is still early enough in the season to choose how you will
Sweating the details. Standing in front of your house
and looking at your gutters, which now appear to be stuffed
with meat loaf; to the splintered tree branch that now forms
a squirrel bridge to your neighbors cable wiring; right down
to the bare lawn spots that didnt magically fill themselves
in during the winter solstice. This usually results in saying
something unpleasant and going back inside for another month.
Getting started now and by doing so admitting you know yourself,
you know you dont want to do it, you cant understand how
or why anyone would want to do it, but that doesnt change
the fact is has to be done.
A primary rule of doing stuff you cant stand: Do the
worst first and do it smart. For example, dont clean the
flowerbeds and then the gutters unless you really enjoy doing
things twice. Start at the top and work your way down.
cleaning the gutters, but while youre still scooting
down the side of the house, check for and reconnect any loose
downspout extensions. Resist duct-taping everything this
is the mark of an amateur and a universally understood symbol
for small children to stand in front of your house and laugh.
a note of all the parts you may need and get them all at once,
while the ladders still up and youre still not in the mood.
Otherwise youll have get the ladder back out later and do
it anyway, when youll be twice as not in the mood.
before you get off that ladder, check the window screens.
Your windows may be new enough to have the screens built in,
which makes things convenient but doesnt keep the screens
from tearing. This is the slow season for screen repair and
many Royal Oak homes depend on screens rather than air conditioning
to stay cool.
prune any dead branches. Stay away from branches that are
resting on power wires. Call Detroit Edison and let
them handle it.
Once back on terra firma, get a good crabgrass killer
(pre-emergent) and put it everywhere except the bare spots
of the lawn you just raked. If you do this, youll
have one of those great lawns everyone else will marvel at,
not realizing how easy it is to acquire. As for the bare spots,
those just require seed at the moment.
You can avoid a real expensive error by draining the gas
tanks of snow
now and adding stabilizers to any gas youll be storing over
the summer. Gas turns to a varnish if you dont drain or add
a stabilizer to it. Varnish doesnt act as a fuel, but it
does form a real nasty gunk that will cost you at least $40
an hour plus parts to have scoured from the engine.
Change the filters in your window air conditioners and
the big one, your furnace filter, particularly if you have
central air-conditioning. There are lots of new filters out
that remove allergens from the air, such as dust or mold.
Ask about the right type of filter for your equipment. And
speaking of, the last thing to do is turn off the furnace
humidifier for the season, drain it and remove the media