With its ice, snow, and unfriendly weather, January may seem like down time for home maintenance. Who wants to take care of the house when it’s freezing outside? But January is actually prime time for projects: you’ve been stuck inside for weeks, and your home is showing signs of terminal messiness. Break clutter’s hold on your home by getting a jump on spring cleaning now. By tackling one or two key projects a week, you’ll ensure that you’re not stuck inside straightening up when it’s finally warm out.

Here is a list of tasks that will really give your home a fresh start in the new year:

  • Holiday decorations: organize, pack & put away
  • Kitchen cabinets: clean & polish
  • Fridge: vacuum behind & clean coils
  • Stove & oven: clean
  • Electric: clean circuit breakers
  • Fire extinguisher: place near kitchen, check charge
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: inspect, clean and test  (January is a good time to replace the batteries in all your detectors.)
  • Plumbing: clean main water line shutoff valve exterior
  • HVAC: vacuum & dust
  • Garbage disposal: crush ice (sharpens), baking soda & citrus fruit rinds (freshens)
  • Range hood fan: check & clean

So if you haven’t started your January maintenance tasks yet, now’s the time to get going. What items are still on your list?