Spring is a time for renewal. The weather begins to ease up. Birds start chirping again. Leaves begin to sprout on the trees. It's the perfect time to do a bit of spring cleaning. Dust off the winter doldrums and breathe new life into your San Antonio home. While some things seem obvious for your spring cleaning ritual (bye-bye ill-fitting clothes you never wear), others might not appear to be as obvious. Here are a few things you really should concentrate on when performing your spring cleaning tasks.

Spring Cleaning Your San Antonio Home

Inside Your San Antonio Home

Spring Cleaning Your San Antonio Home - Search homes for sale in the San Antonio areaOf course, a good deep cleaning should be a top priority. That means getting behind the refrigerator to vacuum out the coils. Move the fridge to clean underneath it as well. Run a rag over your dusty ceiling fans. Scrub the windows until they shine. Remove everything from your cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer. Get rid of all expired food. Then wipe down the inside of each before returning the "good" food back inside. Go through all of your closets (including linen closets). Make a pile of the clothing and linens you never use anymore. If they're in good condition, consider donating them. Same goes for the old toys your children don't play with anymore.

Now would be the opportune time to change out your air conditioner filters, too. As the weather begins to warm up, you'll be using your air conditioner more and more. During heavy usage periods, replace your filters once a month. This keeps the air conditioner running efficiently. Make sure to wipe down the vents, too. While you're at it, replace the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check any fire extinguishers you have in the house to make sure they haven't expired yet as well.

Outside Your San Antonio Home

Your lawn just experienced a long winter's nap. Time to wake it up. Fertilize it well. If you see patchy spots, add a turf builder to those areas. Make sure you clear the area of any dead leaves and weeds first. Your local gardening center should be able to answer any questions you may have and offer advice on the best products to use.

Give the outside of your home a good power washing. That includes the siding, sidewalks, and driveway. Clean off your patio furniture so it's ready to use when you start those backyard barbecues. And, speaking of barbecuing, time to scrub the grill. Just heat it up for a few minutes to loosen up anything stuck to it. Let it cool off before tackling the grate, drip tray or burners.

Miscellaneous Spring Cleaning Tasks

Now, once you deep clean your property, it's time to clear out the other items that might be cluttering up your life. Like that Netflix or Hulu membership. Do you use it enough to justify the expense? If not, get rid of it. Still having magazines delivered to your door that you never seem to find the time to read? Cancel your subscription. Same thing goes for any other monthly subscriptions you never use.

Next, go through your bills. Read each utility, cell phone, and credit card bill carefully. You'd be surprised at how often companies overcharge you without you knowing. See if you can get a better rate. Many utility companies offer lower rates when you bundle services (phone, internet, and cable). Same goes for your insurance company. See if you can combine your car insurance and homeowners or renters insurance under one company to save a few bucks.

Finally, conduct a home energy audit. CPS Energy offers a free energy assessment for all of their customers, whether you own or rent your San Antonio home. Or you can conduct an audit yourself. Look for air leaks around your windows and doors. Check the insulation in the attic. Make sure appliances are well ventilated. Energy.gov provides an excellent energy audit checklist for anyone interested in going the DIY route.

Make spring cleaning your San Antonio home a priority. Take your time. Tackle one task before you go on to another so you don't feel overwhelmed. You might even discover a problem in its early stages, which could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Good luck.

LUX Move Up* by Christine Aldrete Banks, CRS, SRS, RSPS