1. Summer-ize your entryway.
2. Keep beach towels rolled and ready to go.
3. Make room in the kitchen for summer essentials.
4. Swap out art for a big beach photo.
5. Make a useful display of summer sun hats.
6. Add extra sleeping space for summer guests.
7. Make a summer reading nook.
If you have school-age children, you’ve likely heard the term “summer slide,” which refers to the backslide in reading ability that can happen when a child doesn’t practice over the summer.
Encourage summer reading by creating a comfy reading nook, complete with chair, book basket and a side table to hold a glass of lemonade. Bonus: Stock that basket with a selection of fun books that cater to your child’s interests — and yes, comics and graphic novels count too!
8. Mix up some spa water.
9. Give your bedroom a beach house vibe.
10. Refresh your wardrobe.
Do you have to paw through a pile of wool sweaters to get to your favorite summer skirt? Clearing the out-of-season items from your wardrobe (plus anything that doesn’t fit or is no longer your style) makes for smoother mornings.
When clearing out your wardrobe, it can help to think like you’re on vacation: getting dressed is actually easier when you have fewer choices (as long as those select few items are all favorites). And if you go shopping for new items, make sure they will mix and match with what you already have.
11. Give the bath a mini makeover.
For a fresh start, begin by removing everything from the bathroom and giving the space a thorough cleaning. Fluffy white towels rolled up and placed in a basket look spa-like, and will ensure you always have a fresh towel within reach.
Get rid of toiletries you no longer use or like, and put back only the few products you use daily. If you store your favorite products in a small zipper pouch, you can easily toss it into your suitcase for spur-of-the-moment weekend getaways.
Finish your mini makeover by swapping out your soap dish for a big shell, and placing a vase with a big leaf (snip one from a houseplant) on the sink.
12. Make sports gear easy to grab.
13. Set up a summer rec room.
14. Turn the porch into your second living room.
15. Hang a few extra hooks outdoors for drying beach towels.
16. Prep your outdoor dining area.
17. Boost your backyard’s party appeal.
Why not make this summer the year you finally get that outdoor feature you’ve been daydreaming about? Fire pit, grilling area, pizza oven, outdoor shower, movie projector, hot tub — the possibilities are practically limitless.
And if you run into a budget issue, think creatively before giving up altogether. For example, purchase a ready-made fire bowl instead of having a pit custom built, or project a movie onto a big white sheet instead of shelling out for a pricey movie screen.
18. Add a kid-friendly feature.
Encourage kids home on summer break to spend more time outdoors by adding a few creative play areas to explore. It could be something as simple as a rope swing, messy art area or collection of yard games; or as big as a tree fort, climbing structure, playhouse, sandbox or basketball court.
And don’t forget to check your local parents’ group or Craigslist listings before shopping new; kids grow out of outdoor toys and games quickly, so it’s usually easy to find used items in good condition.
19. Add flexible shade to outdoor spaces.
20. Hang a swinging chair.
Just looking at a hammock or hanging chair is relaxing, and nothing beats hanging out on one on a lazy summer afternoon. If a traditional hammock is not your style, try something a little different, like the hanging platform bench shown here.
Tell us: How are you getting ready for summer?