Conquer Clutter in the Backyard

Posted May 17, 2018 in Landscape Maintenance

Are there times when you look around your backyard and find that it doesn’t reflect the time and energy you spend on it?  Does your backyard hardly ever look put together, despite your best efforts?  While our most valiant attempts to clean up and make sense of our outdoor living spaces seem to require blood, sweat and quite possibly tears, if you don’t de-clutter your space, it may never offer the benefits you seek.  It is extremely easy to overlook backyard pitfalls when this space is something you look at every day.  Now is the time to stop, take a good hard look and see if there are some things you can do to streamline your space to give it that fresh, clean and welcoming feeling.

Garden Furniture / Trellises / Arbors

Garden furniture often lends a sweet, romantic and calm vibe to a backyard, perfect for an evening respite to read a chapter or two of your new book.  Often made of metal, these pieces are in typically tucked away in the garden and remain in the elements all year-round.  Being the case, this furniture will require some annual touch-ups to keep them looking inviting and beautiful.  Once the paint dulls or rust sets in, your peaceful and lovely space will start to look unappealing may become a forgotten oasis, certainly leading to backyard clutter.

The same can be said for trellises and arbors that live in the garden.  These structural features serve an aesthetically functional purpose to support charming flower vines during the warm season, but once the maintenance is halted or the plantings happen to die, the structures will be more of a blemish than a beautiful backyard benefit.  Also, always be sure to take notice of the health of your landscaping!  If plant replacements or a good trim need to be done, don’t wait!  Keeping up with the life of your landscape will drastically improve the look of the space long-term.


This is typically a tough one to realize and part with.  Our backyard playsets, swing sets and jungle gyms hold so many memories; from your kids’ climbing victories and smiles to scraps or broken bones, these structures are a constant reminder of the good times.  Inevitably, the kids get older and the playsets do too.  With hopes that your grandchildren will be able to play on the same equipment your children did is a sentimental gem, but is it really safe?  You will dedicate your life to the grandbabies, so if you prefer to keep a jungle gym in the yard, it should be up to date and reliable; get rid of that old rickety set!

However, if you are able to part with these memory lane sets completely and clean up this area of backyard clutter, feel liberated to know you can reimagine this space!  Perhaps this new open area can be a garden to grow your own fruits and vegetables, transformed into a soothing moon garden or even a place to install that 2-person hot tub you have had your eye on.  Regardless of what you could turn this space into, just know that disassembling your old swing set will not erase the memories, it will just open your backyard to new possibilities and room to create new memories.

Hot Tubs / Spas

Speaking of hot tubs, if you have an old unit that is hardly ever used and is simply taking up precious space in the backyard, get rid of it!  These cumbersome features are great when they are constantly used and enjoyed, but when they age or not maintained, they become a backyard’s #1 eyesore.  If the tub is still in working condition, you may have success listing it on Craigslist or finding a family member that would love to take it off of your hands.  If this feature is broken or irreparable, it is time to take action.  Freeing up this space will make your outdoor living space automatically feel and look cleaner, opening up your yard to beautiful possibilities.

Planters / Garden Accents

Chances are if you haven’t picked up the discarded planters or haven’t repaired that broken garden statue from last season, it’s not a main priority and you can chock all of this up to your yard’s disarray.  Yes, artistically speaking, a backyard with an “old-world” motif would be the perfect environment for a headless roman statue or a weathered lion missing its tail, but this scenario is typically well-manicured and is far and few between.  Picking up and disposing of all damaged and abandoned garden accents, toys, tools…etc. will make your yard feel lighter, cleaner and on its way to a sleeker potential.

Branches / Wood

Last but not least, I know a majority of us are guilty of having a designated space in the yard for fallen tree branches, cut project wood and miscellaneous pieces for campfires, but this pile always seems to get bigger and never seems to incur a dent, even when we do pillage.  This stockpile of sticks needs to go, and for several reasons.  Yep, reason number 1, it’s taking up valuable space and is ugly.  Reason number two, pests!  Mice, chipmunks, bees, ticks…etc. all love to make their homes here.  To protect your property and your family, it is best that any wood piles are disposed of in a timely manner.  Last reason to get rid of this mountain of mayhem, it is a potential fire hazard!  Disposing of this scrap pile will be an instant benefit to your property, your family and we are sure your neighbors will also be elated!  Whether you can tackle this in a day, or over a few weekends, as long as you make progress, you are steps closer to an amazing backyard!

Now is the time to grab the work gloves and roll up your sleeves if you intend to manicure your outdoor living space yourself.  However, if you feel that your yard is too much to tackle or simply lacks direction and design overall, reach out to MasterPLAN Outdoor Living!  Serving the Poconos, Lehigh Valley, through the Main Line of Philadelphia and western New Jersey, MasterPLAN specializes in providing practical, functional and beautiful outdoor solutions for every property.  Aiming to transform backyard dreams into outdoor living realities and cultivating long-term partnerships with our clients is our passion and our purpose; together we can uncover the true potential of your property!  We would love to hear from you and welcome you into the MasterPLAN family!

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