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15 Tips to Create a Simply Lovely Outdoor Space: 8 Weeks at Home Series

Welcome to the final week of the 8 Weeks at Home Series! We’ve spent eight weeks decluttering, simplifying and cleaning up room by room in preparation for summer. For this final week, we’re going to spend a little time cleaning and prepping our outdoor spaces so we can have lots of summer fun outside.

While you’re working in each space, keep some paper and a pen handy and make note of any repairs that need to be made, any supplies that need to be restocked, or any decorating changes you’d like to make. As you decide to get rid of stuff, remove it from the space right away and get it out of the house ASAP so that it doesn’t worm its way back into the space. Take out bags of trash and recycling daily so they don’t pile up in your workspace.

15 Tips to Create a Simply Lovely Outdoor Space: 8 Weeks at Home Series

The Most Neglected Space of the Home: The Great Outdoors

Whether you have a balcony, a small yard or a large plot of open space, it’s important to spend a few minutes here and there to clean out the cobwebs and freshen the greenery. Even just a small patio or front porch needs the occasional clean-up. Here are 15 tips for refreshing your outdoor space and making it more user friendly for a fun summer.

  1. Start by removing any dead plants, whether they’re in pots or in the ground. It’s better to have no plants than dead ones — check your feng shui guide if you don’t believe me! 
  2. Remove any trash, old toys, broken planters, random stuff that blew in, wet newspapers, etc. For us, this also usually includes random chunks of sidewalk chalk, plant identification stakes and old planters full of rainwater and moss (eeewww!)
  3. If you’ve got new greenery, flowers or herbs to plant, plant them. I like to keep it simple with roses and herbs — beauty and utility. A few fresh plants can really brighten up an otherwise dull outdoor space.
  4. If you have a dog, scoop the poop. Before you mow.
  5. Mow the lawn and edge if necessary. Trim any wayward bushes and trees so they’re neat and not smacking people in the face when they walk by. Rake up dead leaves and trimmings. Deadhead rose bushes and remove flowers from herbs.
  6. Using a broom, sweep out the cobwebs from around doorways, in the corners of the patio. We once had an enormous cobweb that spanned the top of our front patio, and I somehow didn’t notice it until I WALKED RIGHT INTO IT.
  7. Use a broom or damp paper towels to remove cobwebs and clean outdoor light fixtures (make sure they’re cool first). Change any dead lightbulbs, and consider putting your outdoor lights on a timer or motion sensor for security and electricity savings.
  8. Shake out the welcome mat. If it’s looking a little worse for wear, make a note on your shopping list to get a new one. It’s a very simple and inexpensive way to freshen a patio or entry.
  9. Sweep the patio, entry and walkways. Get into those corners and get all that dirt out.
  10. If you have tables or outdoor chairs, either wash them off with a hose or wipe them off with cleaner and rags to get rid of bird poop, dirt and scum that builds up from rains. If your seats have cushions, clean those as well. We keep our cushions in the garage when we’re not using them so they stay clean and don’t fade in the hot Texas sun.
  11. Clean your grill so it’s ready for use, and make sure you have plenty of propane or charcoal on hand for impromptu cook-outs.
  12. Hose down or clean any kids’ toys and play structures that live outside, and consider an outdoor chest for storing toys that live outside all the time. If you have a sandbox, check to see if you need to add new playground sand. Add a cheap bottle of cinnamon from the dollar store to repel bugs and make the sand smell awesome.
  13. Wrap up hoses and put them away as you finish. Leaving them strewn across the grass can cause indentions and discolored lines in the lawn. Yes, I know this from experience.
  14. Set up your chairs and tables in comfy seating arrangements. If you a place to hang a hammock, I’m jealous. For a more festive atmosphere, add citronella candles, tiki torches, a fire pit or outdoor games.
  15. Grab a cold beverage and ENJOY the space. Too often, we forget that it’s part of our home to be used and enjoyed!

Looking for the rest of the 8 Weeks at Home series? Post links are here!

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