If your backyard needs a makeover, there’s no need to call in a professional because guess what; you can very well do it yourself! How? Well, it’s a three-step process:
Although it’s a lot of work, making it a weekend project and perhaps, a few helping hands will allow you to get everything done in a systematic manner. Luckily, Simply Maid, is here to guide you through a thorough yard cleanup, and give you the best organising tips and decorating ideas for the perfect backyard makeover! Read on.
How to Prepare for a Backyard Cleanup
The beginning of the backyard cleanup is certainly the most overwhelming part. It’s hard to figure out where to begin, especially when dealing with multiple problem areas. In fact, your motivation tends to take a hit when you think about the sheer amount of work that goes into a large DIY cleaning project like this one. Nevertheless, even the beginning of cleaning your backyard can be broken down into sub-tasks that help ease the burden while ensuring that you are starting off on the right foot (and in a time-efficient manner).
So, to begin, you first need to be prepared for the cleanup.
1. Keep Cleaning Supplies and Aids Ready
Cleaning outdoor spaces are very different from cleaning inside your house. So, the first thing you need to do is to check whether you have the right cleaning supplies and miscellaneous items required for your backyard cleaning project.
Here is what you’ll need:
- Hard broom
- Dust cloths
- Outdoor concrete cleaner
- Liquid dish soap
- Hard scrub brush
- Garbage bags
- Large cardboard boxes (for packing or donating items)
- Durable rubber gloves
- Face mask
- Light, shabby clothes
2. Assess the Area
Look around and make a note of things to do. When you list down everything that needs to be done, that’s when you can prioritise tasks, and go about cleaning your backyard in an organised manner. Major cleanup tasks may include cleaning backyard wooden furniture, disposing of broken or worn-out items, scrubbing, and de-staining concrete/pavers, and gardening work like pulling out weeds and trimming hedges. After you have done a thorough assessment of your backyard, you can move on to the cleaning process.
1. Clear Up the Space
When there are fewer things getting in your way, cleaning and tidying up the yard is that much easier. So, as much as you possibly can, clear up your backyard by filling up garbage bags and boxes with items to be discarded and donated respectively. As far as other items that belong in the backyard are concerned, move them aside or carry them out to the front yard.
If you have a designated storage space in a shed or the garage for garden tools and miscellaneous items, put them back in place (leave the tools required for the cleanout). For backyard items that require to be cleaned thoroughly, take them to an open space where they can be hosed down or cleaned as per their requirements. These include furniture pieces, kids’ toys, lawn ornaments, etc.
2. Remove the Rubbish
Some yards tend to accumulate piles of rubbish that may be in the form of debris, rubble, broken furniture, old wooden planks, random junk, etc. Obviously, trashing large amounts and/or large pieces of rubbish in garbage bags and boxes is not possible; therefore, you will need to turn to the services of a rubbish removal company. These professionals will come to your property, and collect all the things you need to discard from your yard during one quick visit.
There are, however, some homeowners who prefer to undertake this task themselves by loading the rubbish in their truck and dropping it off at a recycling plantation. While this may save you some money, it will cost you a whole lot of time and energy. Considering that this is still more or less the beginning of your backyard makeover, you shouldn’t overwork yourself when instead, you can get this particular time-consuming task completed by a team of professionals in no time. Moreover, a rubbish removal company will ensure that the job is carried out with safety protocols in place which is especially important when dealing with heavy and/or sharp objects.
3. Clean the Furniture, Toys, etc
Once your backyard is all cleaned up, you wouldn’t want to set it up with dirty, dusty things. So, depending on their present condition, you will have to give these items a simple wipe down, or a thorough deep clean. Start with dusting the lighting fixtures, pots, and existing fixtures/fittings around your backyard. Next up, clean the yard toys and furniture by hosing them down first, and then scrub the pieces with mild dish soap and water. Just a quick scrub and rinse should do the trick, however, for a deeper clean, we suggest using warm water and a grease-fighting cleaning product.
After you have cleaned the furniture and your kids’ yard toys, leave them out front to dry while you get back to cleaning the rest of the yard.
4. Tidy Up the Garden and Lawn
As other areas around your backyard start to shape up, it’s time to turn your attention to the garden. Sit down on a stool to avoid bending over and straining your back; this is also a good way to conserve energy while tending to your garden.
To begin, remove dead plants and dried leaves; pull out weeds, and prune dead branches. With your garden shears, trim the hedges and bushes to give them a neat look and a nice shape. If there is nothing more in your garden that needs work, rake up all the rubbish from your garden and shovel it into garbage bags. Finish off by trimming the grass to your liking.
5. Sweep and Clean the Concrete
Contrary to what most homeowners believe, it’s not difficult to clean outdoor concrete/pavers as long as you have the right cleaning products. There are plenty of commercial products on the market that will remove stains and revitalise concrete and pavers around your backyard. They come with their own set of instructions on the label which should be strictly followed for a safe and effective clean.
