Skip to content Skip to footer

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the indoors! Tips to get backyard ready.

It’s April 2020 and you’re stuck inside.  You’ve been doing the right thing during this unprecedented health crisis.  You’re staying home.  Perhaps you get outside for a walk and some fresh air, waving to neighbours from a distance.  And you might be having the odd “big outing” to the grocery store to stock up for you and your family.

While indoors, if you’re like me, you have bravely tackled Spring cleaning  – finally.  You’ve faced your fears (the baseboards), you’ve chosen to look up (ceiling cobwebs) and you’ve dug down deep (the veggies that have taken root in the back of your fridge).  Congratulations. 

Now what?  Well, here in Toronto Spring is coming slowly.  It’s been a little chilly and I’m pretty sure I even saw snowflakes over the last 24 hours.  But make no mistake, Spring is coming.  And with it, the prospect of getting outside again.  This year, when we venture outdoors, we need to do so with mindfulness.  We can’t stop thinking about our safety and the safety of others.

This is the perfect time to turn your attention towards getting your backyard or patio in shape.  And with that in mind, I wanted to give you some tips to ensure your personal outdoors are ready when you are!

Make the bed for your flowers

Although it’s too early to plant it’s not too early to get ready.  Rake out last year’s debris, dead leaves, grasses and plants in your garden beds, and spread a layer of compost.

Scrub the Poop Deck

Or, just the deck.  Whether you have a stone patio or wooden deck, the odds are the harsh weather over the last several months has had its effect.  A power washer does a great job lifting the dirt and preparing it (if necessary) for a new coat of protective stain.

Keep ‘er Lit!

This favourite expression from one of my Irish uncles says it all.  Lighting adds so much warmth and flair to an outdoor space.  If you already have lights in place, clean the bulbs and hardware to maximize their brilliance.  If you are thinking of warming up your space with lighting, there are simple solutions like stringing bistro lights along your fence, or placing battery operated candles in hurricane lanterns.  You’ll be surprised at how much warmth and sophistication lighting will bring to your space.

Turn your Garage into a Home

Maybe not literally but many of us, especially in urban areas, have garages that are very much a part of our backyard space. In our case, we created the illusion of a little guest house with some very simple and inexpensive décor ideas including painting the front door, adding an old brass knocker and an antique carriage lamp.



Get Out through the In Door

One of the biggest trends in outdoor living is actually living outdoors.  People are creating distinct spaces for living and dining outside and defining boundaries with  furniture, rugs and even art prints that are made to withstand the elements. It’s a simple way to zhuzh things up and extend your living space for at least half of the year.   

This year, I think we all recognize that we will be spending more time in our homes and in most cases, more vacation time at home.  The sooner we get our space cleaned up and ready for the season, the sooner we can get out and safely enjoy some much needed warmth with loved ones. 

Lisa Hartley
Off the Wall On the Fence

Lisa has an extensive career as a brand strategist and marketer in major Canadian organizations including The National Ballet of Canada and Scotiabank. In addition to operating her new business, Lisa mentors a number of young professionals, and is often called upon for speaking engagements, consulting and writing services.