Unless you live in Saskatchewan, Arizona, or Hawaii where they don’t observe Daylight Savings Time, you will spring ahead at 2am on Sunday, March 14, 2021. If you remember before you go to bed on Saturday night, turn your clocks and watches one hour ahead. If not, get to it on Sunday morning or you’ll be messed up all week until you fix the time.
Your cell phone and computer will probably automatically update. Smart, aren’t they?
It’s also time to drag out the car’s manual and figure out how to change the car’s clock. Don’t forget to change the time on your dash cam if you have one!
Turning the clocks ahead one hour is also a good time to remember to do some other important tasks around the house that can benefit your health and well being.
1. SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS
We hear the constant public health reminders from the fire department and on the evening news twice a year when we bounce back and forth from Standard to Daylight Savings Time: Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Generally this means pushing the “test” button on the alarm and waiting to see what happens. If it’s functioning normally it will go through a test pattern of beeps and voice commands (if your unit has that feature) lasting anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds. If nothing happens or the unit is malfunctioning and you have a built in 10 year battery, it’s time to purchase a new detector.
My 10 year battery on a combo smoke and carbon monoxide detector only lasted around 2 years, and the replacement Kidde sent me also lasted about 2 years, so don’t take the manufacturer’s word it’s good for many years. Press that test button. If the smoke detector uses AA or 9 volt batteries – replace them.
I decided to buy a battery operated smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors at the end of the summer, 2018. The last combo detector from Kidde that spoke to me, and was bilingual to boot, started setting off nuisance alarms. I wasn’t happy to get woken up to sound of loud beeps then “FIRE”, more loud beeps, then “FEU”. It meant checking the house and going outside for a look around to verify it was a false alarm.
2. CHECK FLASHLIGHT BATTERIES
And speaking of batteries, now’s the time to make sure you know where your flashlights are kept in the house, and flip the switch to see if they work. If not, you know what to do.
Memo to myself – buy batteries for my flashlights….
See that big flashlight on the right? I bought a big honking battery for it last year, and when my power went out in December – did it work? Nope. How annoying is that? I bought new flashlights a couple of days later, but I’ll be checking the batteries in them this weekend.
3. FLIP YOUR MATTRESS
Flipping your mattress also probably means you’re going to be washing bed linens that day. If you have a pillow top mattress, it can’t be flipped, so just rotate it. Flipping the mattress helps prevent divets from where you sleep and the coils wearing out sooner than expected. Most instructions call for mattress flipping to be a 2 person job, but there are lots of singles out there who presumably sleep on beds and will have to flip their mattress. The mattress can be a bit cumbersome, but you can do it! If you have a nightstand or bookcase headboard with any breakable items such as a lamp, move them into another room, or anywhere safe. If you have a ceiling fan or another light fixture, keep an eye on it. You might have to fold your mattress sort of in half while flipping to avoid costly electrical replacements. If the mattress comes with handles, you can use them, but it’s just as easy to grab the underside of the mattress. Pull it out a bit and push it up and over. Then straighten it out.
4. WASH YOUR WINDOW SILLS
Who remembers those commercials where the prospective house cleaner says “I don’t do windows.”
I’d wash windows any day over window sills.
Yup, one of those ugly jobs. Those window sills seems to gather a lot of dirt, dog hair, and dead insects. Maybe condensation is turning the sills moldy, in which case a bleach solution may be necessary. Use paper towels or a rag and wipe the sills down. Then get out the window cleaner and squirt it on the sills. And seeing as how you have the window cleaner out anyway, squirt in on your windows and clean them too. Depending on how big your house is, you may only want to tackle one room of windows at a time and take a week or so for this project.
5. CLEAN THE FRIDGE
Another not so fun job, but if you wipe up spills in the fridge as they happen, this shouldn’t be too bad. Pull items off one shelf at a time. If it’s turned into a fridge experiment or past the expiry date, throw it out. Wash each shelf. Pull out the vegetable bins and wash them in the sink. Wipe down the front of the fridge, and take the vacuum to the front grills that sit on the floor.
6. CHANGE THE FILTER ON YOUR FURNACE
(Disclosure: I’m an Amazon associate and if you click the Amazon link and purchase filters, I’ll receive a small commission for the referral.)
Although most of the companies who manufacture furnace filters say to change them every four months, that’s not necessary. Most furnaces probably aren’t running for the warmer months so the filter isn’t getting dirty. If you’re not sure, pull the filter out and look at it. If it’s black and full of dust and dirt, change it. Or if it’s a reusable filter, wash it out.
Do you have any tips to add to Daylight Savings Day? Please leave a comment!
This post was updated to The Lifestyle Digs on March 10, 2021