For many Canadians, May is the unofficial start of summer and Victoria Day is the first long weekend in a set of several that the summer months bring. So, if we’re going to start summer this weekend, we want to kick off summer right!
One of the ways I like to spend my Victoria Day weekend (or May 2-4 weekend as it’s known here in southern Ontario) is by prepping for the rest of the summer season. Now, I’m not talking about spending your whole weekend on tedious household tasks, but a little bit of preparation can make the rest of your summer so much better.
Kick Off Summer Right!
These are just suggestions based on what I do. I don’t necessarily get them all done in one weekend. Our forecast calls for rain all weekend so I will likely focus on this list. But, when we’re having one of those gorgeous summer weather weekends, I will be sure to leave PLENTY of time for having fun in the sun!
Switch over your winter items for summer ones
If you haven’t already, now is a good time to clean and pack away your winter bedding and clothing and get out the lightweight stuff. I don’t own so many clothes that I need to do this – I have plenty of room for all of my clothing in my dresser and closet except for my heavy sweaters which are stored under my bed.
Pro Tip: When it comes to clothing, I find this is a good time to take stock. Does everyone in the family have all the summer clothing they need? Shorts? Sandals? Bathing suits? Do they all fit?
But I do take this time to clean and pack away my heavier bedding (except for one warmer blanket that I keep out because sometimes I need it for those unexpected chilly summer evenings).
My winter bedding is in darker colors and patterns that I find lend themselves to those cozy, comfy winter vibes. The colors of my summer bedding are lighter and brighter and give more cheerful energetic summer vibes so switching from one to the other is a great way to embrace the hygge of each season too.
Check out these alternatives to mothballs when packing items away.
Put together some summer baskets or tote bags.
Or tote bags or whatever is convenient. What kinds of baskets and tote bags? Well, start by thinking about the places you go and things you like to do in the summer and that should help you decide.
We have plastic laundry baskets will summer backyard toys in them. We fill tote bags with everything we need to head to the pool – sunscreen, bathing suits, towels, flip flops, wet bags, coverups, sun hats, and so on.
If you go to the beach a lot, a beach tote might be a good idea for you. Or you might want to have a picnic basket packed (obviously, other than the perishable food) and ready to go. Because we tend to take more day trips at this time of year, we have a diaper bag and a bag of things to do in the car ready to go too.
Along with baskets and tote bags, I like to set up a tray of supplies that make it super simple to take meals outside. I add plastic plates, inexpensive cutlery (I don’t want the good stuff getting lost outside), napkins, plastic cups with lids/covers, an oilcloth tablecloth or placemats, and so on.
Get your gardening supplies ready for the season.
Traditionally in my area, this is the weekend to plant our gardens. It’s usually the first weekend where we can be 99% sure that we are past the threat of overnight frost. So, it’s a great idea to check out the gardening supplies and make sure they’re ready to go.
Before heading to the garden center, take inventory of what you’ve got and make a list of anything you need. Then, make sure your garden tools are clean, disinfected, and ready to use.
Wipe off any lingering dirt. (You really should clean them before putting them away for the winter but hey, we’re all human). To disinfect them (which needs to be done to avoid passing along plant diseases), use rubbing alcohol or disinfecting wipes. Even if I have put my tools away clean, I still like to take this step just to be sure.
Next, be sure that any dull tools are sharpened and ready to go. Finally, condition your tools by applying a thin coat of lubricating oil. I like to use camellia seed oil for this. You want to be especially sure to oil any of the parts of the tools that allow them to move.
What are you and your family going to do to kick off summer right?