Spring is here in most places around the country, and that means that summer isn't far behind. Instead of leaving all of the work until the sunny days of summer, there's a lot that can be done in the meantime to get ready for outdoor living. Here are some tips for preparing your home and garden before the sun and balmy weather start to beckon you.
- Declutter: While it's still a little too cold to hang around outside, take time to clear away all that extra stuff. Cycle out clothes, toys, linens and other household items that are worn out or no longer in use. Donate anything that's in decent shape to your favorite local thrift store and try not to do any shopping while you're making the drop off.
- Windows: Get ready for the bright summer sun by cleaning the cobwebs and dirt from your windows. Wash screens and blinds, and replace or repair any that need it. While you're at it, wash the curtains, too.
- Kitchen: Spring is a good time to thoroughly clean and organize your kitchen to get ready for summer cooking. Clear the fridge of old food, and scrub it down thoroughly, making way for the summer's in-season fruits and vegetables. Organize and wipe down cabinets and drawers. Toss out expired food and donate unnecessary canned goods to your local food bank.
- Bedrooms: Time to put away the heavy blankets and down comforters. Replace winter linens with lighter ones for spring and summer. Wash the sheets and pillows taking care to follow instructions.
- Walls: Spring is a great time for painting projects; it's not swelteringly hot yet, but it's typically warm enough to crack the windows. Tackle any rooms that need a fresh coat or that you've been meaning to give a color makeover. Whether you paint or not, wash all the walls and moulding to make your home really fresh.
- Outdoor Grilling: Pull out the barbecue (if you ever put it away), and give it a thorough cleaning in anticipation of summer cooking. Clean and organize outdoor grilling utensils too, and replace any damaged or rusty ones. Fill propane tanks, and you'll be all set for Memorial Day weekend.
- Garage: Put away the sleds and ice skates, and arrange the garage so the inner tubes, paddleboards, and other summer gear is within reach. Check each item's condition and repair or replace any duds. If you own more expensive equipment, like a snowmobile, follow the manufacturer's instructions for long-term storage.
- Garden: Prune bushes and trees that have become unruly over the past six months. Check your sprinkler system to be sure it's in good working order and that the timing is on target. Look for any damaged gutters and make sure they are free of blockages. Clear weeds and dead plant matter from flower beds and landscaping. Fertilize and aerate your lawn in the spring to get lush, green grass all summer long.
- Air: Dust and clean both ceiling and standalone fans. Switch your ceiling fan direction to counterclockwise to maximize cool air flow. Replace the filter in your air conditioner and check the hoses and coils for any damage before turning it on to see how it's running.
- Patio: Dig the patio furniture out of storage and give it a good scrub down before inviting any guests to your home. Be sure to use appropriate cleaning agents for wicker, metal, glass or cloth. Pressure wash the driveway, deck and any other outdoor surfaces that can withstand the load.
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