How to Clean and Organise Your Backyard from Start to Finish
Spending time in your backyard can be very relaxing if the space is well maintained. Unfortunately, more often than not, homeowners spend little time on maintaining this integral part of their property, leaving it to become a complete and utter mess over time! What’s worse is if a backyard isn’t clean enough to use to its full potential, it gradually becomes a place to dump miscellaneous items like garden tools, broken patio furniture, and old toys intended for outdoor use; that’s when things really start to go south for your once beautiful backyard space!
Well, if you’re unhappy with the way your backyard has progressed over the months or years, don’t give up on it just yet! Why? Because Maid For You is here to guide you through a complete step-by-step backyard clean up, along with organising tips to help you maintain a fully-functional backyard space. So, let’s begin!
Identify Problem Areas > Prepare to Tackle Them
If you’re wondering what classifies as ‘problem areas’ in your backyard, a few examples include overgrown bushes and weeds, junk lying around, old/broken yard furniture, and a dead garden and dried leaves all over the place. Only after you understand what is causing your backyard to look like such a mess, can you begin tackling each problem.
Of course, in order to do this, you will need to be prepared or well-equipped to clean and organise your backyard. This means making arrangements to dispose of large items and/or junk, having the right garden tools to deal with weeds/bushes, and appropriate cleaning tools and products to clean outdoor furniture and surfaces. Therefore, to know exactly what you need to clean and organise your backyard, you will first need to identify the problem areas.
Hire a Rubbish Removal Company
This applies to homeowners with a lot of junk/rubble or large items that need to be removed from their backyard. While one might want to save some money by doing this task themselves, it is definitely advisable to call on a professional rubbish removal service if you have a lot of other problem areas that need your attention. The last thing you want is to burn yourself out before you’ve gotten passed step two of cleaning and organising your backyard!
By hiring a rubbish removal company to take care of this major part of cleaning up your backyard, you can rest assured that everything will be cleared up quickly and in one go, rather than having it drag on for hours or even days (if you were to attempt doing it yourself). Moreover, professionals follow safety protocols when handling heavy items to ensure that the space is cleared up without any casualties.
Free Up Storage Space
While we definitely encourage doing away with things that you no longer need or are unusable, there will be some items that you need to keep, but the question is where? Unless properly organised, your backyard should never be used to store things because that’s how it ends up becoming one, big cluttered mess! So, before you begin clearing up the backyard, free up some storage space first.
The best place to store items from your backyard is the garage. In case you haven’t cleaned or organised your garage lately, you might want to consider doing this before you tackle the backyard. Of course, if you don’t have a garage or a shed, you could always create a makeshift storage space in one corner of the yard with the help of storage and organising aids such as containers, baskets, racks, and wall hooks.
Work on the Garden
This just might be the most tedious part of cleaning up your backyard, especially if you aren’t much of a gardener. Although tending to your garden isn’t rocket science, you will still need a little guidance or tips to help you clean the garden before you can think of redoing the plant beds.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Put on a pair of garden gloves and start pulling out weeds. If the weeds or dead plants are too dry, soak the soil and then pull them out.
- Cut off dead leaves and branches with a pair of garden shears.
- If you have shrub trees, prune dead branches and trim them into shape.
- Rake dead plants, dried leaves, pulled out weeds, and other rubbish fallen in the garden after completing the tasks above; transfer these piles into trash bags and dispose of them appropriately.
Look around the garden for anything you may have missed and get it done immediately rather than later. By now, you should be left with a much cleaner looking backyard garden space, however, it is likely that your plant beds will require some work. It’s up to you to decide whether you would like to do that now or after the entire backyard clean up is complete.
Mow the Lawn
Unkept grass should not be overlooked when you are cleaning and organising the rest of your backyard. In order to maintain a healthy lawn, however, a lawnmower is a must. Without it, there is no way to keep the grass even or achieve a desired grass length. If you don’t have a lawnmower to trim the grass, perhaps you could borrow one from a neighbour or rent one for the job.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when mowing your backyard lawn:
- Don’t cut the grass too short as a scalped lawn will leave the soil too exposed. This, in turn, allows weeds to grow faster than usual while making the lawn prone to damage caused by excess sunlight.
- For best results, always mow your lawn when it is dry.
- Always cut grass with a sharp mower blade.
- Mowing the lawn when it’s shady or during the cool of the evening is advised as the grass loses less water in these conditions.
- Adjust the mower height and test it out on an inconspicuous area before trimming the rest of the lawn.
Clean Outdoor Areas
Anything that’s lying out or exposed to the elements is bound to get dirty over time. Everything from the fencing and outdoor furniture to pavers and lighting fixtures will need a thorough cleaning to get rid of dirt and stains. Although it sounds like a lot, when you break them down into individual tasks, it’s relatively easy to get these outdoor surfaces in your backyard clean and looking great again! With that said, hiring a pressure washing service is the best option for cleaning heavily soiled fencing and concrete as they use professional tools and products to safely remove stubborn grime and grease. If you're DIY pressure washing, there are some do's and dont's you'll need to take into consideration.
