5 Techniques to Reduce Yard Work Chores

5 Techniques to Reduce Yard Work Chores

Yard work is tedious; it takes several hours a week to perform, and can eat into your weekend days designated for relaxing. Mowing and trimming alone can take 4 or 5 hours for a large yard. Smaller yards are no easy feat, either — the amount of upkeep for small lawns can still be overwhelming. No matter the size of your lawn, you can save precious time by tweaking your yard work routine to make the process easier. A natural grass lawn will always require some type of maintenance, but it is up to you how you manage your time.

Delegate Tasks

One of the easiest ways to same time while completing yard work is to delegate tasks to family members. If each person takes on the completion of a single chore, the amount of time it takes to tackle even the largest yard is reduced. Even children can help out by tackling age-appropriate chores like raking or picking up leaves. Dividing up the tasks and preparing a schedule may help get your lawn looking perfect in less time.

Plan Ahead

If you always do your yard work on a particular day or adhere to any type of schedule, make sure to plan ahead and be prepared each time the day arrives. Prep by making sure you have enough gas, grass seed, fertilizer, trimmer line and various other items you’ll need to achieve a healthy green lawn. If you plan on delegating some tasks to other family members, make sure they know the plan — don’t spring the chores on them without prior notice, or they may not be available.

Maintain Your Lawn Equipment

Make sure all of your lawn equipment is regularly checked and maintained. This includes changing the oil, checking for leaks, making sure the tires have adequate pressure, blades are sharpened and there is enough trimmer line to complete the trimming and edging. Always make sure that all gas-powered engines are regularly tuned up to provide maximum power and efficiency. Even though lawn equipment is only used a few times each month, it should be just as carefully maintained as your automobile to prevent breakdowns. Also, make sure to check any belts or other pieces showing signs of wear. If you catch potential problems before they grow, you will save money and even more time.

Landscape Difficult Areas

If you have areas in your yard that are especially time-consuming and difficult to maintain, turn to landscaping. Clear away the grass, rocks and debris, add a few pavers or wooden beams to outline the area, and fill with gravel or mulch. Doing so will eliminate the need to mow or trim these tricky spots. You can include statues, flowering plants, decorative grasses, fountains or ponds to add to the design. Fountains and ponds that use filters and pumps may add slightly to the work load, but they may be worth it if a landscaped area saves time in other ways.

Install Artificial Turf

Wish you could avoid lawn maintenance all together? Consider removing your natural grass and installing artificial turf. Artificial turf requires little to no maintenance and can stand up to several years of use — but, perhaps best of all, there is no need to mow it. Artificial turf offers many benefits, and is particularly effective when used in drought stricken areas. Natural grass can cost thousands of dollars to maintain over the years that you own your home, in addition to the physical cost it requires in your maintenance and labor. With artificial turf, you will save both time and money, and can pay turn your attention to your family rather than your lawn.

Planning The Perfect Summer Party That Is Kid-Friendly

Planning the Perfect Kid-Friendly Summer Party

Summer parties are a great way to spend quality time with the family. During the summer season, kids have a lot of free time, making it the perfect opportunity for them to get involved in the events, too. Kids can play an active role in every aspect of party planning. Allowing them to participate not only teaches responsibility, but also gives them the opportunity to explore their creative side. Giving a child the freedom to use their imagination lets them express themselves in new and unique ways — and what better way to put imagination to use than at a party?

Choose a Theme

There are many different themes suitable for summer parties. If the kids are going to be involved in the party planning process, it is important they be given the opportunity to help choose the theme. The right theme will set the mood for the entire gathering, and helps to determine what games and activities are planned. It will also determine what type of decorations will be needed to set the mood and create an atmosphere.

Buy, or Make, Decorations

Once the theme for the party is selected, the next step is to start prepping the decorations. Depending on the theme you’ve decided on, children can help make some of the decorations, or they can accompany you to the store to purchase them. Purchase the materials you need, and give the children the chance to make them by providing instructions and examples. Children can make backdrops by painting large pieces of cardboard, or make name tags, table centerpieces and create games to keep guests of all ages occupied. Children of all ages benefit from working with others on projects where they can see the end result and enjoy themselves.

Preparing Your Lawn

Before any decorating can take place, the lawn must be prepared. Luckily, if you are already an owner of EasyTurf artificial grass, your backyard prep will save time and effort. Homeowners with natural grass lawns must mow, trim and remove any yard waste prior to guests’ arrival. Those with artificial turf only have to make sure the yard is free of debris, and that furniture and tables are ready for use. If the weather is hot, a quick spray with the hose will eliminate any dust that may be resting on your turf.

Allow your children to brush or sweep the artificial turf, and they will help keep the blades upright — and, as a bonus, it gives them time to burn off excess energy before the party starts. Artificial turf requires little to no upkeep, and can be cleaned in a matter of minutes, depending on the size of the lawn. Kids can easily prepare the lawn for a summer party, freeing up the adults for the more complicated aspects of planning and preparing.

Get Decorating

A summer party isn’t complete without exciting, lively decorations to set the mood. Children can help decorate for the party in several ways: they can decorate tables, help hang decorations on walls, and can set out centerpieces or backdrops. Pair younger kids with an adult or an older teenager, and they can work together to hang decorations or place decorative items throughout your outdoor space. Kids who are given responsibility when it comes to preparing for the party are more likely to appreciate the effort put into it — and, of course, they’ll have fun while they are there. Many times, when children are included in the preparation process, it becomes just as much fun as the party itself.

