8 things to do before daylight saving time begins
Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on March 13, 2022, in most of the United States, which means most residents will see their local time “advance” one hour. This change means later sunsets but at the cost of a lost hour of sleep.
The whole concept of daylight saving time has become controversial, with many states pushing to make it permanent and thus eliminate the biannual time change. But as long as this is observed, it can be more than just an annoying nudge to fix those clocks that won’t adjust themselves. You can use this weekend when the clocks change to get you going in another way.
Here’s a list of things you should consider taking care of at the same time (or just before) you set your clocks.
1. Flip or rotate your mattresses
Who doesn’t dream of better sleep, especially when you lose an hour of it? Surprisingly, many mattresses don’t need to be flipped twice a year, as consumers said. Rotating it may be enough.
Do some research on the type of mattress you have – only certain spring mattresses should be flipped while others from certain major brands should be left right side up. Many people now own foam mattresses, and many of these companies recommend rotating your mattress 180 degrees every three to six months. Pleasant dreams.
2. Wash your pillows
And while we’re on the subject of sleep, what about those fluffy pillows? You should wash them about every six months or so, making the time change a good reminder.
Consumer Reports notes that it’s okay to just throw down and polyester pillows in your washing machine and then in your dryer, though foam pillows may need to be hand washed.
3. Check those batteries
The National Fire Protection Association encourages people to associate daylight saving time with changing batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
It’s a smart way to ensure these lifesaving alarms always have fresh batteries, but you don’t have to throw away the old ones. If they still have life, take the old batteries and put them in a remote control or a child’s toy, anything for which a dead battery does not mean a possible household disaster.
4. Prepare your grill
If you have an outdoor grill and may not have used it much during the winter months, now is the time to shine it. Check the propane level, if your grill uses this fuel. And clean the grates well. You’ll be cooking out soon enough and you don’t want that old rawness from barbecues past flavoring your burgers and steaks.
5. Prepare your seasonal clothes
Of course, Floridians and people in other warm regions can wear the same wardrobe year-round. But for many of us, summer time also kicks in when we start daydreaming about putting away the parkas and getting out lighter items.
Raised in Minnesota, I know you should never stash all winter gear this early in the year, but now is a good time to browse through that box of winter accessories and throw away the mismatched gloves, the boots that don’t fit me anymore, and maybe put away the ski boots or ice skates for a few seasons. Shorts and swimsuits, you’re on deck.
6. Reverse your ceiling fans
It was new to me. If you have a ceiling fan and it has a direction switch, daylight saving time is a good time to reverse it.
In the spring and summer, you want your fan to spin counterclockwise, pushing cooler air downward and creating a “wind chill” effect that cools a room without lowering the thermostat. In the fall and winter, fans generally need to spin clockwise at low speed, to pull cool air up and push warm air down along the walls to the floor , which makes a room warmer.
7. Restock Your Warehouse-Store Staples
Full disclosure: I’m a big fan of the Costco warehouse store. And while I like to buy some basics in bulk, I really don’t need to refresh them more than twice a year – I don’t run a daycare here.
Items I buy twice a year at Costco include trash bags, paper towels, melatonin gummies, and laundry and dishwasher detergent, though your mileage may vary. Costco sells these products in such large quantities that I find that one purchase every six months is usually enough for me.
8. Clean your chimney
We love to burn log fires in the elegant fireplace of our 1931 Tudor home. We lightly clean it as we go, but after a solid winter months of near-night fires, it’s time to really dig in to deep cleaning.
The Home Depot offers tips on how to deep clean not just a wood-burning fireplace, but gas and electric fireplaces as well. Your fireplace will look better and be ready for next winter’s slate of crackling fires.
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