Home Projects For The Dogs Days of August
August is a wind-down and wind-up month. It’s summer’s last hoorah with some of the hottest days of the year leading into the first days of fall, while winding up to the beginning of the new school year. Days have been shortening since the solstice in June and the sun can be found lower in the sky.
Most family vacations have ended and now there’s a brief window of opportunity before the world returns its focus to school and work awaiting the onset of colder weather.
This respite is the perfect time to take on small tasks around the home that normally escape our notice. As you’ll see, August is the perfect time to tackle small interior and exterior projects to get your home in shape and looking its best.
Clean Your Deck Or Patio
Summers can be hard on deck and patio surfaces, especially after a long summer of outdoor gatherings and get-togethers, your deck or patio has taken a bit of a summer beating.
Show your outdoor space some TLC with a thorough cleaning and reseal. Pressure washing removes dirt, debris and stains from stone and wood surfaces, and decks benefit from a fresh coat of exterior seal and stain to help avoid future stains or water damage.
August is also a good time to make updates to your deck. You may want to extend your deck, add a second tier or replace a poured patio with a more elegant and natural stone, this is your opportunity.
Paint The House
If the exterior of your home is showing its age, worn, faded, cracked or peeling paint, you can bring it back to life with a fresh coat of paint, and August is an opportune time to do it. The hot weather will accelerate drying time and more evenly, producing a more professional-looking appearance.
Replace Air Filters
Air conditioners are the unsung heroes of the summer months, at least until they break down! Most HVAC companies recommend replacing filters every three months, however for those who may not remember that often, August is a good time to replace the filter in preparation for the cooler months and eventual switchover to heat.
It may not seem like much, but a dirty filter can impede air flow by as much as 20%, making the fan work harder to move air through the house and increasing your electric bill.
Clean and Store Summer Gear
Summer’s in the rearview mirror, but your summer gear is still taking up space on the deck. Now a great time to clean summer gear and stow it away safely and securely until next year. Inflatables, like swimming pools, yard toys, outdoor furniture pads, all can use a rinse and dry before being stowed. And if you tackle the cleaning now when next summer arrives you’ll be able to pull those things out again and use them immediately.
Inside, you can begin storing summer clothes and pulling out clothing more appropriate for cooler temperatures. Keep a few summery clothing items out just in case we experience an unexpected heat wave!
Other area of your home are often overlooked and neglected during routine cleaning. For instance, baseboards, door frames and door moldings, ceiling fan blades; in the kitchen clean your range hood and wash or replace the filter, the refrigerator coils and door seals, and in the bathroom the exhaust fam cover.
Prep For Back-To-School
Preparing for the school year can be chaotic, but with a little organization you can roll into the year confident and stress-free. Looks for ways you can make the daily routine more streamlined. Create a space for homework sessions, away from distractions like televisions and video games and near windows with views of nature to help with memory and information retention. Pick up school supplies early to avoid the last minute rush.
If possible, keep extra-curricular activities to a reasonable level. It’s great when kids have many interests, and the more interests they have the more energy you have to expend to juggle those activities in addition to your work life and the daily routine. You can’t take of them effectively if you’re too worn out to take care of yourself!
Often forgotten, this is a great way to extend the life of your mattress. Rotating the mattress reduces wear by transferring the majority of the weight from one end to the other and reduces sagging. If you’re partnered and your partner weighs less or more, then it equalizes the wear from side-to-side as well. Mattress manufacturers say that a mattress rotated every year can last almost twice as long as one that isn’t, and as expensive as mattresses are, that can translate to a significant savings!
Organize the Kitchen
The pantry, much like the basement, the closet or the shed, is often a catchall for sundries and ingredients intended for immediate use but quickly forgotten and end up migrating to the back of shelves. Now is a great time to take stock of canned and dry goods and toss anything past its expiration date and rearrange items so they’re easier to find and use.
While you’re in the kitchen, take inventory of your utensils, cookware and supplies, replacing anything that will make quick breakfasts or weeknight dinners simpler.
Clean The Floors
Whether you rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional, now is a great time to have the floors and carpets cleaned. In the summer months we tend to track more dirt indoors, as well as allergens such as tree and grass pollen. Whichever direction you take, make sure you choose cleaning agents that are nontoxic to pets and children and won’t discolor fade or harm your floors and carpets.
Schedule Some Zen
We easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the daily routine, even when we know it’s coming we sometimes forget how important it is to make time for ourselves and our loved ones to rest and recharge.
Schedule time with your partner every week, even if it’s only for an hour, a spa night in the tub, a game night with friends, or dinner at your favorite local restaurant. When you’re refreshed and recharged, you’re more productive, receptive and resilient, which means you can tackle whatever comes your way in the day-to-day more successfully.
August is definitely the space between two worlds, the summer and the fall, so take advantage of the opportunity to care for the little things in your home and yourself.
You’ll be glad you did.