Garden Cleanup Before Garden Dress-up

The garden may be looking a bit haggard after a long winter and wet spring, and you’ll need to clean it up to make it presentable for the summer. Trim the bushes and prune the trees; clear the yard of sticks, leaves and other detritus. Weed the flower beds, plant annuals and mulch the beds to keep weeds at bay. Clear the cobwebs from your shed or garage and organize your stuff into bins. Finally, give your deck or patio and its furnishings a good power wash and dress up the whole are with hanging baskets and pots, House Beautiful says, and you’ll be able to create a welcoming space for entertaining guests or relaxing in the great outdoors.

Make a Kondo-Quality Outdoor Space

Take a cue from celebrated declutterer Marie Kondo to bring order to your outdoor space. Set aside time to examine each category of goods populating the patio, yard and shed — tools, furniture, plants, etc. — and ask yourself Kondo’s quintessential question as you encounter each item: “Does this spark joy?” If it doesn’t, get rid of it. In doing so, you’ll free your mind of the need to make everything somehow fit into a perfect scheme. “Let go of the ‘what-ifs’ and ‘somedays,’” says the Houzz blog. “Toss that half-dead plant into the compost bin and tidy up the debris of an unfinished garden project.”

What Is Your Patio’s Purpose?

Consider the purpose of your outdoor space so that you can declutter it more effectively, says Home Storage Solutions 101. It might be a playground for the kids, a place to hold elegant al fresco dinner parties, or your own little garden spot. Whatever its function is should help determine the stuff that occupies the space. The rest can go into a garden shed and storage bins when not in use to free up space. As you weed, clean and organize your patio, toss any broken items, and save any still-useful items that just don’t fit into your scheme for a donation to

Declutter Your Outdoor Space

Unseasonably cool weather will give way to warmer temperatures soon, and that means one thing: outdoor living. Get your outdoor space ready for summer by clearing it of the clutter that has gathered there over the winter. Start by throwing away any broken tools, flower pots and garden ornaments, then decide what to do with the stuff that might be repurposed if you only had the time. Patio furniture and containers are good examples, The Spruce says: If you have extra chairs and planters that others might be able to use with a little refurbishing, donate them to so that your trash can be someone’s treasure.

Fall Cleanup Goes Beyond Raking the Leaves

Fall is the time to go apple-picking, carve a jack-o’-lantern, and watch the leaves change colors. Those falling leaves, of course, herald another chore for the home gardener; left unraked, they can create a dense, moist barrier that prevents grass from growing.

But a good fall cleanup only begins with raking the leaves. Savvy homeowners should clear gutters of fallen leaves and other debris to keep them flowing through snow melts, according to True Value’s maintenance tips. Also dethatch and aerate the lawn to ensure it gets a healthy start next year, and plant any bulbs you want to bloom first thing in the spring, such as daffodils and tulips.

On the deck or patio, clean and store garden furniture, flowerpots and tools that you don’t want exposed to the elements through the winter. Cover up that outdoor grill or move it indoors to avoid rust and debris. And to rid the deck’s surface of mildew, simply sweep and wash it with a detergent/peroxide solution or power washer.

If you have a vegetable garden, give it a good tilling before the first freeze sets in, the SafeWise Report says. Prune tree branches—especially those likely to buckle under the weight of snow and ice. Thin out, divide and redistribute perennial plants, and they’ll pop up in new places next year without costing you another cent. Protect cold-sensitive plants and new plantings with a heavy layer of mulch.

To clean up your outdoor space in an eco-friendly way, compost raked leaves and other garden detritus, says Rodale’s Organic Life. Given the chance to break down over the winter, they will create a rich source of nutrients for new plants. Also leave a few spots for beneficial insects to winter such as brush piles, and leave leafy green plants in the ground or plant a cover crop of rye grass to eliminate pests and nourish the soil.

If you find that you have more planters, tools, lawn furniture and garden gnomes than you need during the course of a thorough fall cleanup, contact to schedule a pickup. A truck will come and whisk away those extra items (along with clothing and other housewares), and you will no longer need to worry about where to store them for the winter.

Then, kick back with a cup of hot chocolate and the warm feeling that comes with knowing you’ve contributed to a good cause. Enjoy the fall!