Home Improvement

How To Get More Outdoor Time While Working On The House

At Gary’s Outfitters, we’re all about the outdoors. Being outside, in nature, is where we thrive and so anytime we can tackle chores that allow us to breathe fresh air, we’re all over it. This list is to remind you that there are tons of ways to get your time outside while still being productive at home.

Gardening & Landscaping

Let’s just get the most obvious one out of the way first. Obviously, any landscaping and gardening you need to do can be tackled while spending time outside. This can include:

  • Trimming bushes
  • Pruning shrubs
  • Planting flowers
  • Tending to the vegetable garden
  • Raking leaves
  • Plotting flowers before winter
  • Adding mulch to landscaped areas
  • Shoveling snow
  • Creating brick or wood borders around plots

Walkways & Driveways

Depending on your level of skill working with brick pavers, asphalt or concrete, you could add walkways and driveways to your list. Check with your local municipality…some of these activities may require a permit or even contractor’s license.

If you’re in the clear, then see where you can fill cracks, replace old pavement, create new walkways to the front or backdoor or lay steps to the porch or deck.

Power Washing

Sidewalks and driveways get dingy, siding gets dirty, cobwebs get built around gutters…there are tons of areas on the exterior of the home that require occasional cleaning.

Don’t worry if you don’t own a power washer, most home improvement places rent them out. Just make sure you read the manual and understand the settings. You don’t want to damage your property by using too much power on that thing!

If you are in the market to buy a power washer, you’ll get more mileage out of owning a good solid air compressor with a power washing attachment. This way, you can max out your use, since an air compressor can be used with a multitude of power tools (ex. staple gun, air pump).

Once you’ve got your tool and have been trained in how to use it, again to avoid chipping away or damaging materials around your home, you can clean off fencing, siding, brick, walking paths, driveways, decking, wash down outdoor step mats and more.


Not our favorite kind of task, but organizing your outdoor spacing can give you sanity when you’re trying to get a job done. Here are a few items you can organize outside:

  • Tool box and shelving
  • Garage
  • Shed

Painting & Sealing

If you’ve got wooden deck, porch or balcony that needs maintenance, you can get your extra hours in the sun by cleaning it off (power washing or hosing down) and then, once dry, staining and resealing it.

For houses with wood siding, wood shingles or wood window trim, an exterior paint job will bring your curb appeal up big time and let you breathe in the outdoors while you’re doing it.

If your home has aluminum or vinyl siding, this can also be painted with the right prep work, paint type and technique. Spray painting may be a better fit with this material, but this will involve a lot of preparation and protection steps, so don’t skip that.

Just make sure you’re cleaning the materials properly (and sanding, when needed) before you start any paint job. Also make sure you have the right paint for that material and high quality brushes and tools so the finish looks great.

Light Exterior Clean Up

Only have an hour or two outside and want to knock out some light upkeep? Consider these minor jobs:

  • Clean out the gutters
  • Lightly hose down the AC unit (check with your hvac guy about proper technique for your unit)
  • Fix the garage doors or exterior doors
  • Clear cobwebs and dust off mail slots, doors and windows
  • Clean your windows
  • Sweep the garage floor
  • Water your plants and garden, if needed
  • Have the kids clean up their outdoor toys
  • Scrape down the grill and give the whole unit a cleaning
  • Give the riding lawnmower an oil change

There you go, 30+ chores you can get done around the house while you’re soaking in the sun or, at least, breathing in the fresh air.


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I'm Gary. An outdoor enthusiast and home improvement hobbyist. I believe the world would be a slight better off if we all spent just a bit more time outside. This is my contribution to that.