximum of four car tires (and no truck tires) can be included, as well as one refrigerator or freezer. No cement, medical waste, asbestos, ammunition or explosives will be accepted.
(In Hoquiam, the Cleanup days have already passed).
— McCleary — On April 24, large containers will be set up in the City of McCleary for residents to use for a free Spring Cleanup day.
— Westport — From May 1-31, residents of Westport have Spring Cleanup. During this time, they can have a free trip to the transfer station for one car or truck load up to one ton. Regular household garbage and hazardous waste are not allowed. Up to four small tires can be disposed of. Charges apply for refrigerators, freezers and large tires.
— Cosmopolis — A free trip to the dump for a pick-up load or small trailer size of truck bed is available to residents from June 14-19. Contact City Hall for more information, including how to pick up a voucher.
The Spring Cleanup hours for those with vouchers are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. (That is, they end an hour before normal transfer station hours.)
Each city has a little different arrangement with LeMay Grays Harbor, explained Tracy Elders, LeMay Grays Harbor office manager, so make sure to read about your area and call your City Hall if you have additional questions.
Items such as glass, newspaper and cardboard, can be recycled free of charge at the new transfer station.
Also, to e-cycle televisions, computers monitors and towers, drop them off during normal hours at the transfer station. If you need help unloading the e-cycle items, come to the facility between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on a Tuesday.
Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is executive director. This is a nonprofit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County. For questions about the ductless heat pump program or home repair, housing counseling for renters and landlords, homebuyer education and buying, call 360-533-7828, listen to the extension picks that will best help you and leave a callback name and number. Due to Covid-19, our office is not currently open for a visit, but we will call you back.