Believe it or not, summer’s finally here! Just as in winter, we spend time ensuring our windows are well-insulated and our beds are warm and cosy, in the summertime it’s worth spending some time prepping your home for the warm weather. It’s a hot and sticky season, and your home should provide you with a cool place to relax during the heat of the day. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows: the hotter weather also provides its own challenges (bug infestations, anyone?), and the more prepared you are, the better. Let’s take a look at four steps you can take to prep your home for the summer.
Opening and closing your windows to air the room is a great idea, but it can also make it easier for your windows to pick up grime. Sunlight streaming through your windows can also draw attention to any streaks and dirt, so now is the perfect time to make sure your windows are sparkling clean.
You might want to hire a professional to get the job done, but the good news is that it’s also relatively easy to DIY.
•Start by rinsing the windows with a sponge to get the initial grime off. Watch out: you’ll probably have to go over a few times to get them really clean.
•Next, add a few sprays of all- purpose cleaner to a bucket of warm water. If you want to make your own solution, vinegar is a great alternative.
•Grab a microfibre cloth, and go over another couple of times until clean.
Top tip: the direct sun can cause streaks as your windows dry, so wait for a cloudy day to get cleaning.
Clean the freezer
When’s the last time you cleaned your freezer? Unlike the fridge, which requires regular scrubs as it falls victim to spilled juice, leaky leftovers and sticky patches, we tend to leave our freezers alone. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually need to defrost your freezer in order to give it a good clean.
Instead, follow these simple steps:
• First things first, transfer the items in your freezer into a cooling bag for the duration of the cleaning process.
• Set aside the removable parts of the freezer, like the plastic drawers. You’ll need these to be at room temperature before you start scrubbing them, or else the drastic change in temperature means you run the risk of damaging your freezer parts.
• Unplug your freezer (this isn’t a problem for the short amount of time it will take to clean) and spray the inside with a vinegar and warm water solution. Vinegar is a surprisingly useful cleaning agent if you don’t have any other cleaning products on hand! If there are chunks of thicker ice in your freezer where liquid has spilled, for example, try covering it with a hot towel to melt the ice.
• Wipe the cleaning solution off with a microfibre cloth, and go over once again with a clean cloth to make sure everything’s dry again.
• Place the now room-temperature freezer accessories in the sink with some washing up liquid (bonus points if it smells delicious) and scrub them as you would your dishes.
• When everything’s clean and dry, put the accessories and drawers back in the freezer, and move your frozen food from the cooler.
Sort out your outdoor space
If you’re lucky enough to have some outdoor space — whether that’s a balcony, a terrace, or a spacious garden — now’s the time to make sure it’s in tip-top condition and ready for those balmy summer barbecues.
• Gather any outdoor furniture you might have, and make a cleaning solution from all-purpose cleaner or washing-up liquid mixed with warm water.
•Spot-clean any particular marks from bird poo, food or animals, and then go over your furniture with a cloth soaked in the cleaning solution.
•Leave it to soak in for half an hour, and then spray off with a garden hose.
• Finally, leave your garden furniture to air-dry, ready to welcome your next guests.
There’s nothing better than filling your outdoor space with some freshly planted herbs and flowers, so plan a trip to your local garden centre to stock up on supplies!
Pay extra attention to (bad) smells
Humidity levels tend to be higher during the summer months, meaning you might notice some less-than-fragrant smells around the house.
It’s much easier for mould to grow when the weather’s warm, so keep windows open when there’s a breeze in the air — especially in rooms like the bathroom where steam and damp can cling to the walls.
You might want to take the rubbish out more frequently in summer, or use smaller, sealable bin bags so that food waste isn’t sitting in the bin for extended periods of time. Don’t forget to wash the bin itself regularly, too. It’s easiest to sprinkle some baking soda in the bin, and then rinse it out in the shower. Using scented natural cleaning products will help, too, as will investing in a diffuser or creating some homemade fragrances using ingredients like lavender and citrus fruit.
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