To optimize your home for summer, give it a quick check-up. Before you fire up the grill, scrub the grates and burners, wipe any gunk off the exterior, and make sure your propane tank is sound. Cleaning out your air conditioning unit and changing its filters will help you stay cool as the temperatures skyrocket. Got a full freezer? If something has been in there for more than a few months, toss it—more room for popsicles.2. Clean up your finances
When you’re out on the beach or spending time with family, the last thing you want to think about is your bank account. Rid yourself of financial distractions by setting up automatic bill payments—in lieu of snail mail or in-person payments, your bills will be deducted from your bank account automatically and electronically. Personal budgeting apps like Mint and iReconcile can also help you track your spending, set financial goals, and stay in-budget all summer.3. Unplug
No, you don’t have go off the grid for three months. Instead, consider simply turning off your smartphone after work—you won’t be tempted to check your work email, you won’t feel constantly “on call,” and you’ll give yourself a little recovery time before morning.
Don’t feel comfortable powering down for that long? Cut the cord for just a few minutes a day. Consider signing up for the UNICEF Tap Project, a campaign to provide clean water to children across the world. When the website’s “time donation” feature is active, a donation will be made for each minute you spend not using your phone. The longer you wait, the bigger the donation gets.4. Let a gadget do the work
Photos by: Nest.com/iRobot.com.
Why spend time doing summer chores when a handy machine could do it for you? Take Roomba, for instance—a small vacuum-cleaning robot that can be preset to vacuum your home at your convenience. It can even find its docking station when it needs to recharge.
There’s also Nest: a “learning thermostat.” Sound cool and futuristic? It is! After a few days, Nest “learns” what temperatures your family prefers throughout the day and programs itself appropriately. Nest even automatically switches over to an energy-efficient mode when you’re away from the house.
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