To Dos for July

Make sure your home is safe while you’re away. Whether you’re going away for the weekend or the entire summer, it pays to take a few precautions before leaving your house empty. Having a house sitter or neighbor come by regularly is helpful not only to keep your home looking lived in, but also to check for anything that might go wrong (like a leak that could cause major water damage). Motion-sensing exterior lights, well-trimmed trees and bushes, and alarm systems can also help deter intruders. Refresh your guest bedroom. If you are expecting summer visitors, now is a good time to get the guest room in order. Clear away personal items and clutter, and make sure there are fresh sheets, extra blankets, window coverings and bath towels. Perks like a basket of travel-size toiletries, fun paperback books, local maps, bottles of water and chocolates are always welcome. Declutter and host a yard sale. Lighten up this summer by spending a day clearing unwanted and unneeded items out of the house. Host a yard sale and use the cash to treat yourself to a fun, summery experience (like a day at the fair or lobster rolls at a favorite clam shack) rather than more stuff to clutter up your home. Cut energy and water bills. A hot summer can mean huge water and energy bills, thanks to constant air conditioning and a thirsty garden. Do what you can to cut down:

  • Fix leaks in faucets and irrigation systems.
  • Water your garden in the early morning or evening, when you will lose less water to evaporation.
  • Consider collecting rainwater to use in the garden.
  • Set your thermostat higher during the day when you are out.
  • Keep window shades pulled down during the day to block sun.
  • Use fans and open windows instead of air conditioning to cool your home on not-so-hot days.

Protect your garden. Protect your favorite flower beds, tender garden plants and berries from nibbling deer and pecking birds with bird cloth. Inexpensive and easy to use, bird cloth is made of a fine plastic mesh — simply drape it over any plants you wish to protect. A natural deer-repellent spray can also help, but if deer or other creatures have been taking a major toll on your garden, consider putting up a fence to prevent trouble in the future. Protect patio floors with planter feet. If you keep pots and planters on your patio, be sure to elevate them on plant stands or risers. Containers placed directly on flooring can stain it over time — or even cause rotting in wood.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 at 9:12 pm and is filed under Article Of The Week. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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