Summer is the perfect time of year for some outdoor decluttering. Clearing out your garden might seem like a big job, but if you break it down into easy steps, you can make it a day by day plan. Focus on one area at a time. You could spend a day on the foliage, lawn, and garden toys and accessories. Dedicate another day to sorting out your shed, and another on decluttering the conservatory, if you have one. This way once you finish each decluttering project you’ll be able to reward yourself for a job well done. Here is an easy step by step guide to decluttering your outside space.
Project 1 – Garden
Gardening is a long-term project, but if you dedicate a day to clearing out a few things you’ll have the space to work and enjoy it. With a few basic, albeit tiring jobs the results will be worth it. Learn to make your garden gorgeously tidy this summer.
Ideally, you want to reduce waste, but if you feel like you’re going to have an excess of garden rubbish it might be an idea to hire a skip. Otherwise, you can sell or get rid of unused decking, topsoil, and paving slabs if they’re in good condition. Try advertising online on sites such as Freecycle. People will come and collect things for free, and you’d be surprised by what you get rid of.
Rake up leaves, debris and get down to some weeding. This can be a daily task, and shouldn’t take long if you get on top of it. Trim back and prune any overgrowing or dead plants for regrowth next season. Once your flower beds are tidy, a handy tip is to use bark to discourage weeds from growing. Invest in an electric lawnmower as these are more eco-friendly. Your lawn will need mowing around once a week.
Rusty garden toys
It might be time to inspect that old climbing frame and swing you set up for your younger children. After a time, these can go rusty and become a bit of an eyesore, if they’re no longer in use, or a good condition, get rid of them. The same goes for old garden ornaments and planters. This is where a skip might come in handy if they’re not suitable for donation.
Low maintenance plants
If you want to stick to a simple, low maintenance garden, avoid annual bedding plants. Cut a defined edge on your flowerbeds to prevent any overgrow into the lawn. Trim back overgrown hedges, shrubs, and trees. Dealing with overgrown plants can be a fair amount of work, but you’ll definitely see the benefits, your garden will appear much neater, and you’ll gain plenty of space.
After the initial decluttering of your garden. Make a list of daily and weekly tasks to keep it clean and tidy. Water your garden on days it doesn’t rain. With weekly trimming and raking, you can enjoy your garden more.
Project 2 – Shed
A garden shed is often used as a space to hide your clutter and forgotten about. With a little bit of patience and organising, you can actually make real use out of your shed. A dedicated shed decluttering project is perfect for summer.
Treat it like any other room of the house, with a clearout
When you’re decluttering inside, the sensible thing to do is to go through everything and decide whether to keep it or not. Apply these rules to your shed, don’t just overload it with junk you’ve already decluttered from your house and garden. Make a donation box, a box to throw away, and a box to keep, try to make cut-throat decisions.
Rethink storage space
Plan realistically what you want to use your shed for. If you need it for tools and other items such as bikes and your lawnmower, rethink the space. Could you remove any old items of furniture such as drawers and units and use the walls for storage instead? You could put up wide shelves and organise items into categories in boxes so they’re easier to find. Avoid using floor space for storage as much as possible.
Check for duplicates and group tools
You might have been collecting tools and other equipment over the years without releasing it. Check for duplicates and only keep one set. Group your tools into sets and store them away. This way everything has a place. Be creative, install racks, and hooks for bigger tools. Shed organising projects are hard work but can be very satisfying.
Bike and larger items
Do you need to keep old bikes in your shed? Perhaps it’s time to donate or sell a couple if you’re not using them. For the bikes and larger items you plan on keeping, find a place for these first, and plan around them. Aim to set up areas in your shed, for example, you could use one side to store larger items and the other for working and easily accessible smaller tools.
Reuse jars and tins
Recycled jars and tins make handy storage containers for things like nails, bolts, and screws. Rather than having different toolboxes lying around on the floor, you could label these and put them up on a shelf out of the way. It’s also a great way to reduce waste.
Perhaps you even want to repurpose your shed and turn it into a game room or living space. Before you start decluttering your shed, have a good think about its purpose and what you want to do with it.
Project 3 – Conservatory
Avoid using your conservatory merely as storage or an overflow room of your house. In order to brighten up your conservatory, you need to first create space by decluttering. Get stuff off the window sills and let the light shine through. Think about different ways in which you can get the most out of your conservatory. Is it a place for toys, or a place to entertain? You could set up zones for different activities.
The windows are the most important feature of your conservatory, make sure they’re clean and up to date. Window cleaning services can take of this for you, for a more professional job. Consider upgrading your windows to a more eco-friendly option, such as Low E energy efficient glass. The energy-efficient glass keeps you comfortable in all seasons. It reduces any glare from the sun as well. You’ll finally be able to enjoy the view of your garden without feeling frazzled. You’ll save on your electricity bill as well.
Furniture – upcycle or freecycle
Now you’ve got the windows sorted it’s time to free up some space more permanently. If you are using old furniture in your conservatory, there are two eco-friendly options for you: upcycle or freecycle. If you have furniture you’re not using it donate or sell it online. If you feel like getting creative this summer you could upcycle some old furniture to repurpose it. You can find plenty of inspiration online on how to revamp conservatory furniture.
If you are using your conservatory as a playroom then organise all toys into categories and storage boxes. Make sure you go through the keep, toss, donate stage thoroughly first. If you are using your conservatory to store old boxes, open them up and go through them. If you haven’t used any of the items in a year then you probably don’t need them anymore. Conservatories are a typical place to dump old cutlery duplicates and household items. Get rid of or donate anything you’re not using currently.
Create multiple-use zones in your conservatory. Set up an area to entertain or dine, with a table and chairs, and if you’re using it for your children put a rug in one corner with storage boxes of toys. Make sure you get the most out of the space. Think carefully about what you plan on doing in your conservatory, and set up space for this.
While plants are a lovely way to draw a connection between your conservatory and garden, don’t leave them in there to dry up. Throw out any dead plants or old pots. Freshen up your window sills so that you can enjoy the nice view of your garden. Conservatories are a great place for cultivating plants, because of the amount of sunlight they get. Energy-efficient glass also helps to create a more ambient temperature for them to thrive. Have a look at this guide on how to choose the right plants for your conservatory, and get rid of the old ones.
By decluttering outside, you’ll have a tidy garden to match your home. Don’t neglect these outdoor storage spaces either. By creating a more usable space, not only will you get more enjoyment out of them, you can even add value to your home. Get busy this summer, and you’ll be able to enjoy the outside views in the autumn and winter months. The results will be very rewarding.