Summer is officially here, and while the warm weather brings a plethora of outdoor activities and fun, it can also herald the arrival of dreaded projects and chores that need to be completed around the house.
But because the kids are out of school and many offices operate with reduced hours during the summer season, the next few months is a great time to rally your family to get off the couch, roll up their sleeves, and cross off a few of those big items from your summer to-do list.
To get your entire family pitching in and make even the biggest home upkeep tasks more manageable, here’s a list of Blindster’s top family projects and chores to tackle this summer:
Appoint someone to mow the lawn or set a revolving schedule for your family
Having a thick green lawn can dramatically improve your home’s curb appeal and its overall beauty, but it also requires plenty of upkeep—starting with keeping the grass trimmed and level at all times. Unfortunately, grass grows at an exceptionally fast rate during the summer months and it’s not uncommon to have to mow it twice or even three times per week.
To reduce the headache and hassle of this time-consuming chore, designate one person in your family to be on official lawn-mowing duty and give him or her a pass from any other chores that they detest. If no one is willing to take that trade-off, make a revolving schedule where each family member is designated to mow the lawn on certain days of the month. If you have children, make sure that they’re at least 12 years old before using a push lawn mower and 16 years old before using a ride-on mower.
Create or restock your first aid kit
Summer is a time for outdoor fun—but that can also mean cuts, scrapes, bruises, and other minor injuries that come with enjoying the fresh air. Take the time to create a first aid kit and keep it in an easily accessible place to treat all of summer’s bumps and bruises. Make sure to stock it with plenty of bandages of all sizes, antibiotic creams, gauze and tape, scissors, tweezers for splinters, sunburn soothing lotion or creams, aspirin or other pain medicine, and a few packets of antiseptic wipes.
Clean out your gutters.
No one likes cleaning their gutters, but it’s an essential chore that’s best done in the spring or summer. Summer storms can bring significant rainfall, and if your gutters need to be cleaned or are completely clogged with leaves, sticks, and other debris from the winter, your yard or patio will take the brunt of the punishment due to the overflowing water.
If you have more than one ladder, two people can work on cleaning the gutters on opposite ends of the house to make the job go faster. Never allow young children on ladders, however, and always supervise older children and teenagers when they do work on ladders from potentially dangerous heights.
Have a garage sale.
Your garage is where you keep all of your fun summer items and toys, like balls, bikes, ATVs, and other sports and recreation equipment. But if you’re anything like most homeowners, it’s also probably overflowing with stuff you and your family have outgrown or simply don’t use anymore. If you need to make room for the items you do use or just need some extra cash, summer is the perfect time to hold a garage sale.
Get your entire family involved by asking everyone to pitch in and select items they want to sell. Once you’ve got all the items selected, have everyone help out by setting up tables and sorting items by price or category. You can also appoint someone to be in charge of making signage for the sale, whether it’s done on a computer or the old-fashioned way with poster board and permanent markers.
Use the day of the sale as an opportunity to teach your kids about salesmanship and how to count money and give correct change. You may be surprised at how effective and persuasive they can be when it comes to turning a tidy profit!
Inspect your children’s outdoor play equipment.
Whether it’s a treehouse, a swing set, or a trampoline, buying an outdoor play set for your kids is a great way to encourage them to go outside and get regular exercise. However, it’s important that you frequently check it to make sure that it’s in proper working function and that it’s not at risk of collapsing or falling apart.
Check all screws and bolts to make sure none are coming loose. Then, cover any exposed pieces of metal, including the screws and bolts, with foam padding to protect your children from possible injuries. Covering them can also help prevent them from loosening over time.
Whip your patio or deck into shape.
While your children enjoy their outdoor play areas, you can use the summer months as a time to get your outdoor area looking great as well. Use a pressure washer to blast away any caked on dirt and grime on your patio or deck surface that accumulated during the winter months. Wipe down all outdoor furniture to remove excess pollen from the spring and reseal the wood if it’s beginning to crack or show signs of age.
Clean and maintain your swimming pool.
If your home has a swimming pool, you have the ultimate summer escape in your very own backyard. However, maintaining a swimming pool can be a lot of work—especially for one person. As with your lawn, divide the task of keeping your pool in great shape among everyone in your family. Assign everyone one day out of the week to check the pool filter, add chlorine, and remove any foreign objects from the water.
With everyone pitching in on a regular basis, your pool will stay crystal clear and perfectly treated all summer long!