Spring has officially sprung, meaning that you and your family may want to prepare your home to be more conducive to time outdoors. If you take a weekend or so to do some home improvements to your lawn and garden, you’ll be totally set for the warm weather, barbeques, and family gatherings that will certainly break out.

Build a Firepit: For a simple DIY project, you can build your own fire pit with a few materials and a lot of elbow grease. Summertime is absolutely perfect for building up a big bonfire and gathering all your friends to tell stories, sing songs, roast marshmallows, and celebrate each other.

Get your Flowers Planted: Green spaces and natural flora will help your family and friends feel at home and relaxed when they gather outdoors on your property. Studies have demonstrated that just the act of being in and around nature helps your mind destress. So to set the mood and make your property as summery as possible, spend some time making sure your gardens are up to snuff, your grass is well-kempt, and all the debris from last fall’s leaves is gone

Picnic Table: Nothing says “summer” quite like a meal at a picnic table. Long wooden picnic tables bring back the nostalgia of family meals, hearty laughter, and good barbeque food fresh off the grill. If you have a picnic table that shows some weather damage from the harsh winter, fixing it up is an easy weekend activity. Firstly, sand down the old paint and rough edges with sanding paper so that all the splinters get removed. Then, add a few new layers of paint and finish to seal the wood and make sure it fits into your outdoor aesthetic. Some choose to just stain the wood and let it retain its natural appearance, while others will add a pop of color for a real strong statement.

Cushion your Patio Furniture: Some of your old patio furniture may have moldy, rotting cushions or no cushions at all. You don’t want any excuse not to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine with a good book, the family pet, or a collection of old friends, so you may want to invest in purchasing or sewing brand new cushions for your swings, chairs, and other outdoor furniture.

Keep the bugs out: An infestation of bugs can totally ruin a party and leave everyone with painful itchy welts that taint their memories of an otherwise fantastic party. You certainly don’t want that to be the case for anyone who visits your home, so make sure that you proactively prevent a swarm of mosquitos or an army of ants from crashing the party. You can easily purchase netted tents to keep the bugs out and create a lovely canopy aesthetic. You can also fashion your own bug repellant by combining in a mason jar citrus rinds, herbs, and citronella oil in hot water and floating a tea light in the ensuing concoction.

Light it up! You don’t have to surrender your Christmas lights just because it’s not snowing. Christmas lights, tea lights, and paper lanterns can provide a magical milieu for outdoor festivities. Stringing these up can transform your outdoors into a fairy wonderland.