Spring is less than two weeks away, and we all know that, in South Africa, spring is very short-lived and summer takes its full effect very quickly. I don’t know about you, but after the cold winter we had, I am so ready for some lovely long sunny days, warm evenings, and spending my days outdoors.
On some of us, winter has unfortunately taken its toll, not just on our bodies, but our homes as well, but it’s time to come out of hibernation! You still have some time to get ready for summer so you can just spend your days worry free and enjoying the fantastic weather.
I’ve compiled of list of great things that you can do in the next few weeks to get yourself in “summer mode”. Check it out…
8 things you can do to get ready for summer
- Revive your garden and outdoor space
Is your garden looking, well, a bit dry and ‘dead’ from the winter, and your patio or outside living space dull and uninviting? Do you imagine yourself hosting an awesome outside dinner party or braai in summer, but by the way things look right now, you wouldn’t even want anyone to know that you live there? Don’t worry! You’ll be surprised by how little it will take to transform your garden and patio into a beautiful space you’ll be proud to host guests in.
Let’s start with the garden… If you aren’t lucky enough to have a full-time gardener, and you slightly neglected your garden during winter, all is not lost. Now is a great time to get your hands dirty again and breathe new life into your garden.
I’m not saying you have to completely redesign your garden or get the help of a professional landscaper. No, simply start off by cleaning it. First pull out and discard all the dead and unsalvageable shrubs, weeds and flowers. Make sure that you leave those that you know will grow well again in summer. Trim the edges and dry branches of bushes to neaten it up. Next, pull your old rake closer and rake up all the dead leaves fallen from trees over the autumn and winter period, and mow your lawn.
Now that you have a clean garden, think about planting colourful flowers for summer. Visit your local nursery and pick up some already grown flowers or flower seeds that will look lovely in your garden. Be sure to ask advice on which flowers will be best suited for your lifestyle and the amount of sun that your outside area receives. If you don’t already have flower pots, these make a beautiful addition to any garden. Potting soil is inexpensive and you can plant an array of beautiful shrubs and flowers in them.
Does your lawn also need a bit of life? Cover it in compost soil, fertiliser and lawn seed you can also pick up at the nursery or local grocer, and you will start to see a beautiful new lawn appearing and dry spots disappearing. The key to maintaining a beautiful garden and lawn is also to water it daily!
Look for bargain garden tools and accessories on Junk Mail to help you out.
Moving on to your patio…
Firstly, remove all unwanted items taking up space on your patio and clean any stains left on the concrete, wood or stone with suitable cleaning solutions. Sweep the surface with a broom to remove all accumulated dust and leaves. Then hose it down with a powerful hosepipe to give it a thorough clean.
Now that you have a clean space, put your creative hat on and visualise how you can make this area more inviting and what you can do without spending a fortune. Consider a fresh coat of paint, investing in a few pieces of garden furniture, hanging garden lights, placing some pot plants and other lovely garden accessories in strategic areas, and creating neat water or stone feature areas. Another great idea is to add awnings to your outside space. Read ‘7 awning options for functional outdoor living spaces’.
For great deals on patio and garden furniture, visit Junk Mail.
- Clear out, de-clutter and organise
Are your cupboards a bit of a mess? Well, stop yourself from becoming a hoarder… It’s time to clear them out and get organised before summer. They say a tidy space equals a tidy mind… Plus, getting rid of unwanted items will free up some space for new items. If you haven’t used an item in the last year, chances are that you will never use it, so time to bid those items farewell.
Start with your bedroom closet. Those jeans you’ve been keeping for the past five years because you are convinced that you WILL fit into them again… really, be honest with yourself, it’s time to let them go… Don’t just throw away old clothes that are still in good condition though. Rather donate them to a worthy cause or someone else who could benefit from them.
Next, tackle your kitchen and bathroom cupboards. Use the space you have to its maximum capacity by adding shelves and hooks, and using labelled containers. These are great space-savers, look neat and add a modern touch to your cupboards. It will also help you to keep better stock of your groceries, so there are no unnecessary expenses on things you already have.
- Freshen up your home
You don’t need to go out and buy completely new furniture. Use what you have and just add some new scatter cushions, curtains, linen or home accessories in fresh, summery colours like aqua, citrus, lime and pastels to brighten up your space.
If you are up to it, a fresh coat of paint or beautiful floral or light neutral wallpaper will do the trick. Another thing you can do to freshen up your home is to make it smell summer lovely with scented candles, air-fresheners or fresh flowers.
- Get active
Be honest, how often did you visit the gym over the winter period? Cold dark morning and evenings don’t exactly inspire exercise, and who could say no to all the delicious, warm comfort meals? Unfortunately however, for some that means a few extra kilo’s around the waistline… But not to worry, it’s not too late to get active again and get fit and bathing suit ready for summer.
You could join the gym, join an aerobics or Pilates class, or save some money and rather go for a 30 minute walk or jog in your neighbourhood after work. Make it fun and get a partner to join you, but it is important to get into an exercise routine that best suits your lifestyle and schedule.
- Follow a healthy eating plan
While you absolutely need to get active, exercise will not override bad eating habits unfortunately. Replace those heavy winter carbs and soups with ‘clean’ eating, like fresh in-season fruits and veggies, salads and light meats and fish.
Consider following a healthy eating plan such as Banting – a low carb, high fat diet that is popular the world over currently and proving great results for many. Also be sure to keep hydrated and drink plenty of water every day.
- Get a hot summer-look
Why not give yourself a mini-makeover and a fresh new appearance for summer? Look around you, nature is certainly getting a makeover, so do the same and revamp yourself a little also. Visit your hairdresser, get a fresh, funky new haircut, put in a few highlights, or buy a few new flattering summer outfits or bathing suit… Whatever makes you happy. Not only will you look great, but you will feel great for summer as well.
- Plan your summer ahead
Oh the possibilities are just endless in summer… You could plan a full-on vacation or just a picnic with the family, a braai or dinner party with friends, a camping trip in the bushveld, a day at the beach, visiting the theme park, going stargazing. Read ‘10 Amazing stargazing and telescope viewing spots in SA’.
There are just so many things that you can do outdoors in the summer months that won’t cost you a fortune and will be thoroughly fun. So use this time now to start planning your summer activities ahead and sending some invites out to family and friends.
- Sell your old, unwanted items
With all the clearing out and cleaning up, I am sure you found some items lying around that you don’t need anymore. Why not make some cash for summer and sell it to someone who would gladly take it from you? Classifieds like Junk Mail offer a great platform to buy and sell online. Simply place a free ad for the item you have to sell in the relevant category and wait for the call! This is an easy way to de-clutter your home and make your wallet happy.
Well, there you have it, 8 things you can do now to get ready for summer. I am sure summer will be enjoyable and stress-free for you! Remember, for bargains on almost anything you need, from outdoor and DIY items to holiday accommodation, visit www.JunkMail.co.za.