OK, admit it. You’ve got those “summer’s here, and things are pretty quiet” blues.

You’ve tried getting into that summer vibe, but it’s just not working. Rushing up to the cottage for a week or camping next to a body of water just doesn’t appeal when it’s cool, overcast and rainy.

But I don’t mean to be a party pooper. If you live in a part of the country that has great, blazing summer weather, or you’re feeling gung ho about your summer vacation, go ahead and take full advantage. But for me, I figure it’s always good to have a plan for those rainy days. Call it a staycation, if you will.

So between seeing local attractions and enjoying some R and R at home, why not tackle some of those household chores that have been nagging at you. Think of how good you’ll feel when the job is done.

You may have chores to finish that you’re well aware of, but if you require direction, consider these quick jobs.

• If you’ve got seedlings sprouting in your eaves troughs, haul out your ladder and clean them out. Then consider investing in gutterguards or a similar product that keeps leaves and other debris permanently out of your eaves troughs.

• If you’ve got kids at camp or visiting relatives, here’s the perfect opportunity to sort through their clothes and toys and get rid of items that they’ve outgrown. If you anticipate concerns, keep items in an “outbound” bag and have the children approve your selections before you drop off the bag at the Salvation Army.

• Bathroom grout can look pretty gross after a few years. If you’ve got mold on grout between tiles (and it happens to the best of us), or the grout is starting to crack or crumble, get to work. Carefully (to avoid dislodging any tiles) dig out any grout that is discoloured, cracked or crumbled, and reapply new grout.
Ask about suitable products at the tile store, and follow directions.

• And while you’re at it, glue down those loose or missing tiles in the shower or elsewhere. Remove all loose tiles, scrape and clean the back of the tiles and the surface onto which the tiles are affixed and reglue the tile. Make the attempt to match if you need to get a new tile or two — mismatched tile looks almost as bad as a missing one. Contact a tile store to fill you in on products and their recommendations on the job.

• If you’ve got the yen to turn over a new leaf and be supremely organized on the home front, make yourself a household jobs checklist. Set down a schedule for those easily forgotten tasks like setting up annual doctor’s appointments, changing heating and air conditioning filters, replacing fire extinguishers, putting in new batteries on smoke or carbon monoxide detectors … the list goes on and on. For ideas on how to organize one, see suite101.com and look for “Creating a household jobs checklist.”


Sylvia Putz is a journalist with an interest in decor and design. She’s written for the TV show Arresting Design; sputz@arrestingdesign.com.