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Cleaning for company: Outdoor spaces

Kelli Uhrich is a busy writer and active career woman from Phoenix, Arizona. When she's not writing, she enjoys diving into hands-on projects, reading and blogging. To connect with Kelli, visit her blog, A Happy Place Called Home or Tw...

Get your outdoor space party-ready

Summer may have come and gone, but don’t let the grill cool down just yet!  Before winter’s chills set in, there's still time to spend a bit more time outdoors. If your outdoor space is less than party-ready, don’t sweat it. These five steps will help you tidy up the yard before your guests arrive.

Outdoor patio for party

1Evaluate

Before you get your hands dirty, take a moment to glance around. Observe the current state of your outdoor space. Make a list of things to clean, things to organize and things to repair. Your list will help you assign priorities to each task and create a game plan before you ever pick up the rake!

2The basics

Now it's time to grab your gear and get to work. Regardless of the size of your outdoor space, start with the basics. Patios, porches and decks may simply require a quick touch-up, but prepping your yard may be more extensive.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Sweep or hose down hardscapes to remove dust and debris.
  • Mow the lawn and remove clippings.
  • Trim plants where needed.
  • Skim the swimming pool and clean the filter.
  • Lightly spray dirt and gravel areas with water to minimize dust.
  • Organize children's toys, tools and other objects.
  • Wipe down outdoor furniture and clean the upholstery.
  • Clean glass doors and windows in high-traffic areas.

3Plan to plant

Use plants to your advantage when it comes to outdoor spaces. Before you entertain, plant some greenery and some blooms. Just as fresh flowers add elegance to your dining table, plants add beauty to your outdoor space.

Spend a few minutes on a Google search for plants that work well in your climate, or check with an expert at your local home improvement store. Mums, for example, are great seasonal plants for fall. They come in a variety of colors and work well in many climates. When you've determined the best plants for your space, use decorative planters, flower beds and window boxes to create clusters of color that will thrill your guests!

4Get in the zone

Create zones to separate functions. Your event may need an area for dining, lounging and even a place for the kids to play. Determine where you would like each of these activities to take place and place your furniture accordingly. For additional space definition, use potted plants or other decorative accessories to provide visual distinction.

5Make it livable

When everything is nice and tidy, add the finishing touches. Decorate your outdoor space just as you would in your home. Make your seating arrangements more comfortable with decorative pillows made of exterior-grade fabric. Use place settings and centerpieces to accent your table and light candles to make everything sparkle!  

You don't have to spend a fortune to pull it all together. Instead, use items you already own. Grab the candles from the bookshelf, the tray from the coffee table and the tablecloth from the cupboard. Not only is this budget-friendly, it turns your outdoor space into an extension of your home.

Watch: How to make a garden tealight lantern

Learn how to make a tealight garden lantern that is perfect for outdoor parties!

More outdoor entertaining tips

Creating an outdoor oasis
How to make your backyard a hangout spot
Creating outdoor entertaining space

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