As we swing into spring, we’ve got a few things on our mind: Picnics! Baseball! Flowers!

Well, and spring cleaning. (Sorry to bring you down, but you’ll feel so good after!) Which means it’s also the perfect time to consider early spring maintenance around your home. Here are 9 areas — inside and out — that could use some TLC this spring.

Spring maintenance areas to tackle: up high

1. Clean out gutters 

You might think that blocked gutters will just cause a temporary waterfall, but the damage can be far more insidious. A clogged gutter can harm your home’s siding, foundation, and landscaping when water routinely cascades over the side, drips, and then pools on the ground below, instead of draining properly. In addition to cleaning your gutters, you may need to install new hardware, since gutters that are clogged with debris will also sag and pull away from your siding.

2. Check the downspouts

While you’re maintaining your gutter system, double-check that downspouts are angled away from the foundation. You may even want to attach extensions so they drain farther away from your foundation.

3. Inspect your roof for damage 

High winds or excessive rain or snow can damage your shingles. And a leaky roof can not only cause ongoing damage to the home, but can also offer the perfect conditions for mold to grow. Don’t feel great about heading up on the roof, or not sure what you’re looking for? It might be wise — and safer — to enlist a professional roofer.

Spring maintenance area to tackle: outside

4. Gear up your garden

If you’re like us, you can’t wait for your first crocus or tulip to pop up. But make sure it has room by tending to your beds and cleaning up the broken branches, leaves, and other debris that’s hanging around.

Now’s also a great time to dethatch your lawn. You can tell if your lawn needs it by checking to see if it’s soft and spongy or has dry spots. Another telltale sign is when you see that only the very top of the grass is green and the rest is brown.

Check out:  Give Your Car the Love It Deserves: DIY Detailing in 9 Steps

5. Scrub your driveway and sidewalks

You would think that all the water most of us have had this winter would naturally clean our outdoor areas, but, nooo. Add a little elbow grease to make your driveway and sidewalks look almost like new.

6. Maintain your deck 

Some decks can be professionally power washed, but others need a more delicate touch to maintain them. Either way, make sure you have an expert check for and fix rotted or lifting boards so you can enjoy dining al fresco as soon as possible.

Spring maintenance area to tackle: inside

7. Lighten up 

Ditch the winter blues by thinking seasonally with your accessories. Try brightly colored pillows and lampshades, or install lighter sheers at your windows. And stow away those cozy blankets. You might even consider updating your artwork and your interior paint to make the inside look as fresh as the sun outside.

8. Wash all your bedding

Nothing says spring like putting away the flannel sheets, electric blankets, and woolen quilts. Check the tags on your comforter and pillows to see how best to keep them clean and cozy for next winter (who knew flannel sheets needed to be washed separately?). And then wash all your lighter bedding — yes, mattress covers and pillows too — so they’re fresh and ready for spring.

9. Fling open the windows

Sick of a closed-up home? Us too! There’s nothing like a clean, fresh breeze to truly air out your home and get it ready to swing into spring. Let the sunshine in!

Could your insurance policy use a spring check-up too? Find out with a free quote today.

DIY hacks | Home and garden

about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she's not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.