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By Jessie Stewart
A little organisation will make your time outdoors more enjoyable and less stressed… and isn’t that what lazy summer days should be all about?

1. Get the BBQ in shape

Summer barbecues are a favourite Australian pastime. However, are there mountains of forks and tongs overwhelming that space? If you have a small balcony space to work with, and a barbecue takes up half that space, you’ll certainly need to find tips on how to declutter your balcony.

Most barbecues have their favourite set of tools but seem to always have back ups out just in case. It’s time to save the best of the best of those and get rid of the rest.

Similarly, are there multiple gas bottles for the barbie lying about? No harm in having a back up but more than one is probably unnecessary.

Streamline your grilling area by having everything you need close at hand, and ensure an uncluttered flat surface for preparing what you’re about to barbecue and to easily serve your summer dishes.

2. Clear out the storage shed

The storage shed is almost as common in Australian backyards as the Hills Hoist!

Most sheds that I’ve worked on tend to take on an importance that is somewhat religious for the owner. I’m not necessarily looking to make you part with any of your long-held memories but maybe a little bit of a clean-out wouldn’t hurt.

Sheds end up being storage units for the dreaded “I Might Need It One Day” type of clutter. If your shed is filled with spare bits of wood, tyres from a car that’s long been parted with, maybe some old appliances that are purely good for parts at this time, then maybe a good sweep through wouldn’t hurt.

My philosophy is that if you can’t find something then you don’t really own it. If you’re not sure what’s in your shed, or you can’t get past the door, then a little summer decluttering might be just what’s needed.

3. Whip the garden into shape

Take a moment to check out the garden and yard surrounding your home.

How are the garden beds looking? Is the rest of the backyard up to a standard that you’re proud of and enjoy? Decluttering outside is just as important as clean sweeping inside your home.

Sometimes old items like broken pots or rusted-out lawn items end up abandoned in the garden and signal a sense of neglect. They’re right there in plain sight but we tend to walk right by them without noticing them.

The trick to a neat and organised looking space is that less is always more. Huge improvements can be made by simply discarding items in your backyard that you no longer need or use or want.

If you pull out the stuff you don’t need, you’ll have plenty of room for the things that you love. While you’re at it consider sweeping paths, trimming edges and removing cobwebs. Small steps will yield big results.

4. Double duty furniture works best

Finally, when it comes to relaxing and entertaining outside this summer, what kind of furniture and storage do you have? And, is it working for you?

Consider investing in inexpensive decorative items like stools or foot rests which can double as storage cubicles. These are particularly handy for items you use regularly outside but don’t have a quick easy space to keep them in.

Items like small garden tools, pool towels or even kids’ favourite outdoor toys are perfect for these and get everything up off the ground and out of eyesight.

A decluttered and organised space adds to the sense of comfort and relaxation. Create a space that works for you and your family – you’ll be glad you did.

Take just a short amount of time today to have a good hard look at your outdoor space.

A few quick purges will open up your space and make the remainder of the summer that much more enjoyable! Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen.


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