Get your house and yard in order now, and you’ll be ready to enjoy the summer days ahead.
Things to Check Off Your List in an Hour or Less
1. Check outdoor lighting. Make sure all outdoor lights are in working order, including porch lights, landscape lighting and motion-sensing security lights. Replace bulbs or schedule repairs as needed.
2. Give potted plants some TLC. If you have potted plants that stay indoors over winter, bring them out once the danger of frost has passed. To help your plants acclimatize, find a protected spot out of direct sun for the first several weeks outdoors.
3. Inspect kitchen and bath fixtures. Keeping an eye on these areas can help prevent costly water damage and repairs later on. Make a plan to regrout or recaulk around counters and tile as needed. If you come across any slow leaks, have these repaired as well.
4. Check safety devices. Smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month and replaced every 10 years — even if they still appear to be in working order, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries as needed. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace it if necessary.
Tackle These Tasks Over a Weekend
5. Get ready for grilling season. Giving your grill a deep cleaning before the start of the season will help it work more efficiently and prevent flare-ups. Clean the grates and interior with a grill brush and wash the exterior with warm, soapy water. Clean and organize your grilling tools (tongs, spatula, skewers) and pick up charcoal or propane if needed.
If you have a gas grill, be sure to check the fuel line for cracks and clean out any clogged burner holes.
6. Maintain and repair garden paths. Create neat edges, pull weeds, fill in gravel paths with fresh gravel and replace or reposition broken steppingstones.