Wall Plants

In Auckland, where the Unclutter Your Universe home is located, there is a definite feeling of spring in the air. The blossoms are blooming, the temperatures are rising and the light is staying around a lot longer into the early evening. I’m not sure what the statistics are showing, but I think we have had a lot more rain this winter. Those grey dark dreary days do my head in. I would much prefer it to be a bit cooler and have wonderful clear sunny days. When living in Dunedin many years ago, I loved those clear crisp days. Being able to rug up in lots of layers and venture out into the sunshine is good for the soul. Those continual grey drizzly overcast skies that seemed to have hung over Auckland for the last few months, really do my head in.

Garden Flowers
Photo by Stephanie Krist on Unsplash

In readiness for those not too far away balmy summer days of relaxing in the sunshine. It’s time to embrace that wonderful feeling of spring, get outside and give some love to your outdoor spaces. Some planning and hard graft now, will enable you to reap the rewards when summer is in full swing. The size and location of your outdoor space will determine what can be achieved out there but I’m sure with a bit of imagination and hard graft, you can have a space that you love.


It’s time to take the rose tinted glasses off, cast a critical eye over your outdoor space and see it how it really is. By taking a photograph of this space, you will be able to see it how others do and not how you think it looks. Then, take some time to ask yourself the following questions. Which, I hope will provide you with some great ideas to get you started.

  • How much outdoor space do you have?
  • What is this space currently used for?
  • Is there easy indoor/outdoor flow & a seamless design style?
  • Do you have a vision for this space?
  • Is this space suitable for day & evening?
  • If you have outdoor space in front of your property, what does this space say about the people that live there?
  • Is there a private space where you can sit & relax?
  • If you have outdoor space that stretches from the curb to your front door, what does this space say about those that live there?
  • How much time is required to keep this space well maintained?
  • Does this space offer both sunlight & shade?


Apartment Garden
Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash


  • Now, it’s time to get stuck in and give this space some tender loving care, turning it into a space that you love & will spend lots of time in.
  • Tackling one area at a time: Clear everything out of the space, sorting into piles of things in the are in excellent condition & you want to keep, items for the rubbish, things to donate, Items to sell & things that need repaired.
  • Give this space a thorough clean.
  • If you are struggling to come up with a vision for this space, spend some time looking through interiors magazines or browsing Pinterest, where I have pinned some pics that may appeal to you.
  • Map out a plan of your outdoor spaces, allocating spaces for the different things you want to do there.
  • When you are happy with the layout. It’s time to dress this space using items that you already had outside or have been re-purposed from another area of your home.
  • Once you have done all that you can with what you already have, it’s time to compile a wish list of things you would love to acquire when the time and budget allows.
  • Take a photo of your spaces and compare the before and after pics.
  • Celebrate your achievements.
  • Share the before and after photos on the Unclutter Your Universe Facebook and Instagram pages, and include your comments in the section below.


Blooming Flowers
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

If you have a question that you would like answered or topic suggestions for blog posts. Drop me a line at [email protected]

Jenni XXX

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    Thanks for the reminder that longer days are on their way. My outdoor space really needs attention – I needed this reminder to start looking into this more seriously before spring really gets into gear!

    • Kirsty, I know your not the only one that needs to give their outside spaces some care, after the long winter. Ours sure does & that’s what prompted me to write this post.

  • Lovely post. I am loving our current rental house’s back verandah deck where it is still cool enough for me to sit in the sun…and chase it too. In summer it becomes very hot so I am a fan of Spring and Autumn. Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 34/52. Next Week’s prompt: LTW is ONE!

  • Helpful post…I now have a backyard and really want to do something with it.

    • Brilliant, if you get stuck in now it will be looking lovely by the time summer is in full swing.

  • I definitely need to work on my outdoor space Jenni. I have a double block and it’s mostly wasted. I don’t mind that – as it’s on a slope and means I can’t be built out and will keep my ocean view, but I’d like to do a bit with the garden I guess and perhaps even my verandah. It’s a good space but I’d like comfier or more welcoming furniture. I’ve been on a bit of a budget so need to do some thinking or planning before summer! #teamlovinlife

    • Deb, it’s not wasted if it secures your ocean view. As for sourcing outdoor furniture on a budget, I would suggest going second hand. Have a look on buy & sell, or free websites, it’s amazing what you can pick up that just needs a little TLC.

  • writeofthemiddle

    I have a front patio and fenced front yard (smallish), a large covered back pergola area, a pool area and a teeny tiny pocket backyard with a clothesline. Not as much outdoor space as I’ve had before but it was chosen on purpose when we bought this house and were both working long hours in the city with little time for yard work. It’s enough for me right now and really quite useful spaces though there are always tweaks that could be made for sure! #TeamLovinLife

    • I love the idea of having smaller pockets of outdoor space. These can be dressed as different rooms, with their own purpose in mind.

  • We downsized our block when we moved here & have inherited a brilliantly designed outdoor space. My challenge now is turning some wasted space into raised vegetable & herb beds. I’ve sketched my solution & this weekend will be cleaning out what’s there now. All very exciting. #TeamLovinLife

    • Jo, it seems like you have everything in hand and after a few weeks of hard work it will be all done?

      • I reckon so. I love creating gardens – for want of a better term, it earths me.

        • I wish we would have a whole weekend of fine weather so that I can get stuck into our garden.

  • I am loving our backyard at the moment after so long without one! I have daisies and lavender in pots, a vegie garden, and a small bistro setting in a shady corner (though it often gets pulled out into the sun), and green grass. Loving it!

    • All your hard work has paid off Janet, and now you relax and reap the benefits of your wonderful space.

  • I was sitting in the hot tub last night marveling at our backyard. Needs a tidy up, but it’s a great space with a very “entertainer” vibe. Love it.

    • A few hours work giving your garden a good spring clean & then a relaxing soak in the hot tub.