With Memorial Day coming up, there is plenty of incentive to get those outdoor spaces ready to enjoy. From scheduling house painting to organizing your outdoor cooking tools, tick these items off your to-do list so you can get to the good stuff: hanging out around the grill, kicking back on the porch and savoring the season.
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.
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.
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.
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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