Get your house and yard in good order now, and you’ll be ready to enjoy the summer days ahead.With Mother’s Day and Memorial Day coming up this month, there is plenty of incentive to get those outdoor spaces ready to entertain. From scheduling house painting to organizing your outdoor cooking tools, tick these 10 items off your to-do list so you can get to the good stuff: hanging out around the grill, kicking back on the porch and savoring the season. Let the countdown to summer begin!
Paint or stain your home’s exterior. Longer days and generally milder weather makes May a good month to schedule house painting. If your home has a wood-shingled exterior, replace any damaged shingles and have a fresh coat of stain applied if needed.
Check exterior lighting. Make sure all outdoor lights are in working order, including porch lights, landscape lighting, and motion-sensing security lights. Replace bulbs or schedule repairs as needed.
Get ready for grilling season. Giving your grill a deep cleaning before the start of the season will help it work more efficiently and prevent flare-ups. Clean the grates and interior with a grill brush and wash the exterior with warm, soapy water. Clean and organize your grill tools (tongs, spatula, skewers) and pick up charcoal or propane if needed. If you have a gas grill, be sure to check the fuel line for cracks, and clean out any clogged burner holes.
Inspect kitchen and bath fixtures. Keeping an eye on these areas can help prevent costly water damage and repairs later on. Regrout or caulk around counters and tile as needed. If you come across any slow leaks, have these repaired as well.
Check safety devices. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries as needed. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace it if necessary.
Get walls dust-free and touch up paint. Use a dusting attachment on your vacuum or an electrostatic duster to clean away dust from walls, paying special attention to corners and baseboards. For a deeper clean, wipe down walls with warm, soapy water after dusting. Rinse with clean water, using a lint-free cloth. Touch up paint as needed on interior walls and trim.
Refresh bedrooms. Rotate the mattresses on all beds and flip over if possible. Dust nightstands, lamps, headboard, blinds and decor. Swap heavy duvets for lighter weight bedding for the warmer months.
Deep clean the laundry room. Run the washing machine with specialty tub cleaner (or with vinegar for a natural solution) on a hot water cycle. Wipe the rubber rim inside the door of the washer and dryer and remove lint from the dryer vent with a vent brush or vacuum attachment. Clean countertops, mop floors and restock supplies.
Prep picnic supplies. This is the season for alfresco feasts. Be ready for impromptu picnics by sorting through your outdoor dining supplies at the start of the season and keeping a basket of essentials within easy reach. Your kit doesn’t need to be extensive to get the job done: a cheese knife, small cutting board, bottle opener and blanket, plus a few outdoor dishes and cups should see you through many a picnic.
Add a relaxing porch feature. Make your porch an inviting place to relax and hang out with the addition of a porch swing, rocking chairs or a glider. Too much sun? Crisp white outdoor curtains provide shade and look chic. Just add a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade, and you’ll be ready to savor the season in style.