If you’re like most people, you can’t wait for spring weather so you can get outdoors. You may be thinking about spring cleaning your backyard to get it ready for the sunshine and summer. Here are some ways you can do that and enjoy being outdoors at the same time.

Gather the family together so everyone is pitching in with the work. Your children might not be keen, but once you explain you’re trying to get it ready for summer fun, they may stop complaining so much.

Of course, you’ll want to be sure to have people work to their abilities, but everyone can contribute.

Decide what needs the most attention. Undoubtedly there will be a build-up of leaves regardless if you raked during the fall. There may also be limbs which have fallen from the tree due to ice or wind.

Check out the garden; what attention does it need? Do you have flower gardens which are about to burst forth with blooms? They’ll need consideration as well.

Try to make the tasks fun. Instead of acting like a drill sergeant, let the children toss leaves while they’re raking. They may even want to make a pile to jump into if there are enough of them. After they’ve had some fun they may be more willing to get back to work and get the leaves cleaned up.

Let the air in! Take time to aerate your lawn. This is important to breathe fresh air into the root system which will allow water and fertilizer to reach the roots. There are many methods to do this: use shoes with spikes on them, a hand tool specifically designed for aeration, or rent a power aerator.

Get your hands dirty. Weed the flower beds and along the sidewalks. Of course, you can also remove dandelions and broadleaf weeds with an ergonomic weeding tool. The point is to remove the weeds, roots and all, from your lawn as early in the season as possible so they don’t grow or possibly spread.

Repair your lawn. It’s almost inevitable that your lawn will have bare or brown patches. Remove the dead or discolored grass and sprinkle in some grass seeds. Then you can add fertilizer. Keep the area moist until the seed sprout and you can see new growth.

Take care of yard tools. You may want to take your lawnmower in for a tune-up. Check the hand tools to ensure they’re not rusted or broken. Replace anything you feel is unsafe or past the point of repair.

Decide what new plants you want to add to a flower garden or if you’ll have a vegetable garden this year. Mark off where the garden will be if you haven’t had one, and then choose what you’ll plant. Spring is the perfect time to lay weed barriers and mulch so you’ll have to do less weeding.

Don’t forget any play items in your yard. Decide if there are other pieces you’ll want to add this year and where you will put them. Check the chains and seats on swing sets. Replace them if necessary. You want your children to enjoy the equipment but you also want them to be safe.

By taking a weekend in the early spring, you can get your yard and garden ready for whatever the spring and summer may have in store. Spring clean your backyard with the help of your family. Once the biggest tasks are done you’ll be glad knowing your yard and garden are ready to enjoy.