There is a lot of information out there about decluttering our lives, about how to conquer the clutter inside of our homes. However, we often overlook our yards when considering how to downsize the ‘stuff’ that we have collected over the years.
Don’t forget – the first thing that guests and strangers see of us is our yard! Here is a list of 5 ideas on how to declutter your yard:
1- Get prepared
Before you jump into your yard clean up, do a thorough walk through and take inventory of things that may need some special attention for disposal, then do some research on how to properly handle these items. If you have expired hazardous materials such as oils, paints, cleaning/fertilizing chemicals you need to ensure that you are disposing of these items safely and responsibly.
Additionally, if you intend on doing a large amount of pruning and trimming to shrubs and trees you may need to contact your local waste disposal provider to find out if they take green waste drop offs. Nothing puts a quicker damper on your ‘clean up’ motivation than having a pile of things to get rid of and not knowing how to get rid of them!
2- Just Say No!
So often we are ‘people pleasers’, not wanting to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings. When reclaiming your yard from the clutter that has accumulated, remember that you are not obligated to keep things that were gifts or hand-me-downs in order to avoid offending the givers. If you are concerned that getting rid of certain items in your yard will send the wrong message to the person that you received it from, consider calling them and politely explain that you are downsizing, that you have appreciated the item, but are no longer able to keep it. You may also consider asking them if they would like the item to be returned to them.
3- Create Zones
Organizing inside of our homes is often ordered by the types of rooms we have – it is easy to see that cooking items belong in the kitchen, personal items live in bedrooms, etc. However, yard organization is a little more tricky as we often have a blank canvas to work with, an open space with no obvious division. If you find yourself unsure about where to put the items that you are decided to keep, consider creating different zones in your yard space.
For example, keep items that are grilling and outdoor dining closer to the house, perhaps the back corner of the yard is a great storage location for yard tools such as the lawn mower and gardening tools.
If you love to plant flowers, thing about creating a workspace where you can store your pots, hand tools, plant foods and fertilizers, etc. Once you have predetermined an amount of yard space that each category can have it is easier to limit yourself to what will reasonably fit within that space.
4- Start Small
Rome wasn’t conquered in a day, and neither will every yard project! Cut yourself some slack, and don’t get overwhelmed by doing it all at one time. Pick an area each weekend that you want to conquer and before you know it that entire yard will be looking fabulous.
5- Invest in some good quality storage solutions.
There are so many great storage solutions that will assist you in your efforts to get rid of yard clutter. Putting a deck box on the back porch is a great way to limit yourself to what will fit in the box, while also keeping things neatly tucked away until you are ready to use them.
A storage shed in the back corner of the yard provides ample storage space for larger items such as lawn mowers and dining sets during the winter months. There is also a myriad of storage items available at your local big box home improvements stores that will get your yard looking tidied up in no time!