Spring Clean Your Deck

As we approach spring and summer, most people become (at least slightly) motivated to commence with the annual spring clean. Closets are cleared; windows are washed (Did you know we are great at that?); walls are scrubbed; and furniture and rugs are cleaned thoroughly. Why do we do this? Because we are ready to leave the indoors behind us, and we want to tidy up before we go.

Spring clean is our initial ritual for moving our lives outside. We are chomping at the bit to exit the living room for the deck-room. Because when you think about it, our decks and patios are a natural extension of our inside living space. Meals are prepared and shared there. Books are enjoyed with an afternoon tea. Cocktail parties punctuate the cool sweet evenings with laughter and friendly conversations. Kids can be pried from a glowing screen to view the moon glow. So why wouldn’t we spring clean our decks and patios as we do the rest of our living spaces?

To get you started out the door, here’s our handy checklist to make sure you are ready for the transition from inside out:

Begin with an empty space.

Every professional cleaning service will tell you that the best way to clean a room is to move everything out, clean the ceiling, walls and floors; then, bit by bit fill up the space. This achieves two important goals: provides space for easier, better cleaning and offers the opportunity to purge. Not everything that goes out of that room needs to come back in.

The same method will work for your decks, porches and patios. Take as much away from the space as you can—the furniture, the grills and fire pits, the swing, the empty planters. Then get to work scrubbing the decking, the flagstone, walls, whatever is left that could not be moved out. If you need to make repairs and the weather is cooperating, now is the time. If you are looking at this task with tre predation, give us a call. We are the pros at this, after all, and while we are doing this first intense level of cleaning, you can make decisions about what is coming back into that space and what needs to go.

Cleaning is cheaper than buying new…and it’s greener, too!

Well, yes, we did just suggest that your spring cleaning was a great time to purge any unwanted, never-used stuff that has piled up in the yard, on the porches and in the corners of the deck. And that is certainly true, but let’s not be hasty.

The porch swing might look brand new with a fresh coat of paint—maybe something avant-garde like powder blue, even!

Those patio cushions may only need a good scrubbing and a day in the sun to bring back their freshness.

Wrought iron frames may be in need of a good scraping and a fresh coat of rust-proof paint, but this little bit of effort could save you quite a bit of money, if the alternative is to purchase a new patio set. Maybe you just need a new umbrella to give it that “new” look.

While it’s certain that some planters will need to be replaced, many will serve another season, so unless you find cracks, hang on to these.

And the bonus? Beyond the money you saved, you’ve also saved something else: the environment. Because where does all that old stuff go when it is pitched? Most likely it will be in a landfill. Now there may be a charity will to take some of your secondhand stuff, too, but most of it will end up trash. So while you are buffing and painting that furniture, remember that it is being kept from harming the planet.

Can that old chair come out and play?

Finally, in keeping with turning your world inside out and using what you already have to save money and environmental impact, don’t overlook the opportunity to give new life to old items inside by making them new outside. Here are just a couple of ideas to consider before you say a final goodbye to the stuff inside.

Spring clean could mean taking a well-worn, well-loved rug that is past its prime and putting it on the covered front porch for a cozy feel.

The two old wooden chairs in the dining room might get a new career as plant stands.

What about painting the about-to-be-thrown-out coffee table a bright color and finishing it off with a heavy coat of polyurethane or the patio?

Could the old buffet become a planting hutch on the deck?

You decide. No matter what, the outside is sure to welcome you.