Almost time for school to return, our winter visitors will soon be on the horizon; it might be a good time to review an August home check list.
People who think the seasons never change in Southwest Florida just aren’t paying attention. While “summer” weather will last well into deep October and, even, December in some years, most of us who make our homes in Southwest Florida know our lives are just as much driven by different season as are our friends in more temperate latitudes
Fortunately for us, our friends at Houzz have a few good suggestions for what might be on an August home check list and we’d like to share those suggestions with you.
“Stretch out these last days of summer by squeezing in a few more home projects, savoring simple pleasures and, when the time comes, cleaning up the beach toys and preparing the house for a busy fall,” Gaskill writes.
- Finish up outdoor projects. Make use of the long August days to finish up any outdoor projects you started (or intended to start) over the summer.
- Check your home for signs of pests. Sure, we live with bugs in Southwest Florida. And most are harmless. But some are not. Think termites, fire ants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends taking preventative measures such as removing sources of food, water and shelter, and closing off places where pests can enter and hide.
- Clean and store summer gear. Of course we can go to beach just about any day out of the year we want in Southwest Florida but, let’s face it, we don’t get there as often once school starts and we resume our normal activities. Might as well take some time now to clean out the buckets, shovels and boogie boards so they’re fresh and clean. Toss out cracked or broken toys prepare for winter beach season (because you know it’s very different than summer beach season).
- Organize family photos. Have a bunch of new photos from your summer adventures? Take this opportunity to sort and organize them — back up digital photos with cloud-based storage, and make an album or a book of recent photos.
- Get organized for back to school (and work). Consider what would make this fall run more smoothly for your family: a few extra hooks in the entryway to handle our light jackets and bags, perhaps? Or if papers are a constant problem, take the time now to set up a simple filing system and an inbox for each family member.
- Check emergency kits. Emergency supplies don’t last forever — open up your kit and check expiration dates on food and any medications; replace as needed. Don’t have an emergency kit yet? Make this the month you create one.
- Clear the way for easy weeknight dinners. A too-packed kitchen (and fridge, and pantry) can make meal prep harder than it needs to be. Clear away clutter to create a clean workspace on the counter, and remove expired, stale and unwanted food from the pantry, fridge and freezer. Donate unwanted and unexpired foods in their original packaging to a local food pantry.
- Organize closets before school shopping. Before making any new purchases, spend some time assessing what you already have in the closet: Try on clothing, fold and hang up any clothes on the floor, get rid of items you don’t wear and make a list of what you need. Doing this before shopping can help save money and prevent cluttering up your closet.
- Clean out the garage. If you haven’t cleaned out your garage in a while, it’s likely this project will take an entire weekend (or more), so plan accordingly. It helps to think ahead and find out where you can take items (donations, hazardous waste, things to sell) before starting, and get a dumpster if you think you will need it.
- Schedule some do-nothing time. It can be surprisingly hard to relax and simply do nothing, even when you do have a pocket of free time. I find that the key is not calling it “free time” at all: by planning to do nothing, you are actually giving yourself permission to fully relax. So what do you do during do-nothing time? Sipping from a mug of tea or tall glass of iced tea on the porch with a good book tops my list.
Read the full post by Laura Gaskill: