Take Your Decluttering Efforts into Your Great Outdoors!
According to the National Parks and Recreation Department of America, the most popular outdoor activity in the summer is — you guessed it — barbecues. More Americans are moving kitchens outdoors during the summer. Barbecue grills, outdoor refrigerators, dining tables and chairs, dishes, and linens are being used to create ambiance for family and friends to gather, talk, laugh and eat! Creating amazing outdoor dining spaces means we are spending more time outdoors at night, soaking in the cool breezes and extending our days by at least two hours. This means nighttime patio and backyard lighting solutions are booming at your local garden stores. Think playful strings of lights, outdoor candles and lanterns.
Studies also show that more and more we are spending time nurturing our gardens. We are spending time creating beautiful gardens in pots, boxes and other interesting containers. Along with landscaping we are creating inspiring spaces that speak to what makes us feel happy and fulfilled. Sound enticing? Then let’s roll up our sleeves and dig in!
The first step to creating a relaxing outdoor space is to follow the “out with the old and in with the new” plan. Meaning, it’s time to declutter! Outdoor furniture, cooking and dining equipment, gardening tools and sports stuff are not exactly weather proof. Mother Nature blows in dirt and the sun bleaches out our pretty seating covers, linens and other surfaces, leaving behind a messy and unrelaxing environment. Here are some helpful tips on how to clean up and declutter your outdoor space:
- Take Inventory and Declutter: Take an inventory of what is still usable and in good shape or what may need to find a new home. If you don’t plan on using it this summer and fall, it’s time to let it go. Decluttering is easier than you think. Prepare with two decluttering boxes, one for items to be thrown away and one for donatable items (you can CLICK HERE for a great list of items you can donate to help support the Vietnam Veterans of America!) Add items to either box, knowing that what you do not use just adds to chaotic clutter.
- Plan for Clutter by Organizing: Our outdoor spaces are prone to clutter, as we are gardening, entertaining, playing sports, and relaxing all in the same space. Using various organization methods, such as large plastic storage boxes, garden sheds, and containers, will keep your garden shovels away from your wine glasses.
- Rehome Your Undesirables: Just because you are ready to move on from some of your outdoor items doesn’t mean they should be thrown out. Sure, some items wear out and need to be tossed, but a lot of stuff can find a new backyard through donating. Many of the changes you probably want to make to your outdoor space include updating to new colors and designs. Here are some great ideas of what you can donate:
- Garden tools;
- Patio furniture cushions and covers;
- Outdoor plates, glasses and other dining accessories;
- Sports and pool toys and equipment;
- Patio furniture that is light enough for one person to carry;
- Good condition barbecue grill (just not the fuel tank that goes with it!).
Now that you have your donate boxes filled or larger items marked to donate, how should you get all of your outdoor items donated to a worthy cause? How about a service that will come to pick it up from you home, on your schedule, completely free of charge! Yes, it’s just that easy. Donate your items to the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and help support veterans and their families in your community by scheduling your free pick up today just by CLICKING HERE.
Your space is now clean, decluttered, and organized! It is time to envision your outdoor oasis. Whether you have a space patio or a rambling backyard, today there are a bunch of great ideas on how to maximize areas and design a beautiful outdoor living environment.
- Design for Comfort: One of the main reasons we do not relax in our patio or backyard spaces is because it’s just not as comfortable as the sofa. Adding or updating your patio cushions and seating will do wonders in getting family and friends to head outdoors. Think about adding big pillows to existing chairs. Another great idea is to have a big basket of quilts or blankets to use as throws on grass for an amazing at home picnic or a make it a play center for the little ones.
- Keep the Party Going: One way to immediately update your outdoor space is to add lighting. Today we have so many amazing ways to party all night long in our backyards by adding string lights, solar candles and hanging lanterns. There is nothing as magical as spending time with family and friends under the twinkle and glow of beautiful lighting.
- Maximize Small Spaces: Whether you have a large, sprawling backyard, a cozy patio or a view deck, there are ways to maximize your space for great outdoor time. If you love to garden but do not think you have the space, grow up. That’s right, vertical gardening is a smart way to bring plants and flowers to your small space. Think about using your walls as garden racks or ladders as shelves for pots. Folding patio furniture is a smart way to go, be sure to have a basket with seat cushions and throws to add in comfort.
There are so many great ideas to make this summer your summer to remember. Bringing the indoors out with beautiful design, comfortable seating, and magical lightening are just a few ways to maximum summer days and nights. It all starts with decluttering your outside space and donating your gently used items to the VVA, then have fun designing, adding comfort, and maximizing good times with family and friends. Relax and enjoy!