Don’t worry, they’re all doable in an afternoon.
Ah, summertime and the living is easy. Warm weather brings a less hectic schedule and longer days, but it also brings its fair share of home maintenance. While spring and fall are the traditional seasons for big deep cleanings and seasonal switches, there are some cleaning and organizing projects you should consider tackling leading up to the lazy days of summer. Here’s a list of ten quick tasks that will make your summer run smoothly.
Edit the paper pile-up
If you have school-aged kids in the house, then you know that excess papers can build up around the house quickly. “During the first few days after school is over, go through all the schoolwork that returned home and toss whatever isn’t worth keeping,” says Danna Bitton, co-founder of Organize Dwell, a home organizing service in Miami, Florida. “You don’t want it to pile up all summer long,” adds her co-founder and sister-in-law Shira Rom Bitton.
Of course, excess papers don't only come from kids, so make sure to edit down any extra bills, receipts, or other paperwork you don't need while you're doing the sweep.
Prep your ride
“A quick car clean-out only takes about 15-minutes and will make a world of difference,” says Shira Gill, author of the books Minimalista and Organized Living. “Make sure your trunk is stocked with roadtrip emergency supplies, including oil and water, and grab-and-go essentials like sunscreen, hand sanitizer, tissues, and sunglasses,” she says. Gill swears by these leakproof hanging car trash bags “to prevent your car looking like a dumpster fire” and a trunk organizer (similar to this one) to corral summertime essentials.
Wash your warm weather gear
To prepare for summer fun, go through your beach and pool gear and wash everything: beach chairs, coolers, goggles, and sand toys. While you're refreshing them, the Bittons both suggest making note of anything that needs to be replaced.
Create a central spot for sunscreen
When summer hits, you’ll want to stock up on sunscreen (and throw away anything that may be expired), but the team from Organized Dwell says the real key to avoiding a burn is to dedicate an organizational bin to the sunscreen bottles and keep it in an obvious spot. This way, you'll know exactly where the sunscreen is when you need it.
Edit your sports equipment
“Summer is a great time to reevaluate which sports, hobbies, and activities you actually enjoy and practice, so you can clear out the bulky gear you haven't touched in years,” says Gill. Ask yourself, Do I actually still scuba dive? Is my camping gear coated in dust? Clean off the items you plan to use this summer and consider donating the rest. Remember, says Gil, you can always rent or borrow gear for those occasional activities.
Hose down the deck
It’s a good idea to pressure wash decks, patios, and paver paths to get them ready for heavier use over the summer months, says Coleman Cosby, a project manager at Yardzen, an online landscape design service. “I'm always amazed at how much a round of pressure washing immediately revitalizes your outdoor spaces,” he says. You can DIY this task, but if you’re not handy with a pressure washer, consider hiring a pro for this job, suggests David Steckel, a home expert for Thumbtack, an online directory for home professionals.
Clean gutters and downspouts
If you didn't get to the gutters in spring, break out the ladder and tackle them now before summer’s intermittent but intense rains hit, suggests Steckel. “You can avoid potential water damage, broken gutters, and pest infestations that tend to occur during rainy seasons,” he says.
Remake your bed for summer
Replace your cold-weather bedding with your lighter weight ones, then launder or dry clean the winter blanket before storing it. If you’ve got white sheets, hang them out on the line to dry and harness the natural bleaching effects of sunshine. This is also a great time to wash foundation layer pieces like the mattress cover and pillow protectors.
Check your ceiling fans
Check to make sure your overhead fans are spinning counterclockwise, which will direct air downward to better circulate cool air in the room. While you’re checking the direction, use a lightly damped microfiber cloth to dust the fan blades.
Service your air conditioner
The best time to get your air conditioning serviced is during the spring, but if this task fell off your spring home maintenance checklist, Steckel says you shouldn’t skip a season of service. Aim to get it done ASAP (before the hot weather arrives in full force). If you’ve got window units, do yourself a favor and order new filters.
Related:How to Clean an Air Conditioner
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