Summer is here and your backyard is calling your name after the long winter months. From pool parties to a neighborhood BBQ, it is always fun to get together with family and friends to enjoy good food, games and sunshine. Hosting an event, although fun, can get stressful fast so next time you are planning your next summer bash take a look at these tips!
Food: On the bright side…you don’t have to think too hard about the menu for a summer party as many people are expecting the traditional backyard grub, but try to make it fun with a few new staples.
Add some color to the table with fresh fruit and vegetables paired with some killer dips. Try dipping flavors not many people have like a spicy chipotle hummus or a sweet dip for the fruit like cookie dough. You also want to make sure you have more than just hamburgers and hot dogs for the main dishes. Try to have a vegetarian or vegan option for guests like sweet potato and pepper kabobs. Also maybe you want to be adventurous and try something like salmon on the grill.
Drinks: Make the party fun with some signature cocktails or “mocktails” to celebrate the new summer season. Sangria or frozen cocktails are great for a refreshing beverage for adults and the kids can enjoy slushies!
In addition, having a cooler full of water and soda will ensure that every guest has something to wash down that delicious food with and keep hydrated in the heat.
Games: It’s all fun and games during the summer months! Buying classic yard games like croquet, bocce ball or ladder toss are all good ones to keep on hand. You may also want to provide some playing cards for the tables in case those sitting want something to entertain themselves too.
If you are having a pool party, get some small squirt guns or water balloons for everyone to enjoy. Remember these will always have more clean up than land games though.
Best party set-up: The most important thing when hosting a summer party outdoors is having a space for your guests to cool off and escape the heat. This could either be opening your home and letting people hangout indoors for a bit or setting up umbrellas or shade tents in the yard. Also remember to buy extra ice and cooking fuel! Nothing ruins a good cook-out like hot drinks and cold food.
Some other things to consider is providing sunscreen or bug spray to your guests to keep them safe, especially for little ones as they are often prone to sunburns and bug bites.
Music: If you don’t have a musical ear, go ahead and put someone else in charge of a playlist! There are plenty of pre-made “songs for the summer” playlists on streaming services or free platforms like YouTube, but it can also be fun to make your own. Pick songs that are chill and happy but also appropriate for all ages if children are attending.
Whether it’s a family barbecue or a pool party for your closest friends, take these tips to make sure your summer bash will be the envy of parties for the rest of the sunshine season.
The garage can be a hard place to keep organized and clean with outdoor toys, cars, storage boxes and more all coming and going throughout the seasons. The summer can be a great time to take advantage of the weather and spend the day outside re-organizing after the hectic winters and cleaning out a space that doesn’t always get much TLC.
Remove everything and organize it
A messy and full garage can be overwhelming to clean. The first thing that you need to do is remove everything to create a clear space to work with, only then you will be able to clean your garage completely.
As you keep removing the items from the garage, segregate them into piles. This will help you put them back in an orderly fashion. This will also help you to decide what you need to keep and what you need to discard.
One good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used something for a while, then it’s best that you either sell or throw it away. This does not include tools like hammers, saws, drills, torque wrenches, etc. as those are basic home ideas that are good to keep around.
For the things you put in the “get rid” of pile, you can either have a garage sale or sell things online.
Gather cleaning equipment
To start cleaning, you will need brushes, buckets, sponges, brooms and cloths. There is a possibility that you might require oil stain remover, a wire brush, or floor paint if your floor has oil stains. Cleaning your garage in the summer can be advantageous if you can recruit your kids to “volunteer”. You get some extra help plus get to spend some quality family time together.
Clean the Fixtures and Hidden Spaces
Always start from the top and keep cleaning your way down. Years of cobwebs and other dirt may have accumulated on your ceiling and your walls. Keep a cordless vacuum cleaner handy so that you can reach the corners of the walls and the garage ceiling easily. You can also keep a broom with a long handle to clear cobwebs which are out of arm’s reach.
