Summer is in full swing, and the heat is on. Keep your cool by tackling this set of (mostly) indoor chores to keep your home in shape and your family life running smoothly. Then, reward yourself with an outdoor barbecue with neighbors.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to schedule an annual maintenance check of your air conditioning system. There’s nothing worse than a breakdown in the sweltering heat of summer. While you’re at it, be sure to change the filters on your unit.
Install a programmable thermostat in your home, making it easy to regulate the temperature when you are home and away, conserving energy and saving you money.
While in the comfort of your air conditioning, thoroughly vacuum your sofa and any other upholstered pieces of furniture. Use leather cleaner on any leather pieces you may have.
For a splash of summer color, put new covers on throw pillows.
Does the afternoon sun beat down on your family room or a particular bedroom? Hang black-out drapery to keep the heat out and lower your electricity bill at the same time.
If you just can’t take the heat in your outdoor space, consider investing in a large outdoor umbrella or a retractable awning or shade that attaches to your home.
Keep your indoor and outdoor spaces pest-free, especially those summer mosquitos. Check your screens and patch or replace them as necessary. Empty any standing water in your yard, and trim back bushes and trees near your house.
Keep your eye on the weather and take appropriate safety measures with any outdoor pets you may have. Keep water bowls full and provide them with ample shade. In extreme heat, bring them indoors. Never leave a pet in an unattended vehicle.
If you have a vacation looming, be sure to make plans to leave your home safe and secure. Ask a neighbor to bring in your mail, watch for packages, water your garden and any delicate plants. Confirm pet-sitting and lawn services. When you leave, unplug appliances and turn off your water at the source to avoid coming home to a watery mess.
Celebrate the 4th of July by displaying the American flag. If yours is old and tattered, make arrangements with a scout or veteran’s group for proper disposal. For a large flag, securely screw a flag mount to a post or column near your front door. As an alternative, drape flag bunting along a front porch or line the walkway leading to your front door with miniature flags.
What better time than the 4th of July to host an old-fashioned backyard picnic? Use it as an opportunity to get better acquainted with your neighbors. Bring out the yard games, water balloons, and bubbles for the kids. Any why not fill a baby pool with ice for cooling off the drinks? Make it a potluck to reduce the workload, and don’t forget to watch the fireworks in your area at dusk.