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When people think of spring cleaning, they often think of cleaning inside the home. However, it’s just as important to focus on the outside as well. Read on to learn 20 outdoor spring cleaning chores that you won’t want to miss, as well as plenty of tips, tricks, and helpful habits to help you along the way.
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Outdoor Spring Cleaning Checklist
Because each office environment and situation may vary, we recommend moving at your own pace and doing these chores in whichever order works best for you.
However, you may find it easier to work in an order that will help you avoid extra steps, such as dusting and cleaning from top to bottom or moving around the room in a counterclockwise or clockwise fashion to reduce missing spots, depending on what you’re doing.
You can use a timer as a challenge to yourself for a set amount of time to focus on cleaning the room or on an individual chore. Setting a timer will help you stay on task, which can mean faster cleaning times. Best of all, you’ll learn to hustle or move faster, as well as be able to determine how long things might take you in the future, which might take less time than you think.
Customize and Motivate Yourself
Some of these outdoor-related spring cleaning tasks may take longer or be more in-depth than others. Take your time and break things up if you need to. If you find that you’re low on motivation, consider adding activities you enjoy to the mix, like listening to music or a podcast or enjoying a good audiobook.
Renters vs. Homeowners
If you rent, you’ll likely be able to customize or even skip a few of these tasks. Lucky you! You can also ask your landlord what items you might be responsible for or what they might be willing to do, if anything. Again, whether you own or rent, you can tailor or skip tasks to suit your environment or situation.
1. Clean and check the gutters.
Making sure your gutters are clear of debris and in good working condition can be important, particularly if you live in an area that gets a lot of heavy rain.
It’s typically recommended to do this during the fall season, after all the twigs, leaves, and other types of autumn-type debris have fallen already. However, it may be beneficial to do it while spring cleaning, particularly if you haven’t done it in a long while and feel that your gutters could use some TLC before heavy rains come through.
2. Clean up cobwebs and debris on or near the house.
Try to take a little time to get rid of any cobwebs and other debris that might be on or near the house. This not only is a quick and easy way to give your home a minor facelift, looks-wise, but it can also help reduce the chance of infestation—both in and outside the home.
If you’re looking to reduce spiders within the home, particularly in the fall and winter season, try to keep up on removing their webs throughout the year, even if you have to set reminders or go on a schedule. Oftentimes, with frequent evictions, the spiders will get the hint.
Please use caution if you live in an area that may have the more toxic varieties of spiders, such as brown and black widows. Check for egg sacs and remove them as necessary, preferably with a shop vac or other hands-free method.
You can spot brown widow sacs as a round, spikey ball; whereas, the black widow’s egg is rounded and smooth. They often cast their webs lower to the ground. Either way, do a little research about the species and how to best get rid of them if that’s your goal.
3. Clean siding.
Maintaining your siding not only keeps your home looking fresh and looking like new. It also helps to maintain the material and the value of your home.
Taking care of your siding, such as through repainting or sealing, can also help prevent potential leaks coming inside your home to issues with mold, among other factors.
4. Inspect the area for any need of damage.
Working on outdoor or backyard spring cleaning is also a great time to inspect your home for any issues, concerns, or damage.
This might entail looking for fissures or cracks in walls, checking the foundation, keeping an eye out for any landscaping issues, inspecting the chimney, and looking for leaks, gaps, or other types of damage.
Common Items to Inspect
You can also have a home inspector or professional contractor check for you if it’s in your budget; otherwise, do the best you can, even if you can’t get to everything.
5. Clean up debris on the ground.
Before you begin working on the actual yard, you may want to focus on cleaning up any debris or clutter from the ground so that you have a tidier space to work with.
Debris might include anything from pet or kid toys to rocks, sticks, trimmings, dead vegetation, or anything that might prove to be a hazard for you, other members of the household, pets, or your yard tools.
6. Tidy up flowerbeds, trees, container plants, and shrubs.
It wouldn’t be spring or even outdoor spring cleaning if we didn’t include taking care of your trees, shrubs, veggies, and flowerbeds. So don’t forget to give your plants a little TLC this spring.
New to Gardening or the Plant World?
And if you’re new to gardening and want to give it or try, or happened to live at a place with a former Green Thumb, now’s a great time to learn.
There’s something genuinely therapeutic and rewarding about it, as I’ve learned in recent years after creating my first garden about 2 or 3 years ago at my last place.
I’ve since moved but have started small until I get the back fixed up, going with a Trovita orange tree, a bite-sized baby “Improved” Meyer lemon tree, and the one lone rose bush that was already here when we moved in. Hopefully, I’ll be able to add some more in the future.
You can find plenty of how-to- guides and other information on YouTube or online in general and even work your way up from maybe one or two plants, such as a snake plant, until you’re comfortable to move up in the world.