Nevertheless, if the situation does not call for professional assistance, here are some quick, easy-to-follow DIY guides on how to clean outdoor areas in your backyard.
How to Clean the Backyard Fence
- Clean up stuck-on dirt with a damp, abrasive cleaning tool such as a wire brush. The more gunk you can get off during this step, the better, as dried mud and soil can be very messy to scrub off once the cleaning solution is applied.
- Hose down the fence to remove fine dust and debris.
- Make a solution of oxygenated bleach powder and water; check the directions on the label for the correct ratios.
- Use a clean, large paintbrush to apply the cleaner to the fence, and leave it to sit for 20 minutes.
- Dampen a soft-medium bristle cleaning brushing and scrub away grime and stains.
- Finish off by hosing down the fence once again to remove the cleaning solution.
How to Clean Pavers and Concrete
- Sweep the pavers/concrete to remove as much dust and debris as possible.
- Wash the ground with a hose pipe.
- In a bucket, make a soapy solution consisting of moderately hot water and dish soap.
- Splash this cleaning solution all over the ground using a bathroom mug.
- If you don’t have a long-handled, hard-bristled brush to scrub the pavers/concrete, you will have to use a handheld one. In case of the latter, use a low stool to lessen the strain on your back.
- Give the pavers/concrete a good scrubbing before thoroughly rinsing the surface with a hose pipe.
How to Clean Backyard Furniture
Obviously, different types of outdoor furniture require different cleaning solutions in order to get the job done safely and efficiently. Here’s a quick look at some common types of backyard furniture along with their respective cleaning requirements.
Plastic & Hard-Resin
- Wipe down the furniture to remove dust and light soil.
- In a bucket of warm water, mix in one cup of baking soda; this will be your cleaning solution unless you are dealing with heavily soiled furniture. For this, the alternative cleaning solution is half a cup of dish soap in a bucket of warm water.
- A soft scrubbing tool like a sponge may be used to clean your plastic/hard-resin furniture.
- In case there are stubborn stains that do not come off with this cleaning solution, dampen the sponge in white vinegar, sprinkle baking soda over it (the sponge), and gently scrub the stain away.
- Finish off by wiping down the furniture pieces with a clean, damp cloth.
Wood & Wicker
- Remove dust with a microfibre cloth or a brush if the furniture has a lot of detailing/grooves or nooks and crannies.
- If you are not using a commercial product, you can make your own cleaning solution by mixing in any oil-base soap in water (just enough to create a sudsy solution).
- Dip a sponge in the mixture and scrub the wooden/wicker furniture.
- Once you are satisfied with the clean, wipe over each piece with a damp cloth.
- Soak up as much moisture from your wooden/wicker furniture with a lint-free towel before leaving it to air dry.
Metal, Aluminium & Iron
- Remove dust and then wipe over the surface with a cloth dampened in equal parts white vinegar and water. This will help remove some of the dullness caused by oxidation.
- For metal, aluminium, or wrought iron furniture, a mild, non-abrasive cleaning agent like liquid dish soap and water is advised.
- Soak a sponge in the cleaning solution and wipe down each furniture piece; pay close attention to stubborn spots which may require a little more elbow grease and a stronger cleaning solution.
- Rinse off the cleaner with a damp cloth, and wipe it dry thereafter.
Quick Tips to Organise Your Backyard
Now that you’ve cleared up and cleaned up your backyard, it’s time to organise it in such a way that it is easy to maintain while it serves your functional needs, too.
Check out these useful organising tips to make your backyard beautiful and neat!
- Build a small tool shed to keep your gardening supplies and other tools neatly organised and out of sight.
- Create borders around plant beds for a uniform look.
- Install a wall hook to hold a neatly rolled up hose pipe. For a long pipe, consider storing it in a stainless steel basin.
- Add a cart to organise frequently used garden tools/items such as a watering can and hand rake.
- Create a cozy sitting area equipped with warm lighting and comfy cushions. A backyard is a great place to entertain guests when it is clean and organised.
- Pave high-traffic areas to prevent people from walking on the grass.
- Inspect your outdoor lighting fixtures at the time of cleaning them; if they are damaged or worn out, consider replacing them altogether.
- Add storage benches to further organise your backyard by limiting the number of items left out in the open, thereby eliminating the appearance of clutter.
With that, we come to the end of Maid For You’s comprehensive guide on how to clean and organise your backyard from start to finish! For professional assistance in backyard cleanups and organising, we are happy to put our extensive knowledge and experience in outdoor cleaning to good use with a thorough, satisfactory service for your property!
Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.