Preparing for Summer
1 Say goodbye to winter
Simple, seasonal interior updates are key to making your home fit for summer, creating that feeling that winter is a world away. Update your space with lighter, brighter accessories. Extinguish anything that evokes heat – fire logs, heavy rugs and draperies, heaters, and thick blankets. Replace candles with vessels for fresh cut flowers and trade in your winter mats with lightweight white ones. Winter will be out of sight and, thankfully, out of mind.
2 Make room for popsicles
Empty your freezer and defrost it fully, melting any icy build-up. Do an audit of what’s in there – certain products lose texture and flavour over time, so chuck out anything that’s been in there over a year (less time for leftovers, ground meats and chicken). With the extra freezer capacity, you can be stocked up on freezies and burgers.
3 Be ready to party
Be the diva of patio parties with a variety of outdoor entertaining accoutrements. Make sure your blender is margarita-ready and that your cookbooks have the mojito, cold canapé and summer dip recipes flagged. Invest in accident-proof dishware from serving trays to drinking glasses (think melamine).
4 Freshen your airflow
Ensure a cool, cool summer – not to mention a lower energy output – with a few simple air-flow updates. Turn your ceiling fan to counter-clockwise (the blades are tilted upward as they spin) to push air downward and create a stronger draft. Replace your air conditioner’s filter or have your central air professionally looked at. You’ll breathe easy having to deal with air-cooling malfunctions in the sweltering summer heat.
5 Put your painting pants on
Summer is the perfect time to take on a sweaty project, and update your deck, door, trim, picnic table or Muskoka chairs with a fresh coat of paint or a bright colour update. Sand the wood, piece by piece, of its existing paint and then coat with a primer. When fully dry, paint with a durable exterior paint. For help on choosing exterior paint colours, check out our expert tips.
6 Invite summer indoors
Interiors can be made summery with sun-kissed windows that have sparkling-clean glass and fresh, breezy window treatments. Thoroughly wash your windows – inside and out. You’ll need a cloth or brush to tackle some of the larger outdoor debris, an equal parts water-vinegar solution and a squeegee -- and do away with winter drapes. Clean and store those thick, heavy, double-layered draperies and replace them with thin sheers in light, airy colours that embrace the summer sun.
7 Stock up for summer
Stock up on summer essentials. Fill your medicine cabinet with sun block, aloe and insect repellent. In your linen closet, store picnic blankets and fresh and fluffy beach towels. In the pantry, keep a picnic basket prepped with colourful linens and biodegradable dishware at the ready. Fill your garage with backyard sports items such as a croquet, badminton or lawn bowling set.
8 Flip the shed
Goodbye to your snow blower, shovels, salt and skis – it’s time to bring forward your summer sports gear, lawnmower, fertilizer, hose, sprinkler and garden tools. Have them upfront, organized and easily accessible, so you won’t be rummaging through the remnants of winter to access to your outdoor summer needs.
9 Make your deck your favourite room in the house
Create an outdoor extension of your indoor living space: comfortable, clean and filled with your favourite things. The fun part of patio cleaning is that it can mostly be tackled with warm, soapy water, a scrub brush and a hose – your deck, outdoor upholstery, furniture (depending, of course, on the finish), walkways, and even your hammock (read our great tips on cleaning outdoor furniture). After cleaning and arranging your furniture, create a moonlight mood with outdoor lights, and punctuate the space with flowering planters, candles and pillows.
10 Bring out your BBQ brawn
Muscle up and give your barbecue a deep clean. Disconnect the gas, disassemble the barbeque from roof to tray (according to manufacturer instructions) and clean with soapy water. Tackle the grill separately with a hard-wire brush – use oven or barbeque cleaner on particularly tough build-up. After cleaning, heat the barbeque, letting it run on high for about 10 minutes, before it cools fully. Finally, wipe the grates with a thin layer of cooking oil. Your grill may not sparkle like new (and nor should it), but you and your guests will enjoy better-tasting burgers!