We got our citrus shipped from Four Winds Growers (not affiliated or sponsored), and I’ve honestly never seen such beautiful-looking plant specimens. And even after being under my unruly thumb for the last several months, they still look great and are growing beautifully.
Note: Always check with a professional grower or garden center for the best information on how to care for your plants or trees, and refer to their care instructions. Some varieties may require pruning or fertilizing at different times than other types.
7. Perform lawn care and maintenance.
Regardless if you plan to hire someone to take care of your lawn and other vegetation or plan to do it yourself, there’s no better time to get’er done than when spring cleaning your outdoor spaces.
Note: Always check with a professional grower or garden center for the best information on how to care for your lawn, or refer to its care instructions. Some varieties may require pruning, thatching, aerating, or fertilizing at different times than others.
8. Repair and/or repaint fencing.
It’s always a good idea to inspect your fencing and gates for any damage or wear and tear a few times out of the year—especially after wet and cold seasons.
This is a great time to make any touch-ups, repairs, resealing, staining or re-painting to any areas that might need attention. Plus, resealing, staining, or painting your fence, particularly if it’s wood, can help increase its longevity, not to mention up the entire look of your yard.
However, it’s important to make sure you prep the fence according to the type of material involved, as well as make sure that it’s the surface is clean before you get started.
9. Clean and stain your deck.
Just as with any fencing, it’s important to make sure that your deck is properly sealed. This should typically be done every one to three years.
However, things such as the weather, exposure to the sun, and the amount of use your deck gets may factor into how often you should reseal.
10. Clean feeders, baths, and birdhouses.
Spring is an excellent time to make sure that you thoroughly clean any birdhouses, birdbaths, or bird feeders on the premises. However, it’s also essential to do this throughout the year, especially when concerning water (i.e., hummingbird feeders, which should be done weekly at least).
Cleaning feeders, baths, and birdhouses won’t just preserve, but it’s also healthier and necessary for the birds.
You can usually clean feeders with mild dish soap and warm water, making sure to rinse well. Hummingbird feeders may require a little more work and the use of cleaning brushes, which you’ll want to ensure will fit your particular feeder.
Brushes are used in hummingbird feeders to remove mold, mildew, or algae at least once a week, often using hot water. However, some people may use a solution of vinegar water or a mix of bleach and water. Either way, if you use a solution to clean the feeder, make sure to rinse really well.
You can make your own hummingbird juice by boiling water 4 parts water and adding it to 1 part sugar. For instance, I would normally do 1 cup of sugar with 4 cups of boiled water in most average-size feeders.
Most feeders have instructions in case you forget or have trouble with conversions based on size. Don’t forget to check for mold and to clean it out before adding more juice.
11. Clean light fixtures.
Make sure that any outdoor light fixtures and string lights are cleaned. This includes lights fixed to the house, ones that are wired and designed for landscaping, string lights, and solar varieties.
It’s also a good idea to check your lights for possible scorch marks and other damage or if bulbs need to be replaced.
12. Clean windows and doors.
Maximize the view to your newly cleaned yard by taking some time to clean your windows and screens. And if you stay on top of cleaning them throughout the year, it should only take a few minutes, depending on the cleaning method you use.
The water-only microfiber window cleaning method for spring cleaning windows is ideal because it’s fast and easy to do, and I often find that it cuts the time it usually takes to do our windows in half.
Because there’s no residue left behind, unlike traditional window-cleaning methods, it means less dirt and debris will be sticking to your glass, often resulting in less cleaning effort later.
If, however, your windows are filthy, it may help to use a cleaner instead. You can then use the microfiber and water method later for maintenance cleaning if it’s not cutting it initially.
Some people also find using Dawn dish soap or similar can be helpful as well. In fact, it’s what my mother’s old window cleaner would use Dawn or Ajax for the exterior side of her windows.
Try to use a lint-free cleaning cloth, microfiber cloth, or sponge for both cleaning and drying to avoid lint buildup.
If you’re having issues with hard water stains, consider using a vinegar-water solution. Many people prefer a 1-cup to 1-cup hot water ratio, which can be put into a spray bottle and sprayed directly onto the window. Allow it to sit for a moment before cleaning. Repeat as necessary. Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area if you use vinegar indoors.
If you’re not into the DIY stuff or need something a little more heavy-duty, my preferred method is to use this vinegar gel by Mrs. Meyers, which works great in the shower as well and throughout the house where hard water stains may be a concern. The gel sticks to the surface, allowing the vinegar and other cleaning agents to work longer. Best of all, it smells great and not a bit like vinegar.
13. Clean patio furniture.
To truly enjoy your outdoor space this year, make sure to spring clean your patio or backyard furniture, according to their care instructions.
This should typically be done with gentle cleaners whenever possible, mainly using products designed for the kind of furniture you have or using a mild soap. Many patio furniture cleaners are designed to clean outdoor-related issues and protect furniture from common outdoor elements.
