Think clutter is only limited to what’s inside your home? Think again. In an attempt to savor the last bits of autumnal colors and daylight, I have been taking longer jogs than usual most evenings. While much of my jog is comprised of me
picking out my favorite tree listening to my most recent podcast downloads negotiating with myself to muscle through one more block in exchange for dessert, I also happened to notice that a few of my fellow neighbors might want to speed up their spring cleaning by a few months.
Here are ten sure signs that your outdoor clutter is out of control:
- You don’t park in your garage. Because you can’t.
- Your driveway and street look like a used car lot. You joke about this often to your neighbors.
- Your front walkway has become a permanent parking spot for your children’s Little Tykes Cozy Coupe cars.
- You lost your pet turtle but didn’t realize it for a week because you thought it was somewhere in the basement.*
- You own an RV and a pop-up camper. And park them both in your driveway.
- You have more bikes in your front yard than on the bike rack at the park.
- You have a batting cage in your backyard, but your last child went away to college two years ago.
- You can’t tell what is growing in your landscape tiers or garden beds.
- Your neighbors think you are setting up for a garage sale when your kids are playing with their toys.
- You keep one boat parked in your driveway and another one in your backyard. Neither has moved all summer.
While I can’t say that we have the definitive answer for reducing outdoor clutter, I will say that applying the “1 in, 1 out” rule to garages and sheds is just as effective as it is in closets. We also make it a point to regularly inventory tools, garden supplies, and other home repair equipment on a monthly basis. That way, we know when to start watching the sale papers for something, and we also know if we’re hanging onto things but not using them. Gardening, landscaping, and renovating all become markedly easier and efficient when you know what you tools you have and where they are stored.
* I know this because you put a “lost turtle” flyer in my mailbox. I still keep my eyes peeled on every jog, partly because I think it’s really sad to have lost a pet, and partly because if anyone tripped and fell over a turtle, it’d be me.
So Tell Me…How do you corral your outdoor clutter? Do you think it’s easier to overlook clutter in the garage and the shed?