10 Things You Need to Get Rid of Before Summer
Before you get into the swing of summer, with all of the outdoor parties, camping and gardening activities, take an inventory and get rid of things that shouldn’t hang around your home, garage and yard all summer. Get started with these 10 things and you’ll likely find more stuff you can discard or donate. Doesn’t that feel good?
It’s handy to keep a few cardboard boxes around for temporary storage and packaging gifts, but if you have a towering stack of boxes, spring is the time to break them down and recycle them. Don’t be tempted to just move them to the garage or basement because rodents and bugs may use them as homes.
Are annoying bugs and outdoor critters giving you problems? You can control most common pests on your own, without spending money on an exterminator.
Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko/Shutterstock
Sunscreen remains effective for about three years, so check the expiration date and toss any bottles or tubes that are past their prime.
Protection from UV rays isn’t the only safety precaution you need to take this summer. Check out these 10 summer safety tips.
Winter Clothes and Blankets
If you find outerwear and heavy blankets that you never wore or needed last winter, consider donating them. If you didn’t need them this year it’s unlikely you’ll need, or remember, them next year. If the clothing or blankets are made of wool or contain fur, silk, feathers or leather, you also take the risk of a clothing moth infestation if you keep them stored over the summer.
It’s a good idea to keep a few rags around for cleaning, oil changes and other messy moments. But if you have piles of used rags, especially those with oily substances on them, get rid of them safely, asap. Here’s what can happen if those oily rags aren’t disposed of properly!
Opened Bags or Boxes of Soil, Mulch or Fertilizer
If you had leftover potting soil, mulch and other gardening products at the end of the last growing season, you may have thought you’d use them in the spring. The problem is, the contents usually get either dried out or wet and both of these problems can be ruinous. Unless the packaging is unopened and dry, it’s usually best to toss these leftovers and start fresh.
While storing firewood indoors may be handy in winter, you need to get rid of it as quickly as possible once you’re done using the fireplace or woodstove for the season. If the wood is left indoors, it becomes a breeding ground for bugs, spiders and rodents. Store it safely away from your house in the spring.
If you have children, take an inventory of their outdoor toys before they start playing with them again. Get rid of toys that are cracked or have missing parts that leave sharp edges exposed. If you have a plastic sandbox, check it for cracks and remove debris from the sand. For a wooden sandbox, check for rough, splintered wood that could cause an injury.
Cracked or Warped Food Containers
Take a look at your food storage container collection and discard any warped or cracked pieces. It’s especially important in the summer to store foods like crackers, cereal and pasta in storage container so that they don’t get stale from the humidity and to keep out bugs. Also, intact food storage containers are essential for summertime picnics.
Is your kitchen too small for a pantry? Here are 11 excellent no-pantry solutions for storing food.
Unused Batteries and Fuels
Storing automotive batteries, fuels and oils in your garage when temps are high can affect the chemicals in batteries and the composition of fuels. This spring, properly dispose of leftovers and don’t keep more than you need on hand.
Trash cans take a beating in the winter. Check to make sure you still have the lids and that they close tightly to keep out critters. Replace cans that are badly damaged or missing their lid.
Tired of plastic trash bags slipping down into the can? Check out this clever tip for keeping them in place.