Whether you love the cooler weather or you wish summer would last forever, there’s no denying that temperatures will soon start to fall. The days of summer fun are coming to an end, and it’s time to start thinking about getting ready for autumn.
Doing some end-of-summer cleaning now will help you feel more organized and make it easier to transition your home for the fall and winter seasons. Plus, taking good care of your summer items will help them last longer, saving you money in the long run.
When you're ready to get started, follow these simple end-of-summer cleaning tips. By the time you're done, both you and your home will be ready for sweater weather.
Pool and Patio Maintenance
Since preparing your pool and patio for cooler weather are two of the biggest end-of-summer jobs, you’ll want to start thinking about this sooner than later. Taking care of a few simple tasks now will make it easier when it’s time to shut everything down for the winter.
Preparing Your Pool
To prepare your pool, start by giving the sides and bottom a good brushing, then vacuum up any debris. This will help prevent algae growth while the pool is closed for the winter.
Next, test your alkalinity and pH to make sure they’re in the proper ranges. Then, clean out your pool filters. Since you might be lucky enough to get a few more days that are warm enough to enjoy the pool, you may not be ready to completely close it down yet. However, now is a good time to gather the winterizing chemicals you’ll need. This may include chlorine shock, a pH and/or alkalinity increaser, and a winter algaecide.
You’ll also want to pull out your pool toys and give them a good end-of-summer cleaning. If you don't already have a poolside storage shed, it's a good time to start shopping for one. This will help keep your outdoor area organized throughout the seasons. If you do have a shed already, create some space so you'll have enough room to store both your pool chemicals and toys throughout the winter season.
Preparing Your Patio
One of the most important summer cleaning tips is to take care of any major jobs or repairs before the temperatures start to drop too low. This will allow you to enjoy the last of the beautiful weather while also taking care of those nagging tasks you’ve been putting off.
To prepare your patio for fall, start by sweeping it off and giving it a good washing. Keeping falling leaves off of your patio and walkways will help prevent staining. Also, take this time to fill in any gaps or joints with polysand or cement. If you have a masonry patio, sealing it will prevent damage from winter ice and salt. Finally, clear out your gutters and downspouts. Make sure they’re properly sealed, and point them away from your patio.
You’ll also want to start thinking about what you’ll do with your patio furniture and other outdoor items. Either make room in your garage or shed for storage or invest in some high-quality furniture covers that are designed to stand up to the elements. Give the furniture bases a good cleaning and consider moving cushions into storage to keep them safe over the winter months.
You’ll also want to deep clean your grill and grates. Don't forget to give your grilling accessories a thorough cleaning before storing them away for the season.
Lawn and Garden
Organizing your outdoor space now is a great idea! Not only will it help you get ready for the change of season, but it will also make everything easier going forward. Start with these simple backyard cleaning tips.
Clean Out Your Garden and Flower Beds
If you’ve been growing vegetables or herbs, start thinking about picking any stragglers that you’ve been waiting for. You can place items like green tomatoes on a sunny windowsill to ripen. Cut any herbs that are still growing and freeze them in oil or hang them to dry so you can use them over the winter.
Next, remove all of the plants and add some compost. If you’re going to plant fall plants or a “cover crop,” get ready to do that soon as well.
Clean and Store Your Garden Tools
Once you’re done with gardening for the season, you’ll want to scrub your garden tools before putting them away. Start by removing any caked-on dirt with a putty knife. If there’s any rust on your tools, you can remove it by scrubbing the rusted areas with steel wool.
Next, soak your gardening tools in a bucket of hot, soapy water to remove any remaining dirt. When they’re clean, rinse them off and make sure they’re completely dry before putting them away, Otherwise, remaining moisture can cause premature rusting.
Drain and Store Lawn Equipment
Properly storing your lawn equipment is one of the most important end-of-summer cleaning tips. Giving your lawnmower and other yard equipment an end-of-summer tune-up will help extend their lifespans and ensure they're in top shape when you’re ready to use them again.
Start by thoroughly cleaning your lawnmower and emptying the gas tank. Before you do any other maintenance, disconnect the spark plug to avoid possible injury. Next, remove the blade, drain the oil, clean the undercarriage, and change out the air filter. Finally, replace the spark plug and put your mower away in a safe storage spot. You’ll repeat a similar process for your weedwhacker, edger, and other yard maintenance tools.
Put Away Hoses and Shut Off Waterspouts
Even if you have “frost-free” spigots, you’ll still want to drain and remove your hoses before freezing temperatures arrive. Otherwise, you run the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting. If you have hoses you won’t be using during the fall season, go ahead and put them away now. This will save you some time in a couple of months when you’re doing your final winter clean-up.
To easily drain your hose, hang it over something tall, like a chair or your fence. This will use the power of gravity to move the water out of the hose. Remove the sprayer nozzle and coil the hose into large loops, about two feet in diameter. Make sure the hose isn’t kinked or pinched, then secure it with a tie wrap. If you want, you can also screw both ends together. This will help keep the hose clean and ensure it doesn’t come unraveled while it’s in storage.
Since repeated freezing and thawing can ruin your hose, you’ll want to store it in a dry indoor location such as your garage or storage shed. You may want to consider installing a rounded hose hanger in your shed for safe, easy storage.
Adding sheds and outdoor storage buildings to your property is one of the best ways to keep your backyard organized. However, if you don’t keep the shed itself organized, you’ll find yourself constantly struggling to locate the items you need. This is one reason why re-arranging your shed each season is one of our favorite backyard cleaning tips.
If you have the time, start organizing your garden shed by taking everything out. Although this will take some effort, starting with a clean slate will make everything else easier.
If you don’t already have the proper accessories, like shelving, pegboards, or tool cabinets, consider installing them now. Most are quite inexpensive and require minimal effort to install. Taking on this small task now will definitely pay off in the long run.
Next, separate your items by season. If you create a designated storage area in your shed for each season, you’ll never have to struggle to remember where you put something. It’s also a great idea to bring the items you’re likely to need this fall, like rakes and wheelbarrows to the front and center of your shed. This way, when it’s time to start working on your fall maintenance, you won’t have to dig around looking for the items you need.
Start Getting Ready for Fall Today!
These end-of-summer cleaning tips will help you get organized and ensure you’re ready to enjoy your backyard no matter what the weather. If you’re looking for high-quality storage structures that are both affordable and designed for year-round protection, you’re in the right place.
ShelterLogic Group carries a wide range of storage sheds, garages, and other storage buildings that are perfect for both residential and commercial use. Take a look through our inventory today!