How to Clean Up Your Backyard [This Weekend]

Messy backyard. How to clean up backyard.

If you’re like most people, you enjoy spending time in your backyard. But if you don’t stay on top of things, it can quickly become an overgrown, cluttered mess. Today we’ll show you how to clean your backyard fast.

How Do I Clean Up My Backyard?

Your backyard is a mess. You know it, and your neighbors know it.

Weeds are taking over and random junk is everywhere.

The biggest challenge many people face when trying to clean up their backyard is knowing where to start. With so much to do, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

Even if you get started, you’re worried that you don’t have a plan to follow-thru and make sure the project gets completed.

The good news is that you can clean up your backyard in just a weekend with the right plan and a little effort.

Let us show you how!

How to clean up a messy backyard. Yard full of junk.

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1. Assess the situation

The first step in cleaning up your backyard is to assess the situation. This means taking a look at what needs to be done and making a plan of action.

If you’re not sure where to start, it might be helpful to divide the backyard into zones. This will help you focus on one area at a time and make the process less overwhelming.

Some common zones include:

  • The lawn
  • Flower beds and walkways
  • Garbage and debris
  • Structures (deck, patio, shed, pool etc.)

Once you’ve identified the zones, it’s time to make a list of what needs to be done in each one. This will be your roadmap for the weekend.

2. Gather Your Tools

Pile of lawn tools to use to clean up the yard.

Having the right tools and equipment is essential when cleaning up your backyard. This includes things like:

  • Protective gloves (you’ll thank me later)
  • Rakes
  • Shovels
  • Lawn mower
  • String trimmer
  • Leaf blower
  • Hedge Trimmer or Shears
  • Broom
  • Outdoor Garbage Bags
  • Garden Cart (optional, but super handy)
  • Power washer

If you don’t currently have all of these items on hand, consider purchasing a few that you know you will use for weekly maintenance.

Landscaping tools are a wise investment that will make backyard cleanup a breeze.

3. Remove Large Debris

Pile of branches in yard.

Once you’ve gathered your tools, one of the first things to do is start removing large debris from your yard. This includes things like:

  • Fallen branches
  • Rocks and stones that are in the way
  • Large sticks
  • Unwanted brush and shrubs

Use a rake or shovel to gather the debris into a pile.

From here you can either load the debris into your garden cart or wheel barrow so you can take it to the dump or rent a wood chipper or compost shredder and turn it all into mulch to use in your yard or garden.

This is also a great time to start a compost pile.

A compost pit is a great way to reduce your waste and create rich soil for your lawn and garden. Simply toss worn-out foliage, food scraps, fallen leaves and grass clippings into the pit and watch it magically turn into compost over time. Your lawn and garden beds will thank you.

4. Clean-Up Garbage

Messy backyard.

It’s amazing how quickly garbage can pile up in the backyard.

This is especially true during the winter months. It’s like the backyard and patio suddenly turn into the perfect place to store items you need to dispose of, but don’t want to deal with right away.

Take some time to walk around your yard and remove anything that doesn’t belong.

This can include things like:

  • Old and broken children’s toys
  • Scraps of wood or metal
  • Broken patio furniture
  • Recyclables
  • Pet toys
  • Above ground pools (that are beyond repair)

Don’t forget to also check under the deck or patio furniture for any hidden garbage.

Once you’ve gathered all of the trash, take care of it right away so it doesn’t continue to sit around and clutter your yard.

Not only does garbage make your backyard look messy, it’s also a great way to attract pests like raccoons and skunks.

Place smaller items into garbage bags for your regular yard waste pick up and load larger items to be taken to the dump.

Check your local Waste Management guidelines for what items can and cannot be disposed of in your regular garbage pick up.

5. Clear the Weeds

Weeds are one of the most common problems people face when trying to maintain a clean backyard. They seem to grow overnight and can quickly take over flower beds, walkways, and even the lawn.

There are a few ways to deal with weeds:

Hand pulling

Hand pulling is the most time-consuming and labor-intensive option, but it’s also the cheapest.

If you have a lot of weeds or don’t want to use weed killer, this might be your best bet. When pulling weeds by hand, make sure to get the entire root so it doesn’t just grow back.

Weed Eater

A weed eater, also known as a string trimmer, is a great way to quickly remove weeds from your yard.

It’s especially effective on larger areas.

We love this option since using a good weed trimmer will instantly make your backyard look and feel cleaner and appealing in a matter of minutes.

Weed Killer

If you want a more permanent solution, you can use weed herbicides.

