Another day in the summer sun means another chance to have a little family fun - and even knock out a few lifestyle projects while you’re at it. Tackling long overdue undertakings around the house might not sound like the ideal afternoon but with a productive mindset and the right creative inspiration, you can make a hard day’s work look like child’s play. From organizing your uncatalogued inventory of shoebox photos to keeping your pool in top shape, there’s always fun to be had while getting things done.
A Great Summer Trip Down Memory Lane
Organizing family photos into a through-the-years-book can seem like quite a momentous task. Rolling up your sleeves and sifting through your family’s photos might seem daunting when going about it on your own. Luckily, with your family by your side, organizing your photos into a scrapbook is a fun, productive and fulfilling way to spend an afternoon.
- Dividing pictures is the quickest way to conquer your stock of print photographs. Be sure to sort them into categories that best capture the moments shared in them; organizing them into a timeline that can easily be translated into the margins of a scrapbook.
- Once you have the pictures sorted, scan them into an external hard drive using your computer. Converting your pictures into digital composites preserves them in the event of any natural catastrophes or regrettable mistakes.
- Now comes the fun part: cataloguing your pictures into handcrafted books that tell your family’s story. This is the perfect place for you to let the spirit of your creativity run wild and make something truly original and special. Doing this with your family opens the door for new memories to be made as you reminisce on your life together.
With the fall school semester rearing its head, your household is certainly clamouring to fulfill the needs demanded by supply lists. And while things might be a little different this year, you can be certain that you have everything you need and more hidden away or even forgotten in your house. Make the search for school supplies something of a scavenger hunt. Draw up a list of the essentials you can find laying around. Match every item found with its equivalent cash value. You get school supply lists checked off and your kids get a little bit of extra spending money. Decluttering forgotten (or gently used) household office supplies kills two birds with one stone and chances are school supplies from years past are still good as new and perfect for your stay-at-home classes.
Easy as (Mud) Pie
Does anyone ever really get tired of playing around in dirt? Digging a backyard drainage system is a great way for your family to spend a Saturday in the summer sun, and even stop heavy rainfall from turning your property into a swampy wetland.
- Start by calling your local utility company and requesting a survey to mark any hidden power or water lines.
- Pump out any standing water left behind, being sure to pump water downhill to avoid it flowing back.
- Dig a trench 10 to 12 inches deep and 6 to 7 inches wide, allowing it to pass through lower areas in your backyard to a location with better drainage. If you experience heavier or more frequent flooding, dig your trench up to 2 feet deep and 1 foot wide.
- Fill your trench with heavier, more durable gravel until full. Go back over the gravel with a coarse sand, covering until evenly distributed throughout the trench.
- Sow grass seed over the sand, covering with hay or pine straw to create an environment conducive to growing green turf.
With fall only a few short weeks away, the time has come to begin the process of closing your family’s backyard pool. And while you still have a month - or so - left until the weather cools down, it’s never too early to think about efficiently maintaining your pool. Give your kids the lesson in responsibility by helping prep the backyard pool for colder weather.
- Start by cleaning your pool, making sure to test the pH and alkaline to ensure the water is properly balanced. This protects and prevents the pool from corrosion and scale build-up. Additionally, a mix of algaecide, metal sequestrant, and pool enzymes winterize the pool so it’ll be ready for reopening in spring.
- Lower the water level in your pool. This helps to prevent any damage in the event of freezing in colder climates.
- Have your kids take on changing the liners of the pool’s filtration system. This gives them an easy, but crucial, responsibility in ensuring your pool is safely closed for cold weather.
- Shock your water with a treatment of oxidized chlorine. This keeps the water crisp and clean in the change between summer to fall and all winter long.
- Finally, after removing all other pool accessories, like ladders or rails, cover your pool with a tarp or cover that protects it from external forces. For jacquizzis, a hot tub cover works as an ideal accessory, versatile for easy removal and use in both warm and cool climates.
Not a Bummer
The end of summer doesn’t have to be a bummer. Unpacking your fall patio essentials is a fun project the whole family can get in on. Start by uncovering your fire pit in preparation for the cozy, toasty, fall festivities that are just around the corner. Bring out your lawn games and convert your backyard into the ultimate backyard haven for autumn. With a little ingenuity, and a few televisions and tv covers, you can even transform your patio into an outdoor lounge perfect for entertaining friends or just the closest of your family!