Let fresh air fill your home by opening your windows, and place a houseplant next to your bathroom sink to help filter the air. Some of the best air-cleaning houseplants are snake plants, spider plants, English ivy, and small-leafed rubber plants.
Find more ways to detox your bathroom from Sunset
A summer without cold drinks on hand is no summer at all. Take care now to clean your refrigerator’s condensing coils to keep it running smoothly all summer long. Unplug the fridge, and remove the base plate or top grate. (Check your owner's manual to locate coils.) Use a vacuum cleaner with the nozzle attachment to remove any dirt and lint.
Find out what else needs maintenance in your home at Coastal Living
Enjoy warm summer evening breezes through your screen doors. Clean screening and repair or replace it, if needed. Tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers, especially on wooden doors that can become warped with changing temperatures, humidity, and wet weather. The same goes for window screens.
Check out our step-by-step guide on repairing screens
You’ve waited all winter-long to ditch your heavy coat and boots. Don’t let these items take up precious bathing suit, sundress, and flip flop space in your closet.
See more closet organization tips from Real Simple
Many people will be entertaining out-of-town friends this summer, and if your guest room hasn’t been touched since Christmas, you may want to spruce it up a bit. Open windows and closet doors for a few hours to air out the room. Fluff pillows and duvets by placing them in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet on air dry (no heat).
See more guest room prep tips at Coastal Living
You may not be able to get through the month of May without running your air conditioner—let alone June, July, and August—but don’t discount the value of a ceiling fan. Set fan blades to revolve counterclockwise, which forces the hotter air near the ceiling to mix with the lower, cooler air, leveling out the room temperature.
Learn more about the benefits of ceiling fans at Southern Living
There’s no point in turning on the AC if the sun coming through a window bakes your living room. Install reflective film, sunscreen-fabric curtains, or roller shades. If you’re investing in new windows, choose panes with a low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC).
Find more eco-friendly ways to keep your home cool at Sunset
You’ve got your bathing suit and sunglasses on, sunscreen is applied, and your beach towel is fluffed up and ready to go. All you need now is your beach chair from the garage. Don’t ruin a perfectly good beach day spending hours scouring your cluttered garage.
Take the time to clean out and organize the garage with these tips from Southern Living
Put those rotting fire logs outside and bring some life back to your dormant fireplace. A collection of green plants in terracotta pots makes a beautiful summertime display. Just make sure that the fireplace receives a little bit of sun.
For more fireplace alternatives, check out Real Simple
Swap warm flannel sheets and heavy duvet covers for lighter linens with a high thread-count. Choose solid, light colors to give the whole room a breezy feel. A simple, thin coverlet should be enough to keep you warm during the summer months.
Get more tips on creating a tranquil bedroom atmosphere
Whether you’re grilling up brisket in Birmingham or mahi mahi in Miami, summertime is barbecue time. Be sure to have all of your BBQ essentials on hand before Memorial Day. If you’re using a charcoal grill, don’t drench the coals in lighter fluid—you’ll just end up with food that tastes like, well, lighter fluid. Instead, invest in an inexpensive chimney starter to quickly and safely light the coals.
Check out some more barbecue and outdoor entertaining tips and ideas
Also be sure to avoid BBQ fires with a few pointers from This Old House
Make sure your sprinkler system is good to go for the summer, as you’ll need it to keep the lawn green, the flowers blooming, and the Slip ‘n Slide slippery. Check around outside for swampy areas, erosion, or dying plants—you could be losing water and not even know it.
Find out more about potential irrigation problems at Southern Living
As much fun as having a pool is, maintaining one is no picnic. However, if you want to enjoy your backyard swimming hole all summer long, it is essential to monitor pH and chlorine levels. Failure to do so can result in bacteria growth, faded bathing suits, and irritated eyes.
Check out this article from This Old House for more information on proper levels of pool chemicals
Give your dryer, energy bill, and the environment a break by hanging laundry to dry outdoors on warm days. If everyone reading this line-dried one load of laundry once a week, we'd save 836 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
Find out a few more ways to boost your energy savings from the eco-experts at Sunset
We all have our own remedies for keeping mosquitoes at bay; bug spray and citronella candles are two popular methods. However it’s also a good idea to clear underbrush around trees and shrubs and avoid planting thick vegetation, according to the insect experts at Southern Living.
Read more about banishing bugs on their site
If you want to save money, eat healthy, and help the planet all at once, start growing your own vegetables. Tomatoes, basil, and lettuce are all crops that thrive in warmer weather.
Here are a few more veggies to pepper your summer menus with
Use your fresh produce to create a zesty Prosciutto, Lettuce and, Tomato Sandwich from MyRecipes.com
Rinse off your patio furniture, and top lounge chairs and porch swings with colorful, stylish, and durable outdoor fabrics. New outdoor upholstery complements your yard while creating inviting spaces to sit and relax. You can also use outdoor fabrics to create romantic curtains around a patio or other outdoor space.
This video from the Southern Living Style Guide has dozens more tips on using outdoor fabric
We’ll admit it—the one thing winter has over summer is it allows you to put away the lawn mower for a few months. But now that your dried out brown grass has turned green, it’s time to take care of that baby by fertilizing on a regular basis.
Find out what type and how much fertilizer your lawn needs at Southern Living
Don’t let the setting sun determine the end of your time outside. Outdoor lighting can brighten up your house, turn a patio into an outdoor room, or set a romantic mood.
Check out these enlightening ideas from the Southern Living Style Guide
Reinvent your deck by finding a great table and set of chairs for dining alfresco. Make your outdoor meal even more special by using real plates and silverware, and decorating with candles.
Check out this amazing deck makeover, and read some more of the homeowner’s tips.
Get all of these tips in a convenient checklist! Download our free, summer prep guide