Three easy things to do for your home in August


Picture of sofa in the living room // Getty Images

It’s officially the last few weeks of summer! Soon, you’ll be ordering pumpkin spice lattes and decorating for fall. But before you get too far ahead of yourself, it’s time to schedule important end-of-summer home maintenance.

Get rid of unwelcome house guests.
Now is a great time to think about a once-a-year pest control solution. With pests, it’s best to be proactive rather than reactive. When you see them, you can be sure there are more around the corner. A once-a-year pest control solution is the most effective and economical solution there is.

Get out the germs.
We’ve all been in the house more than usual this summer. It might be time to give your home a deep clean. Go beyond mopping the floors and get your dryer vent and air vents cleaned, have your mattresses disinfected and cleaned, have your carpets cleaned and clean your washing machine and dishwasher. Doing a deep clean will improve air quality, reduce energy use, and clear out the germs. 

Get organized.
A new school year is starting, and with that comes a lot of chaos. It’s an excellent time to get organized. Donate or toss things that no longer help you or your kids. If possible, set up a homework station in your home. This not only keeps you organized, but it also helps kids to focus on their schoolwork. You’ll also want to set up a “drop zone,” a place for your kids to drop-off their backpacks, shoes, jackets and anything else they might have carried home.

If the thought of getting organized is overwhelming, there are pros that can help. Professional organizers don’t just move piles around or hide things; they come up with entire systems to help you and your family stay organized.

Zaarly, a Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate partner, helps homeowners find and work with the best home service pros in the North Texas area. Visit Zaarly for assistance with everything from pest control and cleaning to home organization.

Prepare Your Home Before You Travel


Empty airport lounge shot at night in front of the city skyline with airplane taking off against the bright lit of the city.

Whether you’re planning an exotic escape, or taking a quick weekend trip somewhere fun, summer is a time to relax and enjoy a change of scenery.

It’s important to take the necessary measures to close up your home before leaving. The tips below will ensure you can stay worry-free while away.

* Leave your keys with a neighbor you trust
If you have a trustworthy neighbor, leave them a copy of your key as well as your contact information. While you’re away, they can check your home, collect mail, and be available in case of emergency.

* Lock up
Take extra precautions by hiding your valuables or placing them in a safe. Be sure to lock each window, door, and fence in your home. If you have a garage, park your car inside.

* Be mindful of energy consumption
Electronics can still expend energy when not in use. Unplug any devices such as appliances, computers, gaming consoles, and televisions to prevent hazards and save on your energy bill. Turn off your air conditioning, or leave it at a level to keep any pets comfortable, and put your water heater in “vacation mode.”

* Plan ahead for pets
Make arrangements for someone to feed and watch your pet. If you will be away for an extended period of time, you should consider having someone housesit and stay overnight to care for your animals.

* Avoid unnecessary smells
Leaving food that will expire soon in your refrigerator while you’re away will only become more of a hassle when you get back. Avoid smells and messy cleanup upon return by discarding almost-expired food before you leave. Be sure to remove all trash before you leave, as well.

* Time your lights
Invest in a few timers for lamps in your home. Program them to turn on lamps near windows to mimic the appearance of activity. This can help prevent intruders who may target homes that have been dark for a few days.