Summertime brings not only booze-enhanced barbecues in the backyard and frenzied bocce tournaments on the lawn, but also a slew of home maintenance and housekeeping tasks. Buzzkill! But here’s some good news: You might be overdoing it. Experts say that certain tasks you might have assumed you have to do during the warm-weather months might not be as critical—or onerous—as you think. In case you’re looking to let certain items on your long to-do list slide, consider rethinking these tasks below so you can spend more of your summer having fun than slaving away.
1. Cleaning your grill
Now that barbecue weather is in full swing, many roll up their sleeves and set out to scour gunk off their grill. But watch out—doing so is not only unnecessary, but also potentially dangerous. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned Americans against wire grill-cleaning brushes because the bristles can come loose and get lodged in your food.
A far easier and safer alternative? Pop the grates in the oven and set it on the self-cleaning mode, then pop them in the dishwasher to rinse them off. And rub the grates with a little cooking oil to keep stuff from sticking. Here’s more on how to clean a grill.
2. Washing your windows
With all that bright sunlight streaming through your panes, it is suddenly a lot easier to see all the grime that accumulated through the winter. But here’s a little secret: Most of that gunk is on the outside—so there’s no need to clean both inside and out. Target the dirtier side, and you’ll be amazed by the difference you can make in half the time.
As for the screens, Green Cleaning Coach Leslie Reichert says not to worry about removing and washing them.
“Just wipe them with a large, looped microfiber cloth. The microfiber will capture the dust on the screen and make it look as clean as if you washed it.”
3. Dusting your drapes and curtains
Simply toss your curtains and (machine-washable) drapes into the dryer for 10 to 15 minutes on low.
“That will knock the dust off, and you won’t have to go through washing, drying, and ironing,” Reichert says.
4. Scrubbing your deck and outdoor furniture
“Get yourself an electric blower and power washer,” Reichert recommends. These two tools will do all the scrubbing for you.
“Use the blower to remove dirt and debris from your patio, deck, driveway, walkways, and even the sides of your house,” she says. Then, “the power washer will clean off all of the above.”
If you can’t afford to buy this equipment, you can rent a pressure washer or a blower from stores such as Home Depot.
5. Weeding your garden
Mulch your garden instead! Start by covering the ground around your plants with light-blocking biodegradable fabric. Then cover with two inches of mulch. This will keep weeds from taking over and will help your garden retain more water, resulting in a break on another summer chore: watering.
6. Laundering winter bedding
If you prefer lighter bedding when it gets hot, don’t worry about laundering it before putting it away.
“Place blankets in a vacuum-sealed bag and put them away until fall,” says Reichert. She says you can wait to launder them in the fall, when that freshly laundered bedding will feel nicer.
But realistically, there’s actually no need to swap out winter bedding for summer. The reason: All-season duvets are available that can cover you comfortably all year round.
7. Transitioning from your winter to summer wardrobe
Reality check: There’s no reason to store our winter sweaters under the bed to make room for T-shirts and shorts, provided you’ve purged your wardrobe of all the things you don’t wear. And rather than pulling out each item and hemming and hawing over whether it should stay or go, Reichert says there’s a much easier way: Weed it out in reverse.
Start by putting all your cold-weather clothes in a plastic bin and set it aside for the season. Next, put all your warm-weather clothes in another bin. As you use those clothes, launder and replace them in your closet and drawers.
“Anything that doesn’t come out of the summer container by the end of the summer gets given away,” Reichert says.
Plus, postpurge you’ve likely got tons of room in your closet and drawers, so you can keep everything where it is; just rearrange so your summer stuff is more easily within reach.
Now relax and enjoy the season. And save an emu burger for us.
Posted by Adriana Velez on realtor.com