Spring forward and tackle a few quick chores

In the wee early hours of this coming Sunday morning, most of the US will spring forward an hour to begin Daylight Savings Time. This change in the clock is also a great time to take on a few quick spring chores.

  • Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. In addition to replacing their batteries and testing their alarms, be sure to also check the units’ expiration dates. For the safety of you and your family, you want to make sure all of these devices are functioning at their best. If you can’t find expiration dates on your alarms and detectors, replace them every 10 years.
  • Recycle batteries. Since you’ll be removing old batteries from all your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and replacing them with new ones, now is a terrific time to recycle all the old batteries you’ve collected over the past six months, too. If your regular recycling program doesn’t accept batteries, remember that every Best Buy in the US does. They also accept all kinds of old electronics and some appliances, so check out what services your local store offers and recycle some other clutter while you’re at it.
  • Turn on the water. If you shut off the water to all your exterior water faucets in the fall, now is a great time to turn those faucets back on for the spring. Now, if you live in the far north where you’re likely to have another hard freeze before spring finally sets in, you may want to wait on this one. For those of us who already have blooming flowers and budding trees, however, it’s a lot less risky to turn them on now. If you need to bring out water hoses, pull them out of storage, too.

What other chores do you like to do when the clocks spring forward an hour? Share your suggestions in the comments.

22 Comments for “Spring forward and tackle a few quick chores”

  1. posted by Tony on

    Don’t we lose an hour when we “spring forward” ? Why would we want to do more chores lol

  2. posted by Ed on

    Regular, non-rechargable batteries are actually not meant to be recycled. They are classified as non-hazardous waste and there is very little material that can be recovered from them.


    Other types of batteries (including rechargable) should be recycled.

  3. posted by Mattress Specialist on

    I love this time of year to spring clean – use the extra hour wisely.

  4. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Ed — Our county only takes Alkaline batteries in the trash. They insist on recycling of everything else. My assumption is, however, that most people don’t use Alkaline batteries any longer.

  5. posted by Egirlrocks on

    @Ed and @Erin — all alkaline and carbon zinc (heavy duty) batteries can and should be recycled. regardless of who classifies them as non-hazardous or solid waste. A company called Battery Solutions does recycle every bit of those batteries. This makes them a “zero waste” company. In fact, they built a steel building for themselves out of recovered materials. Find out more here: http://www.batteryrecycling.com/. Battery Solutions gets an A+ for their innovation and efforts!

  6. posted by Karen on

    I clean the oven when we mess with the clock.

    I also take stock of my gardening supplies, such as potting soil, seeds, and planters, as I know it’ll soon be time to get them ready for post-freeze planting of my container gardens.

    Lastly, though it’s too early to change over the closet to spring/summer wardrobe, I keep an eye out for appropriate boxes, shopping bags, etc. that I can stash in my and my family’s closets so we have a place to put items that we no longer fit in/want. Then once we’ve changed over the closets, we have donations ready for the next charity that calls.

  7. posted by DawnF on

    It’s a good time to flip the mattresses over.

    Our local Interstate Battery recycles all batteries ~ it’s a quick and easy drop-off.

  8. posted by chacha1 on

    Our university hazardous-waste collection wants batteries. Regardless of whether they can be recycled, they’re full of nasty stuff you don’t want leaching out of landfills.

    Spring forward = one less hour = fewer chores, not more! But the past couple of years we’ve actually been away from home at a competition on time-change weekend, so our biggest challenge is not staying up too late on Saturday.

  9. posted by Alix on

    I make a point of sleeping an extra hour to make up for the hour so rudely taken away!

  10. posted by Lindsey on

    Most people don’t use alkaline batteries anymore? Do you use rechargeable batteries for everything? (I’m asking sincerely as someone who does in fact use alkaline batteries in just about everything!).

