Summer Checklist - Safety and Savings Go Hand in Hand

Is it just me or do you find yourself using the word 'prepared' a lot in summer?
Prepping for the kids to be home all day or at camp.
Prepping the washing, the packing, the suitcases and the itinerary for vacation.
Prepping the BBQs. Not to mention the food!
Prepping the car for the trip up to the cottage as well as snacks and sunscreen and hats and towels and....

Well, I think you get the picture....
But what I have also noticed is that my friends, family, and customers often overlook vital summer preparations that should always be on the list. Thought I would pass them along:


With kids home for the summer, safety always trumps and not just around the swimming pool. Do consider these safety precautions as part of your summer preps:
Choose child-safe window coverings to eliminate the hazards posed by dangling window cords including cordless blinds and shades, shutters, motorized shades, and drapes.
Add safety features to existing window coverings by using a permanent cord cleat to ensure all pull cords are out of children's reach.
Optimize window safety throughout the house by placing cribs and other low-standing furniture (beds, bookshelves, toy boxes, chairs, etc.) away from windows to prevent young ones from hurting themselves.
Finally, if you're concerned about some of the corded blinds you already have, there are retrofit kits available to enhance the safety of looped pull cord window treatments. Click here to look at some.

We all know the benefits of keeping the blinds closed to keep the heat out and opening the blinds to let the sun in as the largest portion of a home's energy demand comes from heating and cooling our houses. Therefore, the use of highly efficient window treatments can be a saving grace in the middle of an Ontario heat wave.
Solar Screens are a summertime necessity at my house. Not only do they allow me to have a nearly unobstructed view of my backyard so I can watch all the 'goings on' outside but they also allow for a cool breeze to lift away the summer heat. I'm not against air conditioning by any means, but I really do love fresh air and having the windows open is always my first choice. Plus, I can keep my energy bills down by not having the air conditioner on 24-7. Ahhhhhhh.....
Cellular Shades go one step further as they are among the few window coverings that provide optimal insulation and help keep air from entering and/or escaping. As a result, your home will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. A win-win situation if you ask me.


One of the things I love about summer is the later evenings and sitting out on the patio with a cup of tea. But along with the late sunsets, come early sunrises and the potential for disruptions in our sleep patterns.
To get a better rest, it is important to prepare a sleep-friendly environment. A tried and tested recommendation is the use of blackout shades which are simple and highly effective in minimizing disruption - both with light and noise. In fact, blackout shades are one of the first things Doctors and Naturopaths recommend when patients suffer from sleep problems.
Blackout shades can be fitted in a variety of ways to help reduce and eliminate light from shining through. If you require total darkness, there are systems that work with the blinds to optimize room darkness.
Some blackout shades can also help reduce energy bills even more by preventing heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. 
Most importantly for summer, blackout shades will help prevent little ones from waking too early in the morning or from afternoon naps.
Parents need a vacation too! 
Enjoy your summer!