I organize outdoor spaces for a living – this is how I tidy my yard for summer

Follow these super simple tips to spruce up your yard for summertime

Three images of an organized space, including herb pots in wall mounted storage and two modern patio setups
(Image credit: Future / Little Greene)

It’s almost pool and beach season here in eastern North Carolina, and my family and I are spending as much time outside as possible! 

However, although it’s tempting to jump into outside projects as soon as it warms up, I tend to wait until the pollen is over and the temperature is consistently a little warmer before doing a lot to spruce up our outdoor spaces.  

While I’m married to a landscaper who has his own list of summer yard tasks for this time of year, I’m a professional home organizer, and these are the four things I do when getting our yard ready for the summer:

1. Replace Faded, Tired-Looking Accessories

Pool house ideas with deck chairs and kitchen area

(Image credit: Martin Moore)

Because of our mild climate, we keep most of our patio décor out year-round. It’s great because we can enjoy the space all year, but it means our accessories tend to wear out more quickly than if we stored them in the off-season. 

Each year, I evaluate what needs to be replaced. Faded, old-looking rugs, pillows, and accessories will make your space look tired and cluttered, so be sure to replace anything that didn’t hold up over winter.

Likewise, I like to clean outdoor cushions to give them a new lease on life, and clean mildew off decking so it's ready for the summertime (no one wants a slippery surface). 

2. Create Homes for Outdoor Hobby Items & Accessories

If you love the outdoors like my family, you will have many hobby-related items.  Garden tools, pool equipment, entertaining pieces, grilling tools, beach gear, sporting goods, kids’ toys—the list goes on and on!

Organize outdoor tools just as you would the items inside your home. Think about how you use your outdoor spaces and the different items related to those areas. Contain the items in a bin or storage container and store them as close to where they are used as possible. Label the bins so your family can see where things are.

3. Evaluate Storage Locations

Different outdoor kitchen ideas illustrated with a grill and cooking accessories and storage

(Image credit: Future)

Know whether items can be stored outside or would hold up better inside a garage or storage building. Outdoor garden stations are perfect for storing your gardening tools. Grilling tools could be stored on the bottom shelf of the grill, or you may want to store them in an outdoor kitchen

We store more fragile items, such as surfboards and pool floats, away from the sun so they do not discolor or deteriorate as quickly.  Like when organizing a home, we prefer to get things off the ground or floor. Use the walls of your garage or storage building to store larger items and keep the floor space open.

4. Remember That 'Less Is More'

As you replace worn items or are tempted to buy new things for the season, remember that all items require maintenance of some kind. Not only will items need to be cleaned at some point, but if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, remember that everything outside will need to be secured, so make sure what you buy is worth the money, time, and effort it will require of you.

I hope these organizing tips help you stay on top of your to-do lists while enjoying hobbies and activities this summer. If you're feeling particularly productive, why not complete these summer outdoor cleaning tasks while you're at it?

Caroline Roberts
Contributing expert

Caroline Roberts, a certified KonMari Consultant and professional organizer, founded the organizing agency The Simplified Island in 2019. Caroline believes being organized goes much deeper than pretty bins and can be life-changing. She recognized her organizing and streamlining skills were unique as she ran her marketing agency, Coastal Connections Marketing, and raised her two sons.