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The Washington Post ran an article in their Home column yesterday about tackling the projects that will help you better enjoy summer. Great concept, I thought. Who isn’t ready to enjoy summer?

Then I actually read which projects they’re proposing. Cleaning out the garage, cleaning the deck, recoating the driveway… You’ve got to be kidding me. In fairness, the author clearly doesn't live in the South. Cleaning out the garage during the summer sounds nothing short of death-defying, complete with heat strokes and intermittent fainting. And resurfacing the driveway? Put the paramedics on speed dial, please.

No thanks. If I had a garage, it would stay embarrassingly overstuffed until October, when the temps finally dip below 85 again.

But I still like the concept of readying the house for an all-out, bang-up, carefree summer. Here are my ideas, without the trip to the ER:

Find a place for things: Do a room-by-room tour of the house in search of items that have no real home. Anything from mismatched stemware and candlesticks to raincoats and old flip flops. The rule? If you can't find a place for it, throw it out. You’ll find your warm-weather, devil-may-care attitude is up to the task.

Cater to your routine: Summer days have a certain rhythm to them: breakfast, camp, lunch, pool, naps, fish, dinner, sleep, repeat. Sound familiar? Your family’s ready for it—is your house? Get everything from bikes to bathing suits in easy reach, giving summer days the kind of ease they’ve earned.  

Create summer menus: Why not make a list of fun, no-fuss lunch and dinner dishes that cut down on both shopping and prep time? Buying roughly the same ingredients week after week will cut the time you spend in the store; plus, it’s a break from standard dinner fare. Grilled chicken fingers with store-bought sweet and sour sauce, chopped pineapple, and banana bread? Sounds like a good Wednesday night dinner to me. 

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