A City Girl’s Guide to Loving Suburbia – Chapter 10: Prepping Your Great Outdoors for Summer 

[Ed. Note This is Part 2 of “Spring into Spring Cleaning,” continued from our April issue. You can see that article HERE.] 

If cleaning gutters isn’t your thing, maybe you can find a cool cat to do it for you. Photo: Ruta Celma on Unsplash

Spring cleaning is for outdoors as well as indoors.  

Clear away the twigs and branches from the winter months, aerate and fertilize the lawn, edge and mulch the beds, and, perhaps most important, be sure to clean your gutters. Either get a ladder or get some help but be sure to make that a twice-a-year ritual.  

I never understood the importance of gutters until a myriad of home inspections showed leaks, damage and mold that develop in the absence of this simple task.  

If you’re so inclined, plant a garden, but here are my two words of wisdom: “Mother’s Day.”  

GIFTED GARDEN
Mine goes something like this: breakfast with the kids, garden store with my husband to pick out my favorite annuals, perennials, and some herbs/veggies, then the afternoon and dinner with my mom while my husband plants all those new beauties. It’s so nice to wake up to a fresh garden every year — truly the best gift he can give me! 

This is the time to start schlepping outdoor furniture from the shed or under the deck so it can be all set up for the first BBQ of the season. (It’s been a real time — and back — saver for us to use waterproof covers on our outdoor furniture so we can leave the whole setup in place each winter.)  

If you have a pool, beginning of May may be the time to get that going, although you may not swim until later in the month. Each year I forget that it can take two weeks for the swamp to clear its way to sparkling blue, plus a few days just for the water to warm up.  

GARAGE PURGE
Finally, let’s not forget your garage. On a nice day, before you shower, open your garage doors and go through all the bikes, plastic planters that you thought you might use again (store-bought plants already come in planters), and deflated balls. To the curb they go!  

Perhaps you painted your house this year or are ready to part with the old paint cans that came with the house. Be sure to use kitty litter to dry up unused paint or check with your local paint store to get some of the quick-hardening stuff.  

Once you’ve gotten everything out, give youZr garage a good sweep — or, if you have a leaf blower (or your landscapers happen to be passing by), give it a good blow and kiss winter goodbye. 

You can read all my articles at RiverJournalOnline.com/CityGirl. 

Hillary is a city girl-turned-suburban mama and a social worker-turned-realtor who focuses on the transition over the transaction. As a top-producer with Hillary’s Homes at Houlihan Lawrence, she has clearly embraced life in the suburbs! You can find her on Facebook at HillarysHomes or on Instagram at HillarysHomes914.

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About the Author: Hillary Landau