Summer is more than just a date on the calendar. It’s a way of life, especially in our Oklahome-sweet-homa. From April to October, the temperatures climb and so does the feeling of fun in the sun. It’s time to put on the flip-flops and make a tall glass of sun tea, because summer is nearly here!
Summer Home Prep
Prepping your home for summer can get you in the mood for long lazy summer evenings and extra family time together. It can also make your life easier when you need the ice chest, and find that it’s already aired out and ready to go!
Here are some ways you can get your home ready for summer. Some of these suggestions are strictly for attitude adjustment – and help to create a more relaxed feeling in your home.
Other suggestions are chores that you may want to get done early before summer really kicks in. Tackling some of these tasks now will let you enjoy more down time later!
1. Have a “summer wardrobe” for your home.
- Decor – Summer is a great time to make it fun with your favorite decorating motif that defines your attitude or way of life. Choices like a beach-themed or nautical motif, rustic farmhouse, lush florals and botanicals, flamingos, “gone fishing” theme, RVing, barnyard animals, or whatever else floats your boat, can be found on throw pillows and decorative accents.
- Window treatments – Summer calls for brightness, lightness, and less fuss. I switch my heavy lined winter curtains that keep out the chill for floaty translucent curtains. They brighten the room and they let you see into the backyard more easily. They are also easy to wash, dry, and rehang, so that gets done more often in the summer!
- Bed linens – I pack away all of the “matchy-matchy” comforters and replace them with neutral cotton blankets. These are cooler, lightweight, and they make the bedroom feel instantly more relaxed.
2. Prep now, so you can play later.
- Swimming gear – Get the beach towels, extra towels, tote bags, and swimsuits out of storage. Air or wash/dry them as needed. Goggles, flotation devices, sunhats, and so forth, can be checked and made ready for use.
- Garage – There is lots to do here and you can’t do it all at once. So start with airing the ice chests. Vinegar spray is great for safe cleaning and deodorizing. Spray the inside of the ice chest, let it sit five minutes, then wipe dry with paper or cloth towels. Leave them open to air out for 30 minutes. Lawn chairs usually need to be hosed down or brushed off with a broom. The folding ones might need to be de-bugged. This is a good time also to take stock of any grilling supply needs. Propane or charcoal? Lighter fluid or wood chips? By checking these things now, you will be ready for the first impromptu cookout of the season.
- Entry or mudroom – Place a large basket or canvas bin to hold flip-flops and sandals for easy access at the door. The bin can be bright and colorful, or neutral to match any decor. It’s nice to have something to contain the scatter of flip-flops. Sometimes it seems like they mysteriously multiply when our backs are turned!
3. Stock Up
- Refrigerator/pantry – Kids eat a lot, so summer means SNACKS, endless SNACKS. Stock up now on the ice pops, microwave popcorn, pudding cups, and whatever else little hands can feed themselves. Trust me when I say that you will be glad to have these on hand later.
- Medicine cabinet – It is time to go through last year’s sunscreen bottles and discard the expired ones. Restock now on all the things: sunscreen, lip balm, bandages, antibiotic ointment, cortisone ointment, antifungal cream/powder, aloe vera gel, and safe bug repellant.
4. Make your home say “Welcome!”
- Dress your porch – Keep a broom someplace near your porch or entryway so you can give it a quick sweep when it needs it. Plant at least one large pot with a cheery red or pink geranium. If you don’t have a green thumb, get a good fake geranium and stick it in a pot of dirt anyway. From a distance, no one can tell the difference.
- Fly the Flag – Summer is full of holidays that hold a special place for the U.S. flag, from Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day, through September 11. Flags of all sizes and brackets for displaying them can be found at discount, hardware, and home stores. These are good opportunities to teach your children about U.S. Flag etiquette.
Summer brings its own special kind of magic to your child’s life. Giving your home a relaxed feeling can be central to that. And enjoying the magic moments of down-time and togetherness is what summer is all about!