How to De-clutter Your Garden

Want to enjoy your outdoor space even more? Consider making a clean sweep – getting rid of cracked flowerpots, dead plants, broken patio furniture and tools that are no longer up to snuff. Sound overwhelming? The key is to start small, but start somewhere! Here are some tips to make the job easier:

Assess your surroundings
Stand in your garden and take a good, long look around. What makes you smile and what makes you cringe? If that old wicker rocking chair with the holes in it has seen better days, pitch it. See that pile of unfinished projects? Pick three that you know you can get around to doing in the next couple of months, and get rid of the rest of them – donate them to a neighbor, a community garden, or toss them into the compost bin.

Sort smarter
Choose one space to focus on. If your potting shed is bursting at the seams, take the time to empty it completely, laying out similar tools, planters, bags of soil and other supplies. Do you really need two dozen of the same sized terra cotta planters? Probably not. If you’ve just installed time-saving sprinklers, why are you hanging onto those two leaky garden hoses? Some of your old tools can easily get a new lease on life as funky storage elements, so hang them up on your walls or fences. Upcycling them is a great way of purging duplicate items.

Set yourself up for success
If you have no organizational systems in place outside, chances are that clutter will creep back year after year. Take a moment to jot down where all your garden elements will live: for example, put all your bins – recycling, compost and garbage – in one area. Hang long tools side by side. Store hand tools in an oversized bucket or on a pegboard, sorted by size. And be sure to respect your tools by cleaning and sharpening them regularly, too keep them in tip-top shape!

Refresh what you already have
Have a few old windows, some scrap wood and chicken wire leaning against your house? Repurpose them to create this storage hack. Treat your Adirondack chairs to a fresh coat of vibrant paint, or sand down your garden bench and stain it a different color. Recover the pillows for your outdoor sofas and chairs – be sure to choose weather-resistant fabrics – and move things around for a new perspective. A mini-facelift is affordable and can make a huge impact in your outdoor space.

Now you can make room for new tools, different plants and even carve out space for a fish pond or raised vegetable garden while you’re at it! Show us your ‘before’ and ‘after’ garden de-cluttering projects!


People gardening: Oregon Food Bank Flickr via Compfight cc

Watering can and glass: SpitMcGee Flickr via Compfight cc

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