Generally, concrete cleaners are used in the following manner:
- First, sweep the concrete thoroughly to remove surface debris.
- Saturate the concrete with a water hose.
- Mix and apply the cleaning solution as mentioned on the label.
- Scrub with a hard brush to remove stains and soil.
- Rinse off thoroughly with a water hose.
6. Hose Down the Fence Last
The fence is the backdrop for any backyard so it’s important that you don’t leave it out when cleaning the rest of the area. Luckily, more often than not, your fence can be cleaned with a medium-pressure hose wash to remove dust and loose debris sitting on the surface.
If there are stains present on the fence, or you would like to give it a deeper clean, mix some liquid dish soap in a bucket of warm water to create a mild, soapy solution, and dip a scrubber or sponge in the water; wipe the fence from top to bottom as you move from one side to the other. When you’re done, hose down the fence once more. The results are guaranteed to leave your backyard fence looking brighter and beautiful!
The last thing you need to do is bring back the furniture, plant pots, ornaments, toys, etc. and set up your clean backyard.
How to Organise Your Backyard
As a homeowner, you probably know first-hand how quickly a clean space can become dirty and disorganised. This is especially true for an outdoor area that is given less attention or rarely prioritised when cleaning and organising are concerned. Well, it’s time to change that; don’t let your efforts to clean your backyard go in vain, get the space organised too!
Here are some useful tips to organise your backyard.
Keep Garden Tools Away
As convenient as it may be to have garden tools lying around to quickly grab and get to work, they make your backyard look untidy and cluttered. If you don’t have a shed or corner where you can organise your garden tools and other equipment, consider a nearby storage space like the garage.
Make a Playpen
Scattered toys around the backyard are not uncommon when you have little kids but with a playpen, they will be encouraged to stay within this space and you’ll have less to tidy up in the yard every day!
Install Wall Storage/Organisers
Rather than cluttering up floor space, make use of a bare exterior wall by installing storage/organising aids in the form of shelves and wall hooks. Miscellaneous items can be stored and organised here including a rolled-up water hose, water cans, fertilisers, etc.
Use Cart Storage
Having storage on wheels is always convenient! In a backyard, a cart can store those commonly used items that you generally have to carry back and forth or from one place to another. Some of the things you can store in a cart include basic or small garden tools, paper towels, cleaning supplies, cutlery, plastic glasses, coasters, etc.
Rather than let different areas of your backyard merge into one whole space, create borders around each section to separate them. You can use bricks or pavers to border your seating area, garden, plant/flower beds, BBQ area, kids’ play area, and so on.
Decorating Ideas for Your Backyard
For a full makeover of your backyard, consider changing things up and updating the décor. If you’re stuck for ideas, Simply Maid has got you covered!
Here are some simple yet effective tips to make your backyard look gorgeous and new again.
Add a Trellis
A trellis is a beautiful way to spruce up your backyard. It can be used as an entryway to your seating area and further decorated with creeper plants and/or string lights. Your trellis can be made out of a variety of materials, however, we suggest keeping with the theme of your outdoor yard furniture and other fixtures.
Incorporate Cozy Cushions
To create a warm and welcoming backyard ambience, dress up your chairs with comfortable cushions and throw pillows. Choose patterns and colours that will complement the style of the furniture while adding to the coziness and inviting atmosphere of the space.
Plan a Vertical Garden
One of the best small backyard ideas is to plan part of your garden vertically instead of taking up more ground space. You can use a wooden pallet or wall-fitted trellis to create a fully functional vertical garden that also serves as a decorative focal point.
Set the Tone with Lighting
The type of lighting you choose for your backyard is everything. It sets the tone for the entire space so it is advisable to look for options that are warm and decorative yet not over-the-top. Remember, the lighting needs to be functional as well so don’t stick to string lights only.
Make a Stone Pathway
If you don’t have a paved path between your front yard and backyard, consider laying down slabs of finished stone to create one. These types of paths are not intended to be uniform but are definitely high on aesthetics. As an alternative, a pebble footpath leading to your backyard is also a great way to give it a natural yet bold look.
Paint the Fence
As we mentioned earlier, the fence is the backdrop for your backyard; therefore, it is important to keep it looking its best. While some homeowners prefer their fence to remain natural with only a transparent finish to protect it from weather and insect damage, over time, exposure to sunlight and outdoor elements make the fence look shabby. Luckily, this can easily be countered with a coat of paint to brighten up your entire backyard. You can even hire a local artist to paint a mural on one side of the fence for a dramatic look!
We understand that giving your backyard a makeover is a rather big DIY project, and that’s why we’ve shared this systematic guide to efficiently clean, organise, and decorate your backyard. At the end of the project, we are confident that you will be thoroughly satisfied with the results!