Well, summer has officially arrived. Are you ready?

With crammed schedules and end of school year activities, summer seems to just sneak right into our lives. If you haven’t yet made the time to “prepare” for the season, you had better get busy! It’s time to ‘summer-ize’!

Begin by re-organizing your schedule. Make it a point to schedule a little bit of time, every day, or at least once a week to get outside to tend to your lawn or garden.

Get your backyard, patio and deck furniture out and cleaned. Buy new cushions if they’ve seen better days. Wipe off all deck railings and table-tops to remove pollen build up.

Clean your outdoor grill and get your propane tank refilled. You may want to consider purchasing two, so that you always have an extra one on hand.

Get your gardening systems in place. Gather all your garden supplies to one area of your garage or shed. Keep your garden tools in upright tool containers with slots so they’re organized and handy when you need them. Consider propping frequently used garden tools into a bucket of sand or spritzing them with a little salad oil to prevent rusting. One gardener I know actually keeps a flower-decorated mailbox on a post as a centerpiece in her garden to hold her tools and garden gloves.

Clean up and organize that pesky garden hose stretched across your lawn by purchasing a crank style hose box to containerize it neatly, keeping it coiled and accessible when needed. These are available at all garden shops and hardware stores.

Consider hiring a lawn service for your weekly grass cutting if your schedule doesn’t easily allow for it. According to a recent survey, more than 22 million households hire professional landscape or lawn care services.

Delegate outdoor chores to family members. Even little hands can help water the flowers or take in lawn toys at the end of the day.

Stock up on new suntan lotions and bug repellants. The potency of SPF levels lasts only about one year, so it might be time to throw away any leftover lotions from last summer.

Check the condition of your backyard swing set or jungle-gym. They may need adjustments or in need of stain or water sealant.

Inspect bicycles and all play equipment. Make sure all of your children’s bike helmets still fit from last year.

If you are a pool owner, make sure you stay on top of cleaning as well as water testing and treatments so it is safe for family and friends to enjoy.

Keep your summer picnics simple this year! With a rustic theme, you can enjoy festive get-togethers without a lot of fuss and a big price tag. Plastic flatware can be thrown into a gingham lined terra cotta pot. Use paper plates for easy clean-up. Use mason jars with votive candles to illuminate your tables and your gardens.

My best tip is to de-clutter your schedule for the summer so that you can get outside and enjoy it! Hang a hammock in the backyard and treat yourself to some daily down time to finish those summer novels you’ve purchased.

Happy summer!

Lisa Lelas is a productivity coach, bestselling author/speaker and book writing coach. Info: LisaLelas.com/Events

Connecticut Media Group