Whether you’ve got a big garden, a simple terrace or a cosy balcony, nothing beats going alfresco when it’s warm. Make the most of every inch of your home by treating your outside space as another room for relaxing in when you’ve got five minutes downtime or for entertaining when friends come over.
Take a good look at what needs a tidy-up outside, and if you need a goal to inspire you to get that clean up sorted, check out our How to plan the perfect barbecue feature!
1. Clear up!
You’ll be amazed how just this one action will transform your landscape. Over the winter rain and mud will have splashed up and given everything standing on your terrace or patio a brown stain. Remove any plant pots and garden furniture (put them in the front garden or on an old sheet in your hallway if you have to). Brush around the patio or terrace, thoroughly to clear away any remaining old leaves and twigs and chuck out any forgotten garden toys that got battered and broken in winter storms.
2. Do a cobweb sweep
Don’t just look down as you brush away dust and debris, check walls and the shed roof for cobwebs and anything else that was blown about while you’ve been inside in the colder months.
3. Rinse your patio down Using a hose or power washer is tempting but it can drip onto neighbours’ balconies or wash away small plants and even damage the cement and paving stones. Instead, mix water and just a little washing liquid in a bucket and work this across the patio or terrace with a broom. Use an old cloth dipped in the cleaning mix to wipe down railings that birds have been sitting on. Then rinse your surfaces with clean warm water.
4. Scrub the barbecue
Over the winter dust and dirt might have clogged up your barbecue – not a tasty thought! If there is still old grease on the grill from last summer, sprinkle baking soda over it, leave it for 24 hours then wipe it off and scrub the grill and all surfaces down with a strong kitchen cleaner.
5. Make the windows shine
Now your outside space looks great, you’ll want to admire it through sparkling windows. Minimize streaking by moving your arm in “S” motions as you pull the squeegee down the glass.
6. Set the scene
When everything’s clean and fresh, put all your plant pots and garden furniture back out, rubbing each item down with a damp cloth to make it shine again.