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Spring is in the air, at least it is every once in a while here in Michigan.  The calendar says spring and we've had a few nice days, though once again, the jet stream by and large has not been in our favor.  Still, it will come, and regardless of where you are, here are twelve things to do that will help you get ready for spring and the summer ahead!

Wash your winter gear

Winter coats and such can hopefully start getting washed so that they're ready for next year when that time comes.

Pack away your winter stuff

Now that you've got your stuff washed, you can start packing it away.  Keep things together so that next year when you're searching for stuff, it's all in one place.  If you know that kids stuff won't fit, make a calendar note so that you remember to get replacement gear when it hits the shelves next year.

Unpack your spring stuff

At least in our house, we don't have enough dresser drawers to keep the cold and warm weather stuff, plus who wants to see all the winter stuff all year anyways!  So, now is the time to start getting out the spring stuff and start putting away the winter stuff.  You might want to leave a few things out as the cold doesn't always let go as quickly as we'd like.

Do some light spring cleaning

Now's the time to get things ready inside the house.  While full ‘spring cleaning' is never a bad idea, it can be a daunting task that many don't have time for. Regardless, take on some of the key things like dusting blinds, cleaning the inside windowpanes, and dusting off your ceiling fans.

Cleaning leaves from last fall

Moving outside now, there are certainly going to be leaves laying around no matter how dilligent you were with raking and such last fall.  In our case, we get a big pile that accumulates under the deck that I need to get rid of.

Fertilize the lawn

Now is the time to get the first coat of fertilizer down, and this is a key application, as it contains crabgrass prevention.  See, there's no easy way to kill crabgrass, so instead you have to suppress it before it grows.

Store your winter tools and get out your spring tools

Snow shovels and such can likely be put away.  Any power equipment, such as snow blowers, should be inspected and stored according to their recommendations.  Some manuals, for example, will tell you that it's no problem to leave gas in the tank (as long as you add a stabilizer), but others will instruct you to drain the tank.   Now's also the time to start getting out your yard tools and make note if any need to be replaced or worked on.

Check your mower

If you have a lawn mower, now's the time to check it out to make sure if it works.  Even though mowing isn't for another few weeks, I'd rather know now and have the opportunity to get it repaired than find out the bad news once the grass is growing in earnest.

Get your bikes ready for riding

We hang our bikes from the ceiling during winter, so now is the time to get them down, check the tire pressure, brakes, and gears, and make any adjustments or repairs.

Clean out your cars

We put winter mats in the cars.  It's a great time to take them out, clean them off, and get rid of the winter grime.  For us, that will mean getting out the shop vac as the carpets have a lot of salt build up that will need to be wet down and sucked dry.

mb-2015-04-grillGet your grill ready

Everybody loves the smell of a summer burger cooking on the grill, right?  This is the perfect time to get that grill ready.  Clean off your grates, and if you have a gas grill, check all your connections and your gas lines.  In years past we have had spiders hang out in the gas lines (apparently spiders love the smell of propane).  Their webs disrupt the flow of gas.  This meant that we had uneven heat, which makes for harder cooking.

Mulch your beds and turn over your planting dirt

We will have to get some mulch and spread it around the bushes.  It's been a couple of years.  Two years is about how long it lasts for us.  It's also a good time to start working up the soil of any beds where you'll plan on planting flowers or vegetables.

I hope that you're enjoying spring wherever you happen to be.

Readers, what steps have you taken or plan on taking to get ready for the spring and summer months ahead?