Getting Your Home Ready for Summer in 8 Simple Steps
As we approach the end of June and the Summer solstice has just started, the memories of hibernating indoors from the cold weather have hopefully faded away. Maybe you have not had the time to get your home ready for summer yet and kept putting that spring cleaning off. That’s ok. Here are 8 easy steps to get your home ready for summer without having to commit a lot of time.
- Clean Outdoor Areas
Nice weather means more time spent outside! Start by sweeping, scrubbing, or power-washing your deck, driveway, patio, or any outdoor seating areas. This will remove the junk winter and spring have left behind like salt residue and snow run-off. Regularly wiping down your outdoor patio furniture and tables can keep pollen at a minimum, and ensure you and your guests don’t suffer from allergies while enjoying the outdoors.
- Clean Your Grill
You have probably had your outdoor grill stored away all winter, so when you finally break it out, it’s best to clean it thoroughly before use. Use a stainless-steel bristle brush to clean off, and if you can remove the grills, give them a good power wash with the hose. Using a mix of vinegar and water can help break off burnt-on food and grease, with a food-safe cleaning solution! Make sure you replenish your supply of charcoal or propane so you can throw burgers on the grill in a pinch, or be prepared for an impromptu BBQ.
- Trap Dirt Before It Enters your Home
Greet your family and friends at any entrance or exit doors, inside and outside, with a rug to help keep dirt and mud from getting tracked into your house. This can save time on sweeping, mopping, and wiping your floors repeatedly as well as keeping from minimizing the amount of dirt that enters your house. Washable rugs make clean up very easy, especially if you have young kids and pets.
- The Clockwise Rule
Cleaning rooms in a clockwise motion helps from getting distracted in one specific area at a time. As you are moving around the room in a clockwise motion, you can declutter as you go, and note any bigger, deep cleaning projects that need to be taken care of. When you go back to those deep cleaning tasks, continue to work around the room clockwise. So, if the dresser comes around before the closet, clean in that order, and let it act as a visual checklist.
- Clear out the Medicine Cabinet
This is the perfect opportunity to clean out the often-neglected medicine cabinet. Leave cold and flu season behind you and toss out any expired or empty cough and cold medicine. Organize loose cough drops, Kleenex, vapor rub, etc. This allows room to replace all that cold medicine with summer necessities like sunscreen, bug spray, aloe vera, Band-Aids, and allergy pills. Being prepared for the sun, playing outdoors, and the times when the sunscreen fails will be far more useful to you in these coming months.
- Get Rid of Winter Grime
As the bright, sunny days start shining through your windows, you might be noticing the unsightly dust on your blinds and window sills and the streaks on your windows. A dampened cloth can easily remove that dust from between the blinds and from the window sills. Use a simple vinegar and water solution to remove the dust and streaks from the windows. Another way to clear the air is either buy an air purifier. Make sure your air purifier gets cleaned, sanitized, and the filter gets replaced. This helps remove dust, allergens, and even mold spores from the air you breathe!
- De-Clutter and Store Unused Items
Schedule a family decluttering weekend. Make sure you and your household can dedicate the time to focus, free of distractions, and have some fun while cleaning out unneeded items. Crank the tunes, order a pizza, and get to work. This time of year is a great opportunity to clean out the basement, empty the garage, clean out the closets, and get rid of outdated clothes. Some great tips to follow to keep on task when decluttering are:
- Take a moment to scan the room and pick your starting place. Clear off a counter close to the area to set things aside.
- Designate a keep, maybe, donate and junk areas. Maybe purchase clear storage bins, that you can label for each of these areas.
- As you start going through the room, pick up 3-5 small items, and find the right home for those items, or place them in the appropriate bin.
- Set all incoming mail, papers, and documents aside in one area. You can quickly sort or toss them at the end.
- The Cleaning Power of Vinegar!
If you aren’t aware of the magical power of vinegar as a cleaning solution, you are missing out. Cleaning products for the home can be costly, and harsh on surfaces. Having a gallon jug of white distilled vinegar can ensure you always have a gentle, but powerful cleaning solution. Use the suggested ratios and mixes below for making your solution, depending on its use.
- Surface Cleaner – Spray directly with white vinegar and wipe clean with a warm, wet rag. NOT Recommended for marble or granite surfaces.
- Window Cleaner – A 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar mix will do wonders on windows and glass surfaces. Wipe it off with a coffee filter for a streak-free shine!
- Kitchen and Bathroom Fixtures – Tie a baggy filled with vinegar over your sink or tub faucet, let sit overnight, and run warm water through the next day. This will remove any grimy build-up around the faucet head. Pour vinegar directly into the toilet or plugged drain and let sit overnight. Drain the vinegar and scrub with a little bit of baking soda to reveal bright white ceramic!
- Wood Floors – Add 1/2 a cup of vinegar to a bucket of warm water. This will also work for laminate and tiled floors.
- Wood Furniture – 1:4 ratio of vinegar to olive oil will gently polish and shine your wood furnishings. A few drops of lemon oil can give an added burst of freshness!
- Disinfectant – A 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar mixture can be used to wipe down toys, door handles, faucets, telephones, etc. Ridding everyday items from harmful germs. Also helps remove stuck-on grime from your stovetop, grill, or other cooking surfaces. This is an updated blog. The original was first published on May 7, 2019.