Give your light fixtures, windows and garage door a nice wipe down. Use a car washing sponge to give a good soaking to the windows and walls of your garage. After that, you can use old towels to wipe everything and dry it up.
Cleaning the Floor
You should start at the back and use a broom to sweep the floor. You should keep sweeping right from the back of your garage and sweep off the dirt out of your garage door. This will help you to identify areas where on the floor which you will need to double down your efforts on.
After sweeping the floor, give it a thorough mopping. If there are years of dirt, you may have to scrub hard and use floor cleaning agents.
Once the floor is dry, if you see oil stains on the floor, you can brush them. You can either use a commercial oil stain remover or a wire brush for this purpose. Once the stain is removed, it is easy to clean the floor.
Keep it clean
Once you have made sure that your garage is clean, don’t go back to cluttering it. It is a valuable space. You can keep a lot of things in it if you organize things in your garage properly. Once you’ve restored cleanliness and order to your garage, you’ll realize that the space can be versatile and can be used for several purposes.
About Ellen Biggs
Ellen Biggs is a garage and cleanliness enthusiast and writes at Top Ten Vacuums. She loves to tinker with stuff in her garage and has a quest for DIY activities.
Budget Friendly Tips to Keep Your Home Cool During the Summer
(Published on - 6/19/2019 11:02:50 PM)
Living comfortably during summer doesn’t have to be expensive. There are various ways to protect yourself from high temperatures without having to break the bank. Read below for tips that will help you cool your home and save money while doing it.
1. Keep the sun away from your home
While windows keep your home well ventilated, they also let sunlight inside which raises temperatures inside your rooms. Use blackout curtains and shades to block the sun from streaming into your home. Placing plants in front of your window and using tainted windows can also be a useful way of keeping the sun away.
2. Check your appliance usage
Electrical appliances such as dishwashers produce heat. Limit the use of these appliances during summer and adopt alternative ways of getting work done such as grilling and drying laundry outside. Doing these activities outdoors will save your home from heat generated by dryers and ovens. Also, ensure that your appliances are unplugged when not in use, as they still produce heat even when not in use.
The attic maintains comfortable temperatures in homes during any season. In summer, it traps hot air and thus keeps your home cool. It is therefore essential to vent this space to let the hot air outside. There are several attic fans available in the market that are effective in ensuring that your attic is well ventilated.
Insulating the walls of your attic is also a convenient way to cool your home. This insulation minimizes the heat that flows to your home from the attic as well as the heat that enters the attic.
5. Use Fans
Fans are cost-effective ways of cooling your home during summer. Make sure to turn off your fan when you are not at home to save energy and money. Since moisture makes cooling tough, ensure that your fan is on when you shower and when cooking.
6. Get a Dehumidifier
Eliminating moisture from air lowers the temperatures in your home and makes it cool and comfortable. Air conditioners work more effectively on dry air than in a humid environment. A dehumidifier will, therefore, boost your air conditioner’s performance and hence cool your home.
7. Clean your air conditioner.
It costs a lot less to maintain your A/C system than to install a new one. Have your A/C professionally checked and serviced annually. Using an electrostatic filter and changing it after every three months is also a convenient way to maintain your A/C as it saves you the high costs of repairing a damaged air conditioner or buying another.
In conclusion, surviving the heat during summer does not necessarily require costly advanced technology. Simple habits such as taking cold evening showers, using cotton sheets and keeping the windows open in the evening can go a long way into ensuring that you stay comfortable.
Realty Executives International
How to Prep Your Home for a New Pet
(Published on - 6/19/2019 11:01:33 PM)
Bringing a new pet into your home can be one of the most exciting life changes. Pets can bring so much joy and company, but they come with their fair share of responsibilities even before they arrive home for the first time. Here’s how you can prep your home for a new pet.
But first, here’s something to keep in mind…
When adopting a pet into your home, you should brace yourself for potential damages. A kitten or puppy can often have accidents in the house during training, so keep this in mind as you get your home ready for a new furry friend. Wood or linoleum floors and leather or vinyl furniture are the easiest to clean. As always, if you’re renting your home, be sure to check with your landlord before adopting a pet.
