2020 has seen us all spend more time at home than ever before, now that warm weather has arrived, and you will presumably be out there a lot, how can you maximize your new backyard space for summer? Living in a colder climate can sometimes mean that the backyard gets put on the back burner, particularly when you have just spent a ton of time and energy moving into and getting settled within a new home. When a space is only utilized a few months out of the year, maintaining it can seem like a lot of effort for little reward. However, you will not have to practice social distancing in your backyard, or make an appointment to secure your own tanning space free from mask lines. Follow this simple guide and take this coming weekend to spruce things up in your new outdoor space. Giving yourself a cleaner, comfier and fresh zone to spend time in, just might help you to get over the vacation you had to Covid cancel.


Before you get started redecorating and adding even more items to look after, initiate your backyard facelift with a serious purging and scrubbing. The weight of winter can wreak havoc on outdoor furniture and the thick coat of pollen blown in with spring does nothing to help the situation. Toss rust covered pieces, broken lawn chairs you have held onto for whatever reason, and garden/lawn equipment that although you never use it, somehow got moved from your old shed into the new one. If you are committed to regular cleaning, new pressure washers can be purchased for under $100 and (when used safely and correctly) can work miracles on decks, siding, concrete, and more. Not into adding another piece of outdoor equipment to the lineup? Most garden centres and home improvement stores also rent out pressure washers as an alternative. Look into your gutters, clean out old flower pots and get down and dirty with your BBQ. Nothing will help you see the summer fun potential in your new backyard space, than getting it squeaky clean.


You can design and put together the most Instagram worthy, pinterest come to life patio party place, but if there is nowhere comfortable to sit, what is the point? The next few months of living through a pandemic summer are going to be significantly less painful if you have a genuinely relaxing space to tan, get cozy with a book, facetime with family and friends, enjoy your morning coffee – the list goes on and on! And the best part? A comfortable seating situation does not have to break the bank. An important first move – take measurements. Your dream lounge chair might lose some appeal if it does not actually fit into your space. Save yourself some heartache and figure out what furniture can go where, before you purchase it. Hot tip: take 10 minutes to get this done on moving day, before your movers arrive! Understanding how much room you have to work with will go a long way in getting the most out of your new outdoor space.


If your space allows, and when you’re not catching up on ‘me’ time or taking an afternoon siesta – comfortably hosting small groups of friends and family will help make your new backyard come alive. For some this may mean a large table and many accompanying chairs, perfect for serving big BBQ spreads, for others, a small, cozy outdoor fire pit to roast marshmallows. Keep in mind that keeping things simple can really go a long way. The less set up required, the more time you can spend enjoying yourself. And again, your life savings do not need to be burned here. If installing new outdoor lighting is not in the budget, dollar store string lights glow too; except you can wrap them wherever you would like without any commitment. Saving up for a heat lamp and it is just not going to happen this year? Stash a few cheap throw blankets in your deck box. It is easy to become overwhelmed and inundated with trendy outdoor setups. Clear out the noise and imagine what the perfect night on your deck, lawn, etc. looks like – and go from there.


Serious gardeners and seasoned green thumbs start gearing up their planting prowess at the first sign of defrost; but understandably, moving and all the stress it entails, can put a delay on things. Rest assured, you do not have to wait an entire year to experience the awesome fulfillment of growing something of your very own. Furthermore, adding a touch of green may be just what you need to get the most out of your new backyard space this summer. Beets, carrots and kale are all among the vegetables that can thrive being planted into the summer. If you would rather just enjoy the view than get your hands dirty, waiting until late June can also work in your favour. This is the time of the season that garden centres begin to push stock, and pre-planted or already blooming hanging/potted baskets can be considerably marked down in price. If even watering is stretching the input you are willing to give your outdoor florals, year round, artificial options can work well too.


Some swimming areas, pools and lake/beach communities are open, some are not. The only thing we know for sure is that this summer, how we go about taking a dip is looking very different. If you have ever been tempted or thought about indulging in an inflatable pool for your backyard (and want to get some water therapy without having to sanitize everything ten times over), now is the time to go pool shopping. And no, they are definitely not just for kids! This is a quick and easy way to add a fun vibe to your new outdoor experience and make the most of what we are going to get in 2020. Aside from the instant nostalgia of childhood summers, the variety of options alone is entertaining. The classic slip and slide is technically not in the pool family but will do the trick, pump free! Out on the market right now are pools you can hook your hose up to for a misting option, pools with attached shading, built in loungers and yes, even slides! You can snag them for under $10 or go full boujee with themes, extra thick lining, heating attachments or mini water park layouts. Your backyard can be reimagined as an aquatic destination – and you never have to leave home.

Bonus tip that will make all of the aforementioned even better – keep things organized and save a designated space for quick and easy storage. Fingers crossed the next two, maybe three months hold nothing but gorgeous warmth and blue sky sunshine, but being prepared for inclimate weather never hurts. If a storm warning rolls in, the last thing you want to be worried about is having to be outside for an hour, finding a place to stash everything. Patio couches you can slide cushions under, deck boxes that can hold more than one beach ball, and a safe place to tuck your umbrella away are all going to come in handy. Get the most out of your new outdoor oasis and have a quick game plan to keep it all safe too.

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