Summer is often a time of frenetic activity for most families. Trips to the beach, backyard barbecues, and having friends over for a fun time are just a few of the things that make summer memorable. Yet, with everything going on, it’s easy to let basic organization get out of hand, and a disorganized home essentially steals your precious time.

The following are some helpful tips you can use to get your home organized for the summer and keep it that way until the leave start to turn color in the fall.

Get Rid of Everything From Spring And Winter

Let’s face it! For most of us, winter is a bore. It also tends to conjure up a lot of bulky gear, thick blankets, and even the occasional space heater. Let these things linger around the house not only takes up space, but it conjures up memories of the cold when you’re rather having some fun enjoying the heat.

When you get down to it, putting away all those winter items doesn’t take that long. You can always put the bulky stuff in heavy-duty tote bins to be stacked in the garage or basement until the first snowflakes start to flitter through the brisk fall air.

Make Plenty Of Room In The Freezer For Cold Treats

Popsicles and ice cream are practically rites of passage for children, and even a lot of adults love to indulge. Taking an extra half hour or so to organize the freezer and perhaps throw out that freezer-burned bag of “Something” in the back of the freezer will give you all the room you need to keep your cold treat through the summer.

If you are the kind of person who loves to save a little money by buying in bulk, you might also want to think about investing in a chest freezer. Even a small 3-cubic foot chest freezer can be very affordable, and easy to tuck away in the basement to serve as overflow storage for large vats of ice cream, individually wrapped ice cream cones and copious mountains of popsicles.

Clean Out and Double Check All your Air Systems

The long winter can sometimes take a secret toll on your air conditioner. The last thing you want is to turn it on the first hot day, only to find it doesn’t work, or it’s making a bad noise. Cleaning dust and pet hair out of the vents also helps with thermal efficiency to keep you comfortable during the inevitable heat waves.

While you’re at it, make sure to dust all your ceiling fans. Then switch them to counter-clockwise so the blades of the ceiling fan are tilted upward as they rotate. This will push air down to create a pleasant breeze, that also helps your air conditioner.

Get Ready For Grilling

Summer and grilled food go hand-in-hand. Not only is it a great way to enjoy fire kissed meat and vegetables, but it also means your air conditioner doesn’t have to compete with the heat and steam produced by a kitchen stove.

You want to get the grill out and test fire it long before you intend to lay the first hamburger patty down. Along the way, you should also give a good hard look at your grilling tools. Winter has a way of rusting improperly stored grill tools, and rust is never tasty. So, it’s a good time to think about investing in a new set for your outdoor chef.

While you’re at it, think about how you’ll be storing them. Does your grill have hanging hooks and a storage cabinet? If not, you might want to invest in some temporary hooks and a waterproof outdoor tote bin to keep everything safe and clean, yet still close to the grill for when you need it.

Rearrange The Deck Or Patio

Decks and patio areas are very popular places for outdoor entertainment. Chances are your patio furniture had to endure the winter either under covers or jammed in a shed. When pulling everything out, try to see if you can rearrange the patio to give it more of an open feeling. Perhaps even alter the chairs to accent the view, or add a small outdoor fire pit for people to gather around.

This is also a good time to give everything a good deep cleaning. Wipe off glass and metal, vacuum up any dust and wash any cushions or tablecloths that are washer safe.

Organize the Shed And Garage

Snowblowers, shovels, and rakes can be put away for the summer to give way for lawnmowers, string trimmers, and pruning shears. This is also a good time to give the garage floor a good washing to rinse away any residual road salt and sand left behind when winter melted away.

While you’re at it, give you summer recreation gear a good once-over. Oil the chains and check the tires on the kid’s bikes. Pull out all your water gear and take the time to put in all the proper maintenance to get everything ready for the use and abuse that comes with summer fun.

Plan Out Your Summer Projects

Summer is also a time for tackling major indoor and outdoor projects. Maybe you want to paint the outside of the house. Maybe the windows and gutters need a good cleaning. You might even be thinking about starting up a backyard garden.

Improper planning tends to make major projects take longer and go over budget. Not to mention the grousing your kids will likely do if the project overlaps into their already planned summer fun. So, take the time to sit down with the calendar and get everyone’s plans factored in to find the perfect time.

Then also plan out how you’re going to do it, and what you’ll need to get the job done right the first time. You might even find yourself realizing that your plan calls for biting off more than you can chew, and it might be better to call in a contractor right from the start.