Get your home’s outdoor spaces summer-ready


(StatePoint) You may not think a lot about your home’s outdoor spaces during the off-season, but in warm weather, your porch, deck, yard and patio are extensions of your living space -- and it’s important to maintain these areas to be in tip-top shape.

Here are some helpful tips to get these spaces summer-ready.

Organize
Set yourself up for a season of better gardening, yardwork, tinkering and auto repair by organizing your shed or garage. You’ll be more inclined to do these necessary tasks when you know exactly where your tools are and you don’t have to search around in order to get started.

Do an inventory of your tools. Throw out rusty or broken items that are irreparable. Perform routine maintenance on equipment and tools. Then organize your equipment in a systematic way that makes the most sense for you, making use of vertical storage systems that take the best advantage of the space you have.

Deep Clean
It’s a tough world out there. Things get dirty, messy and stained, and sometimes a garden hose, soap and elbow grease just aren’t enough -- especially after months of neglect. Enter the pressure washer, which can aggressively blast things clean with water jets pressurized up to 75 times that of a garden hose; or gently spray with lower pressures for delicate cleaning.

Step up your cleaning of patio furniture, sidewalks and fencing with a light-duty pressure washer.  For decks, patios, garage floors, siding and driveways, a medium-duty pressure washer can help save you time and energy on clean-up jobs. Just be sure to wear googles and closed-toed shoes when using a pressure washer, and never operate the machine in an enclosed area.

If you don’t already own a pressure washer and you’re looking to purchase one, be sure to get the right machine for your needs. Factors like how often you plan to use it and the type of projects you will use it for are key elements in the decision making process.

Friendly Spaces
Reduce mosquitos by eliminating standing water from the yard. For more comfortable cookouts, you may also want to add plants to your yard that repel these pests, such as citronella and marigolds.

Plant trees so you can look forward to shady spaces for future seasons. However, for the current season, use awnings or shade arbors to create a place where you can safely and happily spend the sunniest portion of your afternoons.

By performing a few key tasks, you can prime home’s outdoor spaces for a season of gardening, entertaining, relaxing and summer living.

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