Around the house
* Prepare for the summer. Cool off the house with awnings that will reflect sun, thermal shades to block out heat and ceiling fans that circulate air.
* Clean window screens. Always remove; scrubbing in place can cause them to bulge. Place screens on a flat surface like a picnic table or the lawn. Scrub with a soft brush and a solution of water and ammonia. Hose off and allow to dry.
* Make your own cleaning solution for fast cleanups. Mix one part ammonia with three parts water in a pump spray bottle. Label the bottle. A quick squirt will keep kitchen counter tops and appliances clean.
* Store children's outdoor toys in 30-gallon garbage containers. Label contents on top of each lid and keep container close to the play area in your yard.
* When separating eggs, use a small aluminum funnel. Place funnel over measuring cup and break the egg into it. The yolk will remain while the white slides through the stem into the cup.
* Use a single fitted sheet as a tablecloth for your picnic table. The cloth will not blow into the food on windy days; it also covers a weathered, unsightly table.
In the garden
* Mow lawn to a height of 2 to 3 inches to shade the soil and help protect grass roots during hot summer days. Rake grass clippings right away to prevent matted grass from smothering lawn.