Inveterate list-makers know that lists are great tools to sharpen memory. You’ll never forget an important household task again, thanks to our monthly To-Do list. We’ve put together your list of important seasonal to-dos. They’re gentle reminders without the clutter of sticky yellow notes. Have we forgotten something? Send us an email at:

Life slows down during the summer, but there’s still plenty to do to keep our homes and yards in top shape. The season also offers opportunities to do maintenance tasks that cannot be done during the colder months. Here are a few suggestions:

* Check garden centres during the summer months for plants that are on sale.  It’s a good time to add some new arrivals to your garden without the spring price tags.

* Check the exterior façade of your home for chipped, cracked or fading paint. Now is an excellent time to repaint before the cold weather sets in.

* Are you planning to leave town for a summer vacation? Secure your home by enlisting a friend or neighbour to check on it during your absence. Ask them to remove flyers that are left at the front door. Arrange to have your lawn cut, if necessary. Timer lights will make your home look occupied during the evenings.

* Give your windows some attention by washing them. If there is air leakage around the perimeters of the windows, seal them with caulking.

* Inspect outdoor children’s play equipment to ensure its safety.

* Power-wash your patio or deck.

* Do annual maintenance on your home’s ceiling fans, which circulate air throughout your home during the hot months. Clean the blades and check for bent parts or wobbles. Allow the blades to rotate in a counter-clockwise motion, which pushes cool air downwards. 

* If you grow food in your garden, you know that the harvest season has begun. Pick the vegetables and fruits that are ripe. And consider planting a crop of snow peas at the end of July for an autumn harvest.

* If you spent the spring organizing closets and purging belongings, the summer months are the perfect time to hold a garage sale to allow others to enjoy stuff you no longer use.

* Launder textiles, such as cushion covers, slipcovers, shower curtains, drapes, and small washable rugs, and dry them outdoors in the sun. 

* Cool your home efficiently. Rather than jacking up the air conditioning, keep blinds or curtains closed on very hot, sunny days. Planting a deciduous tree near your house will also bring cooling air to the interiors of your home.

* Have your oil supplier do an annual check-up of your furnace to perform routine maintenance and clean filters.

* If you didn’t get around to it in the spring, clean your garage or garden shed. It’s easier to do this task in the warm weather than when it’s cold.

* If you planted a garden in the spring, you’re likely battling invading weeds by now. Once you’ve pulled the weeds, add a fresh layer of mulch to inhibit their further growth. Mulch also maintains moisture in the soil during the hot, dessicating days of summer. Cedar chips, cocoa bean hulls and straw are all excellent mulches.

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