With the arrival of longer days and warmer nights, you’ve probably noticed that summer is just around the corner! Along with the season come plenty of opportunities to enjoy your deck, patio or other outdoor living space by spending lazy summer days lounging with an iced tea in hand or grilling up some burgers for a backyard barbeque. But before you can jump into the relaxation of summer, you’ll need to pull your seasonal items out of storage and prepare them for use. Here are some tips for how to get your outdoor living equipment in tip-top shape in no time!
Tip #1: Clean dirty patio furniture.
If your patio furniture has been sitting in storage all winter, or if it’s been sitting outside exposed, it will need a good cleaning before it’s ready to use. Christina Peterson of Country Living suggests first “mixing a generous amount of dish liquid soap with warm water in a bucket.” Then you’ll need to wet the furniture with a hose, and, using the soap mixture and a scrub brush or sponge, wash the furniture completely. Next, rinse off the soap and set the furniture in the sun to dry. You may need to use an old towel to dry crevices or parts that could rust.
Tip #2: Tune up and clean your grill.
You probably haven’t used your grill since last season, so you’ll want to make sure it is functioning correctly and safely before you use it again. “Examine hoses for any cracks or damage. If a hose seems compromised in any way, replace it. Inspect burners and their gas tubes and make sure they aren’t worn out, rusty or blocked by debris or spider webs,” recommends Jim Baskin of True Value Hardware. Consider also scrubbing metal grates to get rid of burnt residue and cleaning the inside and outside of the grill with warm, soapy water. Then, rinse it and let it dry before use.
Tip #3: Add a touch of personality to your outdoor space.
After a dull, gray winter, your patio or deck may need a bit of rejuvenating design or just a pop of color to make it feel updated and inviting. And adding some character doesn’t have to be expensive! In Sunset, Di Zock shares how buying some inexpensive terra-cotta pots and painting them allows her to customize the colors in her garden areas. You can also dress up plain or faded furniture cushions with a few new throw pillows in vibrant colors or patterns. If the flooring of your deck or patio is weathered or stained, place an outdoor rug over it to conceal the problem. Shop for these items at discount home decorating stores or department store garden centers. The end of springtime is a great time to find outdoor summer décor on sale as retailers gear up for the season.
It doesn’t require a lot of time or money to prepare your seasonal items for use this summer. Set aside a couple of hours on a cool morning to follow these tips and you’ll quickly have your deck or patio ready to enjoy. You may even be inspired to invite the neighbors over that afternoon for the first outdoor party of the season!
Christina Peterson, “Outdoor Entertaining Prep: Get Your Patio Ready,” Country Living, http://www.countryliving.com/cleaning/cleaning-the-patio-deck-good-housekeeping.
Jim Baskin, “Prepare Your Grill for Summer,” True Value Hardware, https://www.truevalueprojects.com//lawn_and_garden/outdoor_updates/prepare_your_grill_for_summer.aspx.
Sharon Cohoon, “Chic Backyard on a Shoestring,” Sunset, http://www.sunset.com/garden/landscaping-design/chic-affordable-backyard-00418000070409/.