Get ready for summer
While summer is usually thought of as a time to relax and recharge, it can also be a busy season filled with trips to the cottage, weekend BBQs, pool parties, play dates, campouts and picnics. By doing a little prep work in advance, you’ll be ready to say yes to those last minute invitations and fully revel in a season filled with fun.
- Put together a picnic kit. Stock up on paper plates, napkins, plastic cups and ice packs. Find an old tablecloth you’re comfortable using on picnic tables or even putting right on the grass. Choose some picnic recipes you think your family would enjoy, like these 21 suggestions from Cooking Light. Make sure to consider salads that don’t contain mayonnaise (which isn’t safe out in summer heat), like these three side dishes from Chef Mom .
- Get your guest room ready for summer visitors. Wash the sheets and bedspread, thoroughly dust every nook and cranny, and clear out space in the closet and drawers so guests have room to store their belongings. If you don’t have enough space in your place for a dedicated guest room, consider purchasing an air mattress or even simply getting some fresh new sheets to fit a comfy couch in a pinch. Visit Fox Hollow Cottage for a list of things that are nice to have in your guest room.
- Clean and organize your garage. It’s not a particularly fun task, but putting away all the things that tend to accumulate in the garage over the winter (Christmas decorations, snow shovels, and whatever didn’t get properly stored in the fall) means your garage will be organized and tidy for the start of summer gardening, biking and outdoor toy season.
- Organize a garage sale. If, after you’ve cleaned out your garage and guest room, you find that you have an excess of stuff that you no longer need or want, organize a garage sale to clear it all out. Visit House of Hepworths for some great tips on hosting a successful garage sale.
- Get your air conditioning inspected. The middle of the first heat wave is not the time to discover your a/c is on the fritz. Have someone come out to inspect your cooling system before the heat moves in.
- Have your car tuned up. Summer is the season of road trips, so make sure your car is road ready well in advance of that first drive to the beach. It’s also a good time to clean out your trunk, moving winter driving supplies back into the garage until the fall.
- Update your first aid kit. Bug bites, scrapes, and sunburns all require special TLC. Have a look through your medicine cabinet and first aid kit to make sure they’re fully stocked with everything you might need at home and on the road.
- Stock up on books. There’s nothing sweeter than a lazy afternoon in a shady hammock with a good book. Visit your library or local bookstore to stock up on the hottest summer reads. Make sure to take your children or grandchildren along so they can choose their summer reading list too!
- Spruce up your yard. Do a walking inspection of your yard, front and back. Notice if there are any loose steps or rails on your deck, holes in your fence or other small repairs and painting projects that should be taken care of before you host that first summer BBQ. Wash your outdoor patio furniture to remove any winter grime and dust, and check to make sure your patio umbrella and outdoor lighting work properly.
- Remember to relax! In some places summer is a very short season, so try to leave some unscheduled time to just simply relax with your family and enjoy the warm weather, long days and starry nights together at a slower pace.
411126A CAN/US (04/15)