11 Outdoor Spring Cleaning Projects [Get Them Done In An Hour!]

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 05/08/24 •  10 min read

A goal without a plan is just a wish! 

If you’re like me, you’re already dreaming about enjoying your yard this spring. But without a plan of action, your time outdoors won’t be as dreamy as you’re imagining. With summer months just around the corner, now’s the time to take care of your outdoor spaces so you’ll be ready when the opportunity to enjoy the weather comes up.

Below is an easy-to-follow checklist of quick projects you can get done in under an hour that’ll make a huge difference to your curb-and-yard-appeal. Knocking off one or two of these every weekend before the heat comes will mean you’re going to be the one relaxing in your favorite porch chair with a drink in your hand while your less-prepared neighbours are just starting their winter clean-up. 

#1: Clean Out your Window Wells

Neglect to spring clean your window wells and you can end up with a troublesome and costly drainage issue.  If the drain within your well becomes blocked by leaves or other debris, water can collect in the bottom of the well.  Pooling water can damage the well, the window frame, and the wall of your house…and if you’re thinking that sounds expensive, it is!

Pop on a pair of gardening gloves and take the time to clear out all the debris in your window wells.  To make the job even quicker, why not rent a commercial outdoor vacuum?  Pay particular attention to your drain and if needed, give it a good rodding with a snake drain.

Don’t forget to check your liners and if your gravel is looking a little thin, shovel in another layer and rake it across.

Front Door Spring Cleaning

#2: Spruce Up your Front Door

A touch of spring cleaning after the long winter can make your home entrance far more welcoming.  Key areas that can make the area look a bit tired and unloved are the mat, marks on the front door and frame, unswept steps and plant pots that need refreshing.

In well under an hour, you’ll have enviable curb appeal for minimal effort and coming home will feel even better than usual!

Sprucing up your front door really is one of those jobs that transforms your home exterior without much elbow grease. 

Use a bucket of hot soapy water to wash down your front door and frame, and give your entrance and steps a good sweep and pressure wash.

Two simple finishing touches that maximize the impact of your spring clean are a new welcome mat and new plants in any pots you have at your entrance.

#3: Clear your Gutters

We know it’s not the most fun way to spend an hour but cleaning out the leaves and sticks from your gutters can save you from the cost of rainwater damage that in many cases your home insurance simply won’t cover. 

Remember, your insurer expects you to maintain your gutters – fail to do that and they won’t pay out for gutter-related leaks.

Up a ladder, you can perform the job with a trowel and a sturdy pair of gloves, and this method has the benefit of your being able to see exactly what’s going on in the gutters.  If you’d prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground, you can use a hose, pressure washer or garden vacuum with a telescopic attachment. 

We’d still recommend popping up a ladder afterwards and checking that all is clear.

#4: Clean your Outdoor Furniture

Here’s a job that will fill you with excitement for the warmer days ahead – cleaning your outdoor furniture, ready for long summer lunches and balmy evenings with a nice, cold drink next to you.

Keeping your outdoor furniture clean will reduce mold, mildew, dust and staining, and therefore you’ll improve both the appearance and lifespan of your items.

Whether your furniture is wicker, wooden, metal, or plastic, a big sponge and a bucket of hot soapy water, with a cup of vinegar added to tackle mold and mildew, will do a good job of cleaning it. Hose your furniture down afterwards and for wooden and wicker items, dry off as much of the moisture as possible with clean rags. 

Give any glass surfaces a good spray and polish with either a glass cleaner or some vinegar diluted in water, and just like that, you’re all set for al fresco fun.

#5: Pressure-Wash Your Siding

It’s perfectly safe to pressure wash the siding of your house – which is good news because this method saves you a ton of time and effort! You just need to keep your washer on a lower pressure and use a wider nozzle to prevent any damage to the surface of the siding and to guard against water getting behind it.

Especially in the shaded areas of your home, molds, mildew and dirt can really build up on your siding.  If you don’t keep on top of the spring cleaning chore of washing your siding you could end up with ugly discoloration.

The cost and effort of remedying that should be enough to spur you on to complete half an hour or so of pressure washing once a year!

#6: Prep Your Flower Beds

The perfect outdoor spring cleaning chore to take on when you only have an hour to spare is the prep work for your flower beds.  Grab a barrow or a leaf bag, don your gardening gloves and clear out the debris from each of your beds.

If the ground isn’t too hard, you can turn a few inches of compost into the soil, ready to nourish new growth in the upcoming months. 

