Monday June 20th is the official start of summer this year, but why wait until then to get into the summer spirit? You know I often advise getting a jump-start on things so here are a few tips for preparing your home and garden for a wonderful Muskoka summer.
1. Repair screen doors. If you use them, now is the time to take down the storm doors and put up screen doors to let the summer breezes pour in. Be sure to inspect screens carefully, patching holes as needed — even a tiny hole can be enough to let in a mosquito.
2. Schedule some outdoor projects. Are you dreaming of a new patio or need to replace a deck? Don’t delay booking a pro for your projects because in our short construction season the best professionals get booked up early.
3. Check your cooling systems. Take the time before hot weather sets in to dust ceiling fans, install window air-conditioning units, and schedule maintenance for a whole-house cooling system.
4. Eaves toughs and downspouts. If you did not get your eaves troughs cleaned this spring, be sure to get this important job checked off your list as soon as possible. Leaves and pine needles in gutters can lead to leaks and siding damage with summer storms.
5. Catch up on some maintenance. None of us are perfect, and chances are there are a few home-maintenance projects you have been meaning tackle.Why not make June the month to get caught up?
6. Create a drying station for towels and bathing suits. If you re blessed to own a Muskoka Cottage or home with a pool, then soggy towels getting dragged through your home is a mess waiting to happen. Choose a dedicated spot, either just outside the door (a covered porch works well) or in the mudroom, and hang a row of sturdy hooks for wet towels and bathing suits. Once dry, sand can be easily shaken off outdoors, so it doesn’t end up in your washing machine!
7. Reorganize your kitchen. Yes, you do have seasons in your kitchen too! If there are small appliances you use more in the warmer months like a crock pot now is the time to put it away and get out the ice cream maker. Stations devoted to a certain purpose can also do wonders. If you have children on summer vacation, create a self-help station stocked with healthy snacks.
8. Refresh first-aid kits and emergency supplies. Be prepared for everything from minor scrapes to natural disasters with well-stocked first-aid kits in the house and car, plus emergency supplies for your family and pets. Not sure what to include? The Canadian Red Cross has a helpful checklist.
9. Brighten up decor. Put away the heavy rugs, put crisp percale or cooling linen sheets on the beds, and bring in accents in lighter shades for the warmer months ahead.
10. Refresh your bathroom. Shower curtain liner looking a little dingy? Bath towels seen better days? Give your bathroom a mini spa makeover, and swap out your tired bath linens for fresh new ones.
11. Get the summer fun gear ready. From camping to beach trips, summertime activities come with a lot of gear. Get it cleaned up and ready now so that you’re not surprised by a leaky tent or blown-out beach umbrella when it’s too late to replace them.
Remember we live in one of the world most beautiful places. Muskoka is full of great things to do, so being prepared allows you lots of time to enjoy being in your Muskoka home or cottage.