Learn to Love Your Yardwork

Learn to Love Your Yardwork

Yard work doesn’t have to be boring or tedious, like it often is. In fact, with the right mindset and proper tools, yard work can be fun and enjoyable. Instead of viewing it as a chore, it’s important to view it into an enjoyable experience. Whether you have natural grass or artificial turf in your lawn and green spaces at home, there will always be something you can do in the yard to beautify the area and make it a more pleasant place to be.

Yard work can be a major stress reliever. If you are raking leaves or lawn clippings, every time a pile is made imagine that you are gathering your stress and eliminating it from your mind. Every act of moving or picking something up can be looked at as a step towards being stress free. Every item you pick up can represent a problem or issue. Pick it up, remove it, and dump it into the trash; each time you do so, you’ll be sending your stressors into the trash, too.

You can also make yard work a family affair. Assign each person a task, and work together as a family unit until the job is completed. Smaller children can complete tasks that teach them teamwork, while older kids can be assigned tasks that help them to learn a new skill or gain strength. As you all work together to clear and clean your lawn, you will teach children the benefits of hard work and pride in all that they accomplish. You can even add yard games along the way to make the time you spend outside performing this chore fun.

Two things about yard work that make it fun and enjoyable from the very beginning are spending time outside and turning up the music. When you work outside, you are not stuck in the house or an office. Walk outside, take a deep breath, and turn up the music of your choice. Listening to music and working to the beat makes any task go faster. It also makes things a lot more fun. If the day is extremely hot and humid, play slower songs and work along with the beat. It will prevent you from over exerting yourself and getting tired too quickly.

Depending on how big your yard is and the type of tasks involved, you can trade a day working outside for a day in the gym. Instead of using a riding lawnmower, push mow your grass. The added exercise can replace an equal amount of time spent on a treadmill. If you have artificial turf, walk the lawn on a regular basis picking up small bits of debris and leaves as they appear. Take the time to remove any limbs or sticks to prevent children from tripping or falling. If you want to get some lifting in, rearrange the patio furniture, grill and any other lawn decorations you may have. Doing yard work can be the next best workout to take the place of a couple of hours spent at the local gym.

Yard work is what you make it — and if you choose fun, your chore will become something both pleasant and enjoyable. It can be a chore to be dreaded and put off, or it can be something fun and unique that you actually look forward to. Look at it from a different angle every time, and your typical yard work will become a quiet escape where you release your problems, or perhaps an event during which you spend time with family.

Quick and Easy Tips to Perfect Your Yard for Holiday Parties

Quick and Easy Tips to Perfect Your Yard for Holiday Parties

Your home isn’t the only thing you need to prepare and ready before a big holiday gathering. Your yard needs to be looked after, too. After all, it is what your guests see when they first arrive at your home — your lawn makes just as big of an impression as what they see when they enter your front door. There are several things you can do to keep your yard presentable during the holidays, even in the event of unpleasant weather, and throughout the year.

Give a Final Mow and Trim

Mow and trim your lawn one last time — but don’t do so minutes before your guests arrive, do it about two or three days before the date of the party. Doing so gives the grass time to recover so mow lines are less obvious, and your grass looks perfectly natural. If needed, use a mulcher or bag on your lawn mower so you don’t have to spend hours raking and removing grass clippings. Keeping the lawn trimmed makes your home appear well kept.

Clear Away Debris

Walk around the corners, edges, and major areas of your lawn and pick up any debris — twigs, branches, leaves, or other odds and ends — that may be laying around. Rake up any dead grass or leaves that have blown against the fence or sides of the home. Go over landscaped areas carefully, making sure to remove any dead leaves or other items that may have accumulated over time.

Make Last-Minute Repairs

Part of what makes a home look rundown is the odd broken or nonfunctional items littered throughout the home and outdoor areas. Do a quick check for things that need repairing or fixing; replace light bulbs that have burned out, and look over fences and patio furnishings. Making minor repairs not only improves the way your property looks, but it also helps prevent injuries. A loose nail or broken chair can result in a costly and painful guest injury.

Decorate the Deck and Other Areas

Take the time to decorate the patio, deck or porch. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. The main idea is to add a little color or something that represents the holidays. Bows or wreaths hanging on the doors are a nice touch. You can also use colored light bulbs in one or two of the outside fixtures. Small touches, like a woodland centerpiece on a patio table can make a big difference in the personality of the area.

Remove Any Obstacles Along Pathways and Sidewalks

Always make sure that nothing obstructs sidewalks and pathways, inhibiting your guests’ ability to walk around. Before your guests begin to arrive, do a last-minute double check to ensure any toys, bicycles or lawn tools are picked up and put away. If you have a storage shed or space inside the garage, put them in these out-of-sight places. Keeping them out of sight prevents children from seeing them and taking them back out into the yard while your guests are still there.

Check All Outdoor Lights

If you have outdoor lighting that brightens your deck, patio, or entire yard, make sure these are working properly. This is a crucial step to take if you plan on your party lasting until after dark, or allowing guests to gather in your backyard. Adding outside lighting sources prevents your guests from having to find their way around in the dark. Small, solar powered lights can also be placed along sidewalks, patios and swimming pools to prevent people from tripping or wandering as they walk around your property.