Taking the time to clear all the beds means that when you get the perfect weather day for sewing or planting in plugs and seedlings, you’ll be free to work unhindered because all beds are already primed and ready to go. 

Since this is unlikely to take you a full hour unless you have a big garden, use any spare time you might have to go round your flower beds with gardening scissors to chop off any dead plant parts from the bushes and shrubs that weathered the winter.

#7: Window Washing

Even if it’s not quite warm enough to spend much time out in your garden yet, you can bring the promise of outdoor living into your home by giving your windows a good external cleaning.  Stronger winds and challenging weather over the winter months can leave our windows dusty and streaky, and with even just an hour to spare, a good external wash can leave them sparkling and natural light flooding in.

Though you can buy a specialized window washing fluid, a teaspoon of dish soap in about two gallons of hot water will work very well for washing grime and water marks from the outside of your windows. 

A microfiber scrubber, a squeegee, and a rag for cleaning that squeegee will produce professional results in a matter of minutes – just make sure you really put in some elbow grease with the scrubber, to dislodge all the dirt.

#8: Clean Your Decking

If your summer evenings are spent lounging and grilling out on your deck, you’ll want to get your wooden boards looking clean and ready to go before the warmer weather arrives.  Inspecting and maintaining your deck will help to prevent issues such as mold, warping and spreading rot.  

First, clear your furniture and plants off the deck and give it a really good sweep with a stiff wire brush, then apply a multi-purpose decking cleaner. You’ll usually need to scrub it on, then leave it for 20 minutes – which means for a good part of this spring cleaning job, you don’t have to lift a finger! 

If you have access to one, a pressure washer is the perfect and speedy option for rinsing off the decking, but a garden hose and that stiff metal brush will work well too!

#9 : Clean Your Grill

After that last grill of the summer, did you close the lid and tell yourself you’d deal with it later?  Don’t worry, you’re not alone!  But if you want to be able to spring into action with marinades and tongs at the first sign of good weather, you’ll need to face the grill grime now!  If you’ve got an hour spare, there’s a couple of cleaning methods to choose from –  heating and soaking.

For the heating method, cover your grill grates with aluminum foil, then turn the grill onto high, close the lid and leave it for 15 minutes.  After this time, turn off the grill, remove the foil and use a metal grill brush to thoroughly clean off all the grime that has now turned to white ash. 

The soaking method involves placing your grates in a large bucket of hot soapy water and leaving them there for at least half an hour.  Then you can move in with a steel wool brushing and your grates should look good as new.

#10: Check Your Fencing

Fences can do us many favors, from offering privacy to protecting us from the elements, but we need to keep them well-maintained in return.  A quick spring cleaning chore involves checking all your fences, looking for any repairs that need to be carried out or areas that need to be re-stained or painted. Your fence can really take the brunt when it comes to harsh weather conditions, so this annual check is well worth the hour’s patrol. 

Whilst you’re doing your fence check, sweep away the leaves and twigs from the bottom, and depending on where your fences sit and your local weather, you might like to hose or power wash them off to remove dried on mud and dust.

#11: Pressure-Wash Your Walkways

Walk your way into warmer weather on a spotlessly clean pathway, rather than hopping over moss and mucky patches!  We forget how much we put our walkways through over the winter months, with all that mud and then salt and grit once the snow and ice arrive.  A neat and tidy pathway offers just as much curb appeal as a welcoming entrance, so spend a very satisfying hour blasting away the winter.

After spraying down the walkway with a power washer, or a hose with a jet attachment, use a stiff brush to get rid of any remaining grit, dirt, gravel, or moss. You should then have a good check over your paths and see if you’ll need to patch any cracks or refresh any gravel between slabs.  Completed in well under an hour, this simple task can really smarten up come exterior!

Conclusion

First impressions count, and these spring cleaning jobs will make sure your exterior makes the perfect first impression. As you’ve seen, sprucing up your grounds and carrying out essential maintenance doesn’t have to take a ton of time, or be done all in one day. Taking on a task here and there when you can (and the weather is forgiving enough) will mean in no time you’ll be ready to relax in your garden, enjoying the fruits of your labor.

If getting on top of your garden chores has filled you with motivation, check out our list of 11 quick indoor spring cleaning projects to complete in under 10 minutes each, or if you’re really ambitious, check out our Complete Spring Cleaning Guide and room-by-room checklist here.

thewriteDuffy

At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.