It’s summer and the living is easy – and outside! If you have a screened enclosure, lanai or gathering area outside with a fire pit, you’ll want to think about how to keep that outdoor space clean and tidy for guests, friends, or neighbors who pop by.
First, if you haven’t done a ‘spring cleaning’ now is the time to wash down outdoor furniture, outdoor pillows and cushions, your screened sunroom or lanai (have you ever?) as well as your table and chairs. If you have a market umbrella outside, they can usually be thrown in the washing machine on a gentle cycle and air dried. We don’t realize how much pollen, mildew, dust, or soot collects on everything outside but believe me, your stuff will look new! And don’t forget to mop the floor.
Either a 3-1 ratio of quarts of warm water to bleach or a 1-1 ratio of warm water to white vinegar works for the screens. Use a very soft bristle brush on a long pole to gently scrub the screens down. Once finished, use your hose to spray it down, being careful not to spray the bleach or vinegar mixture on plants. Also try to direct the water flow away from any pool or spa you have.
With a fresh space, consider if there are any new ways to arrange your furniture that makes a positive change? Add a few new throw cushions or a new indoor/outdoor rug and you can quickly change up the look without a large investment. Shades of pink are hot this year. On that note, any old furniture or accessories can also be spray painted a new color if you’re handy to give something you love some new life.
But remember to look at how many planters, candles, bins, trays, coasters, hanging lights, ornaments, and other accessories you have outside. Do you really need them all? The aim is to pare down and declutter so the space is inviting and continues to stay as maintenance free as possible. And particularly here in Florida, you don’t want to have anything outside that can collect water when it rains since that’s an instant attraction for mosquitoes!
For storage, first look at everything you have, and try to categorize the items so you know what size container(s) or rack you need for all those pool toys, noodles, floating chairs, and other accessories. Throw out what’s broken or discolored or never used despite best intentions when you bought it! There are lots of great plastic options for storage that are low and long or upright like a cabinet. Many people put these larger bins just outside a door from the lanai so they are nearby but don’t take up valuable real estate on your deck.
Finally, if you’re handy with PVC piping, there are lots of great ideas on Pinterest for managing outdoor stuff! Here’s one of my favorites! Enjoy the summer and your outdoor area. Let me know of your great organization ideas for our outdoor living space!
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