The start of the year is the perfect opportunity for a big tidy up, especially if it’s something you’ve been putting off for a while. If you live on the eastern seaboard, it’s likely that just about everything is covered in dust and dirt thanks to the sporadic weather patterns we’ve experienced over the last few weeks. Follow our tips to get your home looking brand new in no time.

Before you tackle the dirt and dust, the first step is to get rid of all the loose debris from your deck, driveway, pathways or veranda. The STIHL range boasts a number of hand held and backpack blowers for outdoor areas of all sizes, so be sure you speak to your local STIHL Dealer to find one that is right for you. A quick and easy way to get rid of organic litter and debris is to blow them on to your lawn, and collect them up with a quick lap of the lawn mower later on. If you have a large amount of buildup, pop it through a shredder and add it to the compost bin. If you want to eliminate a step all together, a STIHL vacuum shredder will collect and mulch your leaves in no time. If you’ve got some spare time over the long weekend, see our post on creating the perfect compost in five simple steps.

We bet you’re itching to get rid of all the dust and dirt that’s covering the exterior of your home and just about every surface in your backyard, including your car. Once your outdoor area is free of leaves and debris, remove mud, dirt, cobwebs and stains from your hard surfaces with a high-pressure cleaner. Focus on high traffic areas and near your pots plants, as well as areas under trees that cause a lot of mess. Keep an eye out for oil stains, eucalyptus leaves will often leave marks on driveways and decks, especially on lighter colored pavers and cement. Do not fret; these can easily be removed with a good high-pressure cleaner.

While you’re at it, natural stone such as bluestone and sandstone will also benefit from a clean once a year, and by doing this, you will expose the unique original markings of the stone. Clean away the dirt and mud build-up to reveal the shades of yellow, white and orange of the sandstone and the darker tones in the bluestone. You can also use the high-pressure cleaner on slate or stack-stone. Ensure you wear eye and ear protection while doing this – gumboots are also very handy!

Painted and rendered brick walls may attract algae and moss through the coolers months, or general markings from wear and tear. Give them a clean and have them looking slick before the cooler weather arrives to lift the look of your outdoor space and bring back the solid colour blocking that they were designed to provide. A freshly cleaned rendered wall contrasts beautifully to a healthy green lawn or garden bed.

Weekends during the summer months are also the perfect opportunity to oil your deck. This is something that should be done annually to protect it from all of the different weather conditions experienced throughout the year. The STIHL patio and deck cleaning attachments are compatible with all high-pressure cleaners in the range, and are great for this kind of heavy duty cleaning to prepare your deck beforehand. Give your pots and water features a clean while you are at it. A freshly cleaned and oiled deck is an easy, yet effective way to transform an outdoor space.

For more tips and tricks on how to transform your great outdoors, visit your local STIHL Dealer.