With Memorial Day coming up, the sun making more appearances and staying around longer, and the weather beginning to warm, there is plenty of incentive to get those outdoor spaces ready to enjoy. From house painting to yard work, check these items off your to-do list so you can get to the good stuff such as hanging out around the grill, kicking back on the porch and savoring the season with friends and family.
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. One of my favorite products for outdoor lighting can be found HERE.
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. This is also the perfect time to shop for outdoor plants!
3. Inspect kitchen and bath fixtures. Check under all sinks for leaks and then regrout or recaulk around counters and tile as needed. If you come across any slow leaks, have these repaired as well. It’s also a great idea to have your water heater inspected and serviced.
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.
5. Clean and prep the BBQ grill. 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. You’ll never run out of propane with this gauge HERE.
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/walkways. Create neat edges, pull weeds, fill in gravel paths with fresh gravel and replace or reposition broken steppingstones.
7. Plan to paint or stain your home’s exterior. Longer days and generally milder weather make May a good month to think about house painting. Contact painting pros to find out if they are currently working or will resume later, and reserve a spot on their schedule. If your home has a wood-shingled exterior, replace any damaged shingles and have a fresh coat of stain applied if needed. This is also a great time to change it up a little by adding some color or contrast to your front door.
8. Add a relaxing porch feature. Make your porch an inviting place to relax and hang out with the addition of a porch swing, rocking chairs or a glider. Too much sun? Crisp white outdoor curtains can provide shade and look chic. Just add a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade, and you’ll be ready to savor the season in style.
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