Summer is in the Fraser Valley, the kids are finished school and the weather is warming up, but is your house ready to play? Hang your hammock on the deck, pull out all the beach towels and make sure there is plenty of room in the freezer for those fruity popsicles! We’ve got some ideas to help your home and yard handle everything in the sun.
1. Summer-ize your entryway. Have a stash of clean beach towels rolled and ready to go or even better throw up a few wall hooks in the hallway for everyone to use. If they are not hanging they can be lined up on the lower shelf of a bench or stowed inside a storage seat. Hang the big beach bag ready filled with sandals, sunscreen, hats and lip balm. Washable woven plastic bins also make perfect containers for the dirty pile at the end of the day.
2. Make room for the kitchen essentials. Clear out the freezer to make room for the frozen-pop molds, and free up counter space for all of the local farm produce you’re bound to come home with it is berry season after all! If you have children home, make sure this summer your counter is full of fruit and healthy snacks. Getting enough water during the day is especially important when the weather is hot — make reaching for a glass more appealing by mixing up a batch of soda water in the morning with lemon or orange slices, sprigs of mint, cucumber or all those berries.
3. Sleep overs & summer guests. You might need to consider where you will able to squeeze in a few extra beds and keep them ready made. The kids like to spring spontaneous sleep overs and it’s nice to offer your guests a bed after a good dinner party. Tuck a few low beds under your existing ones ready to roll out into the living room, add a bunk for kids, or swap out a couch for a sleeper sofa (some of the modern versions are quite comfy) or daybed.
4. Add a reading nook. It’s always more appealing to read a book in the air-conditioning and better yet a comfy reading nook, complete with chair, book shelf and a side table to hold a glass of lemonade. Bonus: Keep a selection of fun books close by for your child’s interests — and yes, comics and graphic novels count too!
5. Bring forward the shorts & singlets in the wardrobe. Put away the wooly sweaters and socks that you’re not going to need for three months, no point digging through them everyday in search for your favorite summer shirt. It’ll feel like a spring clean, and use it to purge anything that doesn’t fit anymore or that you haven’t worn in years.
6. Freshen up the bathroom. Go through all those draws and shelves in the bathroom and begin removing toiletries, only putting back the products you use daily. If you store your favorite products in a small zipper pouch, you can easily toss it into your suitcase for spur-of-the-moment weekend getaways. Wipe out the draws while you’re at it and invest in some new fluffy white towels. For a real summer-breeze feeling swap out your soap dish for something brighter, or bring in a vase with a big leaf (snipped from the garden).
7. Make sports gear easy to grab. Balls, helmets and other sports-related gear can quickly get out of hand. Keep things in order by dedicating a storage spot perhaps shelves on the garage walls if you’re short for space or use a large storage box to keep near the yard for all the outdoor fun and games.
8. Dedicate an area for inside games. Clear out some space in the basement, garage or part of the living room to make room for board games and cards, or even the foosball table or pool table. It’s fun to have a season where they are easily accessible and you might just find the whole family will get more involved.
9. Turn the deck into your second living room. Make your outside area as comfy as the inside with ample seating, cushions, candles, fresh flowers and a throw for chilly evenings. If you don’t enjoy your deck as much as you would like because of bugs, you may want to consider adding an overhead fan (mosquitoes and flies tend to stay away from moving air) or try some scented candles.
10. Boost your backyard’s party appeal. Why not make this summer the year you finally get that outdoor feature you’ve always wanted? Fire pit, grilling area, pizza oven, outdoor shower, movie projector, hot tub — the possibilities are practically limitless. Don’t forget sometimes it’s as simple as having the right shade cover to entice you to spend your time on the green grass. A free-standing umbrella is ideal and will allow you to move the shade right where you need it.