14. Clean patio and decks.
It’s good to wash and reseal any decking that you might have, if any, or to at least make sure your patio is cleaned. This way, you can enjoy it for the rest of the year and/or protect your investment.
15. Clean sidewalks and pathways.
Sprucing up your sidewalks, pathways, and cemented areas can be an excellent way to get your backyard or other outdoor space looking great again.
Some do this by sweeping and then hosing everything off as best they can, with or without a cleaner, while others may choose to do some patch repair work as well. It’s also optional to use a standard power washer or one with a floor-cleaning tool.
16. Clean pet areas.
Because things can get pretty messy outside during the wetter and colder months, it’s a good idea to make sure that your pet areas are inspected and cleaned up thoroughly during the springtime in particular.
However, it usually a good idea to do this throughout the year for the sake of your pet’s comfort and health. It can also make the environment easier to maintain and a more comfortable and enjoyable place to relax in the long run.
17. Clean the grill and any other cooking appliance.
I love grilling season and happen to be one of those “odd” women who enjoy doing the grilling, especially ribs.
That all started after realizing the state I live in isn’t too good at barbeque compared to what I grew up on in other states. And I’m really missing my old Camp Chef Woodwind, which I left behind with my former partner.
But as you spring clean your backyard or other outdoor space, it’s an excellent time to make sure that your grill, outdoor griddle, smoker, or other cooking appliances are appropriately cleaned, according to their care instructions.
Not properly cleaning your grill regularly can create foul-tasting results over time and may even turn your grill into a fire hazard later on. A dirty grill can also attract unwanted insects, rodents, and other creatures and may develop mold and other factors if left unattended for too long.
Popular Grill-cleaning Products and Tools
It’s the Time of the Season…for grill-ing.
If you’re into keeping your cooking appliance seasoned and want to skip toxic cleaners or soap, it’s still important to clean and re-season it each time you use it for cooking, just as with cast iron skillets.
That usually entails removing debris, using the proper high-heat oil or seasoning product, and following up with high heat until the grates or surface are appropriately seasoned.
You can often find food-safe cleaners and grill-seasoning oils designed for cast iron skillets or seasoned grills. Some folks also like using onions while the grates are still hot for cleaning, followed by proper seasoning steps.
You can find plenty of video tips and how-tos for seasoning based on your cooking appliance on Youtube here (new tab).
Helpful Habits and Tips
Tip #1: Protect
Try to get a cover for your grill if you don’t have one already, and make sure that it’s inspected for critters and other factors several times throughout the year, even if you don’t use it all that often and more so if you leave it outside year-round.
Tip #2: Prevent
A simple layer of foil or disposable foil liners can also work wonders, depending on what you’re cooking.
Tip #3: Clean sooner to make things easier on yourself
You can things much easier on yourself if you clean your grills and other appliances right after you cook.
Doing so means that the foods are still fresh and therefore softer and easier to clean up, rather than having a chance to harden and stick to whatever surface they’re on. Food, sauces, grease, and other types of cooking debris can also attract dirt, dust, and critters, which can mean more work for you in the long run.
The heat from the recently used grill can also be used to speed up the process and make it easier than waiting until things have cooled down. And if you wait too long when just using the seasoning method, you also risk wasting all the good flavors, which may also turn rancid.
Even if you’re just seasoning, you can use the heat you’ve been cooking with to remove and burn off debris from grates, and also season the grill with whatever product or oil you use afterward.
18. Clean any special features and outdoor entertainment areas.
Don’t forget to clean any entertainment areas or features according to their care instructions. This means ensuring that things like any water features, such as fountains, pools, and ponds, are treated for mold issues or algae, and that debris is removed.
It may also involve repair work or moving things back outside that might have been put away during the winter, such as sports-related entertainment, lounge chairs, cleaning out fireplaces or firepits, etc.
Keeping them clean and maintained will ensure that they look and function great for as long as possible, helping both the visual appeal of the space and safeguarding your investment. Above all, maintaining these items can also help ensure that they stay safe for you and others.
19. Restock and refuel.
Refueling and restocking supplies and fuel in advance may save you a lot of hassle later on. Therefore, it may be beneficial to see whether you need any propane, charcoal, pellets, wood, and even gardening supplies before you need it.
20. Clean common outdoor knickknacks and décor
You can spruce up your outdoor area by spring clean any decorations, whether they’re on tabletops, the ground, in the yard, or hanging up somewhere.
One easy way to clean up small ceramic, metal, or even glass decorations is with an old, lightly damp cloth using warm water only.
In this post, we covered 20 outdoor spring cleaning chores that you can do in whatever order or timeframe you see fit.
You can also do these tasks at your leisure throughout the year or as needed, and customize them to suit your needs, schedule, or type of environment, regardless if you own your home or rent.
And if you plan to tackle the rest of your home next, feel free to check out our other posts from the rest of our spring cleaning series here. Thanks for dropping by! Good luck, and happy cleaning!