Spring is literally right around the corner and that means it's time to make your list of spring chores, many of which are outdoor chores. Fortunately for most of us, it's not quite as bad doing chores when you get to spend times outdoors during the first mild, sunny days of springtime!
If you're like most of us today, you'd prefer to have a plan with specific tasks you can tick off as they're done. Plan on your clean up taking at least a couple of afternoons to complete.
Gather Your Supplies
There's nothing worse than starting a cleaning project on impulse and having to break your rhythm every five minutes because you forgot to bring something that you now really need. So grab a tote, a laundry basket or other roomy container and gather the following tools:
- window cleaner
- dish detergent
- a duster
- paper towels, microfiber cloths and a heavy-duty sponge
- a broom
- a step-ladder (for accessing the ceiling of a covered patio)
Then drag out the hose, roll up your sleeves and get to work ...
Clear the Deck -- er, Patio!
Remove your patio furniture (This may require a helper.), accessories and planters. If you have a covered patio, the first thing to clean is the ceiling. If you have a light fixture mounted there, or an outdoor ceiling fan, grab the duster and clean it off while you're up there.
Remove any debris that's gathered on the patio (sticks, leaves, etc.). Then turn on the hose and hose everything off, turning the nozzle up full blast. (That includes the patio furniture -- without the cushions of course, which hopefully, are still stored away somewhere.)
Assess the Furniture
After everything's been thoroughly and forcefully hosed off, let it dry and then inspect the furniture. How did it hold up during the winter (covered or not)? Does it need re-staining or re-painting if it's wood? More scrubbing? Is it so bad it needs replacing?
If your cushions are in storage, now's a good time to get them out and freshen them up with a mild dish detergent. Hopefully, if it's a nice day, you can let them dry in the late afternoon sun. Otherwise, try your electric or gas dryer on "fluff" or "air only" cycle.
Clean and Assess Your Patio Umbrella
With a soft cloth, gently wipe away any cobwebs, and if it looks soiled, use a sponge dipped in the dish detergent and warm water mix you used on your cushions. Be sure to let it dry completely before folding it back up, though.
Prepare Your Grill for Use
If your grill was covered, good for you! That may be the number one thing you can do to keep it looking like new. If not, it will undoubtedly have a layer of grime that will need to be scrubbed off. Let it dry completely and then recover until you're ready to use it again. (Make sure there's a full tank of propane or arrange to restock as soon as possible.)
Return everything to the patio, including the cushions for your patio furniture. Re-think your furniture layout to mix things up a little. Bring out table top lanterns or hurricane candle holders, and start plotting out your plants and container arrangements for the new season!
Relax and enjoy! (And don't forget to visit Today's Patio for anything on you patio that you've decided needs replacing.)