Clean your house from top to bottom
Just as you would want to clean your house before having visitors over, you’ll also want to clean before taking in a new member of your family. If you are introducing a pet into your home for the first time, it’s a good idea to start with a clean slate. We recommend cleaning your entire home from top to bottom. This way, you can go over every room and ensure that it is clean and orderly (and make sure there aren’t any forgotten messes or areas that your new furry friend may get into).
Pet proof your home
After giving your home a deep clean, it’s time to make it pet-proof. Much like baby-proofing a home, pet-proofing requires assessing the areas that your pet will be able to access and make sure they are safe. Ensure your cabinets aren’t easily accessed so your new pet can’t get into any food or harmful chemicals. If you can, opt for washable area rugs instead of carpet, in case your new pet has an accident. One of your main priorities should be to secure all door and window screens (and secure your yard or patio area, if you have one) to make sure your pet won’t be able to escape your home.
Organize a personal space for your new pet
Next, we recommend finding an area of your home that can be your new pet’s personal space. As humans, we value having areas in our home that are designated for relaxation, and your pet will value this, as well. Organize a sleeping area for your new pet, an area for their food, and an area for the litter box if your new pet is a cat. Having an official area for sleeping will help your pet feel right at home. If you’re adopting a cat, try purchasing a scratching post or tower to prevent damage to your furniture. If you’re adopting a dog, make sure you have plenty of toys.
Overall, pets can bring so much life and joy to a home, but keep in mind how much maintenance they can be.
This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International. This post was written by Bailee Abell. Bailee Abell is a writer born and raised in California. A graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara, she loves reading classic literature, sipping warm beverages, and visiting theme parks every chance she gets. Find her at baileeabell.com.
Five Tips for Decorating on a Budget
(Published on - 6/19/2019 11:00:48 PM)
Making your perfect Pinterest board is easy… buying everything to transfer that board into your living room, not so easy. Doing a makeover of an old space or decorating a new home is fun and refreshing but can also be stressful trying to ensure your vision comes out the way you wanted without breaking the bank. Check out these tips on how you can decorate your home just the way you want on a budget you can afford.
1. Plan your budget
It’s hard to stay on budget if you don’t have one! Set a maximum amount you are comfortable paying and stick to it. Make a list of “must-have” items before you start shopping and plan the look you are going for. This will not only help you stay on track style wise but also within price range. You can also look online for budget items or to see what stores have the best deals and if they have any upcoming sales.
2. Find furnishings to serve multiple purposes
It can be challenging to accommodate every purpose a house serves, including hosting holidays, parties or a small get-together with friends. Having enough seating, surface space and entertaining space can be a struggle, especially for smaller apartments or homes. You can fix this by filling your spaces with multi-functional pieces. Buy seating with built-in storage or tables with removable sections that can be added for more guests and then removed at the end of dinner.
3. Spiff up old or outdated furniture to fit your new look
Your taste and trends may change but that doesn’t mean you have to buy decor or furniture pieces new every time. A coat of paint or re-upholstering can give a new look to an old piece that can fit into your new style. Take something old and make it have a whole new function and work it into your new spaces.
4. Find local treasures
So many items that end up in thrift stores or antique shops can be put to good use with the right space. Old treasures can blend nicely with current pieces in your house. Finding items at local shops will also give you more unique pieces that no one else has and will bring a special personal touch to any room.
5. Don’t rush it
We tend to fall into the mindset that once we move into a new home, that each room needs to be put together and look flawless immediately, but that can get expensive – and fast. Take your time and pick one room at a time to focus on. You won’t get overwhelmed and won’t stretch your budget right from the start. Plus if you finish one room and like how it turned out, you will have a better idea of how you want the other spaces to turn out.
Whether it’s a new home or you are just wanting to revamp your current place, take these tips to get your dream look on your realistic budget.
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