Revel in the best of the summer season. Get smart tips to keep your home, yard and hardscaping in shape for the warm months ahead.
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Reline your drawers with fresh liners. While you’re at it, switch out cool-weather clothing for your warm-weather wardrobe. Be sure to wash or dry-clean winter clothing before storing.
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Remove any leaves or debris from your gutters and either rent or buy a pressure washer to get rid of mold and mildew. Next look for missing spikes, potential leaks and signs of cracked caulk. Use silicon sealing to repair as needed.
More: Gutter Cleaning Tips
To combat aggressive odors, spray the kitchen garbage with an antibacterial solution every time you change the liner. For added freshness, put a used dryer sheet at the bottom of the can. It’ll absorb spills and odors all day long.
When you create an outdoor room, consider what you’ll use it for: a functional space (to eat, swim, cook or relax) or a visual escape (with a sculpture, fountain, fireplace or gorgeous plants).
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If you haven’t added mulch yet, now’s the time to do it. Put a one to two-inch layer of mulch on vegetable and flower gardens after plants have emerged in the spring to help conserve moisture.
More: Make Homemade Mulch
Sift through the beach toys, yard toys and recreational equipment, making sure everything is in good shape. If not, fix, replace or toss. And if you’re not using something, donate it now so other families can enjoy all summer long.
On a dry day, check your roof for missing shingles and damaged flashing. Inspect seals around vents, skylights and chimney for leaks. Repair as necessary. Look in your chimney to ensure that no critters have taken up residence.
More: Basics of Roof Safety
To remove hard-water scale or mildew on shower and faucet heads, soak them in vinegar. If the head isn't removable fill a plastic bag with vinegar and position it over the faucet, taping the bag shut to let it soak.
More: Luxury Walk-In Showers
An outdoor party doesn't have to mean paper plates. Bring dishes outside to the give the space a sense of elegance. Afraid of breaking them? Invest in a set of white melamine dishes; they won't break, and you’ll have the chic look you want.
More: Quick and Easy Party Dishes
The average bathroom remodel costs $10,500. These renovations also have the highest return on investment, about 102 percent.
More: Budgeting a Bathroom Remodel
Just as in winter, it’s time to move your dryer away from the wall and vacuum behind it. Remove the tube that attaches to the machine and clear out the lint. Finally, use a shop vac to clean the outside vent, too.
More: 3 Steps to a Great Laundry Room
Looking for an inexpensive way to dress up a bare wall? Try a collection of plates in several shapes and sizes. They shouldn’t match exactly but rather be tied together by a decorative theme or color scheme. Garage sales and flea markets are great sources.
HGTV’s master gardener, Paul James, says working wet soil destroys its structure, and may take months or even years before it has a chance to recover. "In the meantime, you're left with a bunch of ugly dirt clods, which are hardly ideal for growing plants."
More: How to Feed Your Soil
‘Tis the season to be outdoors and there’s no better time to spruce up a porch or patio. For covered porches, pull indoor pieces outdoors. Group plants and flowers to create an inviting color story.
All steps, porches and banisters should be inspected at least once a year. Repair any place that shows signs of wear, loose nails or cracked boards.
More: Build a Porch Planter
Most freezers need a good defrosting and clean-out twice a year. Remove everything and store in a cooler. Throw away food older than six months. Defrost the freezer and use a gentle cleaning solution to wipe down the walls and door.
More: Stand-Alone Freezer Options
Just in time to celebrate Dad’s big day, get ideas for giving the man in your family his very own sports themed game room.
More: Give Him His Own Man Cave
Ladybugs eat so many aphids and other pests that some gardeners use them for organic pest control instead of chemical pesticides.
More: How to Keep Bad Bugs at Bay
Bright and fun, stripes are an easy way to add flair to any room. From walls to furniture to accessories, stripes are key to some of our favorite looks from Rate My Space.
More: How to Incorporate Stripes
For the second time this year, flip, spin and vacuum. Your mattress will last longer and you’ll sleep better, too. While you’re at it: is the pad still in good shape, or should you buy a new one?
More: Top Tips for Mattress Buying
With the summer heat ready to hit full swing, you need your attic vents to be working properly: allowing hot air to escape while fresh air filters back in. If want to avoid using an AC, consider installing a whole house fan.
More: Save on Cooling Your Home
When you’re mowing this summer be sure not to scalp the grass. Raise the mowing height to 3 inches. Scalping stresses the turf, and it encourages more weed growth by allowing the sun to reach more soil.
More: Summer Yard Tip
Do a quick hose check on major appliances. Start with the washing machine then the fridge and dishwasher. Check hoses for signs of deterioration and replace as needed. This simple step should save money on maintenance down the road.
Use vacuum attachments to clean all pillows, underneath cushions and even the sides and back of couches and chairs. Look for stains and clean according to the care labels.
More: Dress Up an Old Sofa
So long wicker. The newest trend in outdoor furniture is upholstery like you’d see in a living room—including stripes, solids, linens and textures. These fabrics have been treated to resist soil, stains, sunlight, mildew and more.
More: Creating a Summer Retreat
Plant pungent herbs such as rosemary and sage to keep cats out of a garden bed. And to stop dogs from lying down in flower beds, simply drive short stakes into the ground throughout the bed.
More: Pet-Proofing Your Outdoors
From cool and calm to bright and airy, blue is perennially popular when it comes to home decor. That’s why we’ve put together our favorite blue looks from Rate My Space.
More: Blues in Every Style
Have your heating system serviced by a professional now. Once a year it’s important to have a pro inspect for carbon-monoxide leaks or other dangerous problems that can be repaired easily if caught early.
More: Keep Your Heater in Shape