For some, graduation is just around the corner, and that usually means a graduation party to celebrate the accomplishments and years of hard work. An outdoor graduation party can be fun and relaxing, if you take time to plan a few things out in advance, specifically how your guests will enjoy their surroundings.

Take an early inventory of your patio furniture, deck furniture, or outdoor bench seating areas. Now might be a good time to spray a fresh coat of paint to wicker furniture, or spruce up wood lawn furniture with new stain or a coat of paint.

Pay careful attention to the foundation of your patio furniture, and make sure the webbing, springs, or wooden slats are still in safe condition. The changing weather conditions can dry out webbing on patio furniture, so it’s a good idea to replace it occasionally.

Foam inside the cushions also deteriorates with time. If you want a firm seat or think you need to give new life to a chair cushion, plan that project well ahead of the graduation party. Since the cushion is dismantled for installation of new foam, now would be a great time to decide if you want a different look to your outdoor furniture, or want to complement or coordinate with other patterns or colors.

While you’re at it, take a look at any awnings, umbrellas, smokers or grill covers that are normally present with patio furniture. These are often overlooked when planning a party, but fresh outdoor vinyl for these can spruce up the entire yard or deck area, giving a new look to last year’s outdoor parties. You can measure for matching table covers in the same outdoor vinyl, giving a coordinated look or theme for the special event.

Enjoy the festivities and food for your next graduation party, knowing that your guests will be comfortable with a patio furniture makeover that will last all season, and for years to come.