  11. posted by Barbara on

    I also clean out the dryer vent

  12. posted by Mimi on

    outch, another clash of civilizations 😉 in germany, it´s forbidden to dump (any kinds!) of batteries. there is a law that forces every shop that sells batteries to take them back sothat they get recycled.
    @lindsey: i only use recharchable batteries. it´s so easy, just recharge them, no need to buy new ones (and collect and bring the old ones back). it´s earthfriendly without an effort.

  13. posted by Rally on

    I’m not totally clear on the reason why, but Arizona doesn’t have daylight savings time. However, it’s not a bad idea to take a look at things that could be recycled.

  14. posted by Laurie on

    @egirlrocks. Thanks for the great link!

  15. posted by momofthree on

    PLEASE….everyone reading this….right now….check your smoke alarms….

    my daughter’s boyfriend’s cousin’s daughter, not quite 2 is suffering from burns on 50% of her little body due to a house fire!

    She is progressing so well in terms of recovery, but all could have been prevented by checking on the smoke alarm.

    We test ours the 1st day of each month, when my hubby changes the furnace filter across the hall from it. carbon monoxide monitor is checked too each month!!

  16. posted by Lily on

    Oooh, I love the vintage-looking clock by Ikea. I have one at home and I see it everywhere, in ads, commercials, tv sets… 🙂

    Hey, I found a fantastic unitasker on an Italian site: a spoon batcher for cat food…

  17. posted by xarcady on

    Turn on the water? There’s nearly a foot of snow on the ground outside.

    Years ago, when DST didn’t start until the beginning of April, that would have been a useful tip. Now that it’s a month earlier, not so much.

    In fact, the whole “check the batteries in the smoke detectors” rule came about because DST lasted about 7 months. So checking the batteries after 7 months, and then again after 5 months made some sense–you were checking twice a year, at nearly 6 month intervals. Now, we spend 8 months, more or less, on DST and only 4 months off it, and the rule becomes less useful for things that should get done twice a year.

  18. posted by Joe T. on


    Alkalines leak. That’s one reason to give them up. Especially in things like flashlights you keep in bad environments like the car, and especially in seldom-used but valued devices.

    Rechargeable NiMHs don’t leak. Now they have LSD (low self discharge) NiMH batteries (like Sanyo Eneloops) that retain 85% of their charge for a year (as opposed to regular NiMHs that lose their charge in 30 days), which makes them a decent replacement for Alkalines. But you’d have to add a good charger like the $40 LaCrosse BC-700 that will gently charge them so they really will last for hundreds of charges.

    I’m about 50% switched to LSDs.

  19. posted by Rachel on

    Rechargeable batteries are great for a lot of things. But at least some of the types most commonly used will lose charge gradually when stored. So they’re not always the best bet when (1) the batteries are for things you NEED to have working, like flashlights, and (2) things that only get used once in a while or that don’t use a lot of battery power.

    Again, that situation might have improved with more recent rechargeable batteries and types of rechargeables. If so, I guess I need to get batches of that type of battery. 😉 In the meantime, I do use alkalines for flashlights and also for remote controls. (The latter seems less of an issue now. The former are so important that I don’t want to rely on unreliable rechargeables that might have lost all of their charge when an emergency comes around.)

  20. posted by Rachel on

    Ah, I posted at the same time as Joe, so I hadn’t read his post yet.

    While alkalines can leak, in my experience that’s quite rare – rare enough to make them more reliable than slowly but steadily dying rechargeable batteries.

    But I certainly agree that if there are better rechargeables that don’t lose charge as steadily as the batteries I still have, then rechargeables are a better bet.

  21. posted by J-Money on

    I seriously hope that you didn’t just jinx all of us with the comment about blooming flowers. Spring Cleaning actually sounds like a fun project this year. I might be coming down with something after that statement…

  22. posted by Jodi on

    A few days after reading this post, I realized our first aid kit should be restocked. I thought it might be a good thing to add to the list of things that could be done when the clocks change.

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