The List Maker’s Spring Checklist

Not everybody is like me. My wife would tell you that she thanks God every day for that fact. But I’m a list maker and prefer to make detailed outlines of what I need to do today, tomorrow, next week, next month and so on.

She, on the other hand, usually relies on her memory or some random notes jotted down on a scrap of paper. Personally, I couldn’t live like that.

Like I said, I’m a list maker and I like to plan ahead. God has a sense of humor and allows me to make plans like I’m somehow in control — and then He goes ahead and does what’s best for me despite myself. But making lists helps me feel more at ease.

To keep things flowing smoothly around the house and property I have seasonal checklists. As we prepare to enter each of the four seasons I search out my appropriate checklist and work my way down it making sure our home, equipment and land is ready for what’s to come.

Getting your gardening equipment ready to go before it’s needed saves valuable time when preparing beds and planting. Versatile Garden Seeder, at and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Having the tiller tuned up and full of fresh gasoline in the spring makes prepping the garden a much more enjoyable experience when the soil is ready. Making sure to clean the tiller and empty or treat the remaining gasoline come fall is even more important when the next growing season arrives. The same holds true for the wood furnace and gutters, or our cars and trucks and other gasoline engines. If you own livestock, there’s some obvious benefit from preparing shelters and water sources long before the first snow flies.

To that end, here’s the spring checklist I rely on to be ready when the April showers eventually bring May flowers (and lots of grass to be mowed and trimmed, and garden to be planted, and so on). My list, as well as a few items I’ve added which may not apply to my situation, is broken down in the categories of: home indoor and outdoor, yard and garden, garage and equipment.

Here it is:

Home (Outdoors)

  1. Wash windows and check storm windows
  2. Remove storm windows and install screens (we have old wooden exterior doors with seasonal window/screen panels)
  3. Clean debris from gutters and downspouts
  4. Clean leaves from around central air unit
  5. Hook up garden hoses and check for leaks
  6. Clean and install window air conditioning units (if applicable)
  7. Check exterior for peeling paint, loose shingles
  8. Treat yard around house for ants
  9. Top off wood supply for next winter
It’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s firewood supply. Log Rack Bracket Set, at and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Home (Indoors)

  1. Wash windows
  2. Replace central air filters
  3. Shut down humidifier
  4. General spring cleaning of rooms
  5. Turn on water supply to any outside hydrants shut off in fall
  6. Clean ashes from wood furnace/stove, wipe down interior of fire box with oily rag, brush chimney
When it comes to indoor AND outdoor cleaning, hauling and storing, there’s none tougher than The Black Bucket. Holds 4 1/2 gallons. At and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Yard and Garden:

  1. Remove leftover leaves from yard
  2. Aerate lawn, fertilize and feed
  3. Clean driveway culvert
  4. Fill cracks and reseal asphalt driveway (if applicable)
  5. Check trees and shrubs for winter damage, trim and fertilize (as applicable)
  6. Prune fruit trees
  7. Check fences and foundations for any freeze/thaw heaving
  8. Inventory and repair tomato cages, bean poles, etc.
  9. Sharpen shovels, spades, pruning shears and replace handles if needed
  10. Test garden soil, good time to add compost and turn in with soil
It’s an easy way to mix your compost bin! Compost needs oxygen, and this lightweight crank does the job. Each has a stainless steel spiral end, so material sticks to it as you lift for thorough mixing. Compost Crank Twist, at and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Garage and Equipment:

  1. Spring clean garage and storage buildings (I tend to clutter in winter months when it’s too cold to work in unheated buildings comfortably. I do what I must and go back in the house)
  2. Check supplies of oil, windshield washer fluid, etc.
  3. Empty or treat gasoline in generator
  4. Empty or treat gasoline in chainsaw, clean and sharpen before storage. Might need it for a downed limb in summer.
  5. Replace spark plug, change oil, grease, sharpen blades on lawn mowers (if not done in fall before storing for winter)
  6. Clean debris from below deck and around belts, check and replace belts if needed on lawn mowers
  7. Replace spark plug, change oil, grease and sharpen tines on tiller (if not done in fall before storing for winter)
  8. Check and lube or repair controls on all outdoor equipment
  9. Empty or treat gasoline in snowblower, wash off before storage
  10. Clean snow shovels and coat with light oil before storage
  11. Wash undercarriage of vehicles to remove salt residue
  12. Check windshield washer fluid and other fluids, including coolant in vehicles.

Looking at the entire list can seem overwhelming, but I start tending to spring checklist items in early March and usually don’t finish until late April. I go the extra step of noting the items as “dry day” or “any day” tasks. That way if we have a rainy day, which Spring is known for, I can simply look down the list and find an “any day” task to do inside the house or outbuildings.

In the good book, the Bible, the very wise King Solomon said it like this in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven.” While I’m no authority on such matters, I’d suspect that Solomon also made “to do” lists.

Editor’s Note: First published in March 2011.

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Melanie White
Melanie White
12 years ago

Love this!! Would also *love* to see the other seasonal checklists. I’m a list maker, too, but I’ve only done them as daily or project related. It never occurred to me to have seasonal lists! This is a fantastic idea!

Maryanne Dunmire
Maryanne Dunmire
12 years ago

I, too, am a list-maker. The bigger the project, the more detailed the task list. This one’s a great start.

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