Get A Head-Start On Your Summer To-Do List For Your Home


We know. You have all these great intentions of spiffing up your house, cleaning this, updating that, and decluttering EVERYTHING.

But, before you know it, the kids will be out of school, and June will turn into July in a blink. Throw in a couple of pool parties and a family vacation, and before you know it, you’ll be buying school supplies again.

No need to get anxious or give up and getting all those have-to’s done. Here are 10 things you can easily take care of this weekend so your summer to-do list doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

1. Execute an air conditioner check

If you haven’t had to turn on your air conditioning yet this year, do a little self-congratulatory dance and then flip it on and make sure everything is working properly. You don’t want to find out you need a new fan belt on the first hot and sweaty day of the year.

2. Check out the area around your air conditioning units

If weeds or other plants have grown up around your AC units, you may want to trim them back. “Air conditioning units and heat pumps require plenty of air circulation to work efficiently, so it’s important to keep shrubs trimmed back away from the unit,” said Today’s Homeowner. “Make sure there’s at least 18″ of room around the sides of the air conditioner, and three feet or more above the unit.”

3. Do a ceiling fan once over

Now, go room to room checking all the ceiling fans to make sure they’re in working order. But before you turn them on, note the dust level. If you haven’t used them in a while, dust and dirt may be ready to fly off as soon as they get going. An old pillowcase spritzed with cleaner, then thrown over each blade and slid off is a great trick to get them clean without special tools.

4. Check those filters

Lastly – as it relates to your air conditioning – inspect your air filters.

If they’re not changed out regularly, and, especially if you can see visible dirt, hair, or malformations because the filter is starting to pull into the unit, get yourself to Home Depot (and don’t forget to measure first so you don’t have to guess at the size while you’re in the store).

5. Don’t forget about your refrigerator filters

Filters in your refrigerator and icemaker are usually supposed to be replaced every six months (but check with your manufacturer). If it’s been at least that long, change them out. The fresh taste of your water and ice will be worth the effort!

6. Clean your refrigerator coils

If you’ve never done this, you may be surprised by how gross they can get. But keeping your coils clean by shutting off the power to the unit and vacuuming the coils through the back can extend the use of your refrigerator and also save you money on your electric bill – up to $100 a year!

7. Refresh your showerhead

If your shower isn’t providing a strong stream of water anymore, it might not be your water pressure. Try cleaning the showerhead to remove mineral deposits. All it takes is a baggy full of vinegar tied around the showerhead and left overnight to soak. In the morning, run the water to see if it’s made a difference.

8. Check your sprinklers

Lots of things can cause part or all of a sprinkler system to fail, and you’ll want to know if you need to call a repairman because it’s blazing hot outside. Today’s Homeowner offers this tip for testing your sprinklers: “Place straight-sided tuna cans on the ground around the yard, and run your sprinkler as usual. If your irrigation system is set right, all of the cans should be filled to the same level.”

While you’re at it, check your hoses for leaks. Replacing leaky hoses can save water, and save you money.

9. Check your deck

“Look over your deck for signs of rotting and hammer in any nails that are poking up,” said The Nest. “Then, determine if your deck needs sealing. Sprinkle water on the deck’s boards. If the water beads up, you’re in good shape; but if it soaks right in, it’s time to reseal that sucker.”

10. Mulch it

A layer of mulch in your yard will help “keep weeds down and help the ground retain its moisture in the heat,” said The Nest. More importantly, it’s one of the quickest, easiest, and cheapest ways to up your curb appeal – and that’s important whether you plan to spend many more seasons in your home or you’re thinking of getting ready to sell it.

Written by Jaymi Naciri