How to prep your home for summer
Get ready for warmer months by getting your home ready
Summertime is many people’s favorite time of year. The kids are out of school, the days are long and there are lots of opportunities to socialize outside in warm weather. You might be ready for summer on the last day of school or long before the weather officially turns warm. Regardless of what the weather is doing in your area, you can prep your home for summer to get the most out of the warmer months.
Inside your home
Inside your home, there are a few things to take care of to make sure you’re ready for summer.
A big consideration during the summer months is how to save energy for the sake of the environment and your bills. Do you have a timer on your thermostat that will keep your bills lower? Make sure to keep doors and windows closed if your air conditioner is on so your A/C doesn't work overtime when cold air is escaping out of an open window.
Clean your air conditioning condenser of fallen leaves and branches. Have your air conditioner serviced. If you live somewhere that can get hot but don’t have central air, invest in some portable AC units or window units to keep your house pleasant. Place fans strategically around the house to promote air flow or install some ceiling fans. Repair any holes in your window and door screens or replace those screens to promote airflow but keep bugs and animals out.
Switch out your flannel bedding for cooler sheet sets. Consider a cooling pillow, too, if you run hot when the weather does. Replenish your supply of beach towels to make sure your hardwood floors stay dry after the kids spend all day running through sprinklers or splashing in the pool.
Now that you’ll be enjoying the view more on sunny days, wash your windows so they shine. Sunlight really shows fingerprints and smudges, so you’ll notice if you don’t clean them this time of year. Install blackout curtains to keep the heat out and keep them drawn during the day.
Outside your home
Many people focus on their yards or outdoor spaces when summer comes since they will be spending more time outside. Preparing your patio or garden for summer can be fun, and something you can start long before the days get warm so that your yard is ready when summer arrives.
Clean your gutters and downspouts or have someone come inspect them. Check the roof for damage from winter storms or moss. Since you’re likely not using your chimney in the summer, now would be a good time to have it cleaned. Pressure wash walkways and driveways which may have slippery moss or accumulated dirt from colder months. Pay special attention to the patio and deck. Be careful with the deck — use a brush if you worry the pressure washer will strip off varnish.
Prep your yard by trimming any dead or drooping leaves and branches. Seed your lawn if applicable or mow and figure out how you'll irrigate it when rainfall might not be enough to keep it hydrated. Consider setting up a drip irrigation system to get your plants equally watered, or set up sprinklers with your hose for plants that need their leaves and tops watered, or if you don’t have an irrigation system.
If it’s your first year starting a garden, research the right soil and fertilizer for your plants and fill in the gaps with the soil that's there naturally already. You might need a composter to break down your food scraps for a second life in your garden as food for your plants. Some plants love eggshells or coffee grounds, so you can consider doing some indoor composting, as well.
Prepare the ground with a hoe and rake up the last of the winter leaves and needles. You need basic garden tools to use by hand and a good shovel. A gardening cart will serve you well if you’re starting from scratch or doing a lot of new planting. You need to organize your garden tools so they stay in place and in good working order. Keep your hands clean and unscratched with gardening gloves.
Set up planters, flower beds, a growing area or raised beds. Figure out if you’d like to buy flower or vegetable starts or grow from seeds. Plant bulbs early so the early spring flowers like daffodils and tulips pop out just as spring is underway and bloom into summertime.
If you’re going to be going away for a vacation, how will your house do without you there? Is your home security system still working? If you don't have a security system, consider hiring a neighborhood kid or professional house sitter to look after your house and garden if you plan to go away. It would be a shame to return to vacation to a dead yard and drooping houseplants.
Clean outdoor cushion covers — some may be machine washable. Position your patio set or lounge chairs under umbrellas, a gazebo or shade sails to enjoy the outdoors in the shade. Consider a patio misting kit to keep you and your guests cool even when the sun is hot. Take care of pesky bugs with a bug zapper with a large area range to keep the bugs away as you enjoy the sunset.
Drinks: Brush up your mixology skills and learn some new cocktails for summer. Break out the blender and make smoothies, margaritas and other blended drinks for your guests to enjoy on a hot day or night. If you really like margaritas, consider getting a margarita maker to really impress your guests.
Barbecues: Clean your charcoal or gas grill according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Test it out before you have guests to make sure everything’s in working order, that you have the necessary tools to grill and that you have enough propane. If you want to make s'mores for dessert, clean out your fire pit, make sure it’s dry and that you’re stocked with fuel or logs.
Cool treats: Make your own sweet treats with an ice cream maker or snow cone machine, or make your own popsicles by filling a popsicle mold with fruit juice as well as pieces of fruit, like strawberries and pineapple.
Water play: A kiddie pool can be fun for the kids, of course, but adults can also enjoy a foot soak on a hot day. The same goes for those sprinklers you use on the lawn. Alternatively, check out getting some sprinklers that are made for play. Water gun or water balloon fights are fun for kids and adults.
Lawn games: Look into some lawn games like bocce for fun at your next party or lazy family day at home. If you have the lawn space, consider setting up a volleyball court or pop-up soccer field to enjoy group games with friends or family.
Laura Wheatman Hill is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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