This is a great option if you have persistent weeds that keep coming back no matter how many times you pull them.

There are a variety of effective weed killers available, so make sure to read the labels carefully to find one that will work best for your needs.

6. Mow the Lawn

Mowing the lawn is an essential part of keeping your backyard looking well-maintained and clean.

Not only does it make your yard look more organized and more put together, but it also helps to keep lawn healthy and free of disease and pests.

Depending on the size of your yard, you might want to consider investing in a riding lawn mower.

This will save you time and energy when it comes to mowing the lawn and works great to clear tall grasses.

If you have a smaller yard, a push mower should work just fine.

In the future, be sure to follow a mowing schedule to maintain the proper grass length, and consider lawn-mowing etiquette to keep your neighbors happy.

7. Tackle the Patio

A clean deck or patio is a must-have when trying to make your outdoor space look neat and tidy.

While the exact steps are going to differ according to exactly what you have on your patio, here are the steps we follow at our house:

Remove all furniture and decorations

Removing the furniture will make sure you can get to every nook and cranny of your patio.

Once the furniture is removed it makes the next steps so much easier.

It’s also a good time to check the condition of your outdoor furniture to see if anything is broken or needs to be replaced (ie, those nasty cushions you left out all winter).

Remove the dust

This is a great time to bust out your broom or leaf blower.

Give the patio a once-over to remove any dirt, dust, leaves or debris.

Do some pest control

If you have any pests like ants, spiders or wasps, now is the time to deal with them.

Remove any nests and knock down any visible webs. It’s also a good idea to consider using a pesticide if the problem is severe.

Hose it down

Give your deck or concrete patio a good washing to get it looking its best.

You can use a garden hose with a spray attachment or a pressure washer if you really want the job done right.

This will help you to see any cracks, stains, or broken boards that need to be fixed.

Add Stain or Sealant (optional)

This step isn’t necessary if your deck is in good condition, but it’s something to consider if it’s starting to show its age.

Staining or sealing your deck or patio will help to ensure that it looks great for years to come.

Replace furniture (and add some plants)

Now that your patio is spic and span, it’s time to put everything back together!

Be sure to replace all of your furniture and decorate your patio with some plants to really make it look amazing.

8. Refresh the Landscaping

Ok, you’re almost done, but before you sit back and relax be sure to refresh the landscaping. This step takes minimal effort but makes a huge difference.

  • Trim Dead Branches
  • Remove Dead Leaves
  • Replace Dead Plants
  • Top Off Beds with Fresh Mulch
  • Trim Overgrown Hedges

While it can be tempting to skip this step, take the time to do it right and you’ll be rewarded with an amazing backyard that you can be proud of.

9. Add a Storage Solution

Add a backyard storage shed to keep toys and tools organized.

Now that you’ve put in all this effort, it’s imperative that you avoid this situation in the future.

If a cluttered, messy backyard is a problem for you, it’s time to add some storage.

Consider purchasing a garden shed, outdoor storage bench, or even just a few plastic bins that you can tuck away when they’re not in use.

Whatever solution you choose, make sure it’s big enough to store all of your outdoor gear including kids’ toys, pet supplies, garden tools, and miscellaneous items.

10. Kick back and Enjoy!

After all this hard work, you’ve finally finished!

Now it’s time to kick back and enjoy your beautiful backyard.

Invite some friends over for a BBQ, play some yard games on the lawn, or just relax on your patio with a cold drink.

You’ve earned it!

Final Thoughts on Cleaning Up Your Backyard

Now you know how to clean up your backyard in just 10 easy steps.

We hope you found these tips helpful and that you feel confident and prepared to tackle this outdoor project.

With a little hard work and some helpful tools you can have an inviting backyard that you can be proud of and enjoy in a weekend.


Why it is important to clean the backyard?

A clean backyard is important for both aesthetic and practical reasons. Not only will it look better, but it will also be safer and more enjoyable to use.

A clean backyard is less likely to attract pests, and it will be easier to maintain in the long run.

How often should I clean my backyard?

Ideally, you should aim to deep-clean your backyard once a year. This is a great project to add to your annual spring cleaning checklist.

That being said, regular cleaning is going to be key to keeping your backyard looking its best. If you do a quick pick-up every weekend and stay on a lawn maintenance schedule, you won’t have some a big mess to deal with next time.

How do I remove large debris from my backyard?

The best way to remove large debris from your backyard is to rent a dumpster. This will make it easy to dispose of all the waste and will save you a lot of time and effort.