We’ve all felt it before. The cringe of disgust, embarrassment, and disbelief that occurs when we drive past an abandoned front yard. Not only do the weeds, brown patches, and dog “treats” make the home look five times worse, but the houses surrounding it seem to be standing in shame as if to say, “Please don’t associate us with that guy.” But we always do. Nothing kills the energy of a neighborhood like the appearance of a disgusting yard.

But what if you don’t get too excited by yard work? What if you feel like you can’t keep up with Billy next door who takes a ruler and scissors to his grass every morning? The thing is, you don’t have to be an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist to create a respectable yard. Maybe that’s why apocalyptic yards exist – because people stopped believing in their abilities or felt like it was too much work to care. We don’t think you should feel that way.  We think your yard should be your happy place, and here are some ways to make it just that.

Your yard should reflect you, not every house on the street. If you find yourself constantly comparing your yard to the neighbors around you, you’re never going to be satisfied with your own personal touch. Some things are basic, like keeping your lawn cut to a proper length, but other areas yield more room for experimentation and fun. Try planting some flowers that interest you. Hang out a tasteful bird feeder that makes you smile. If you’re artsy, try replacing those boring rain gutters with something more unique like copper rain chains. There are all sorts of products and guides out there that can help you make your yard more…well…YOU.

Your yard doesn’t have to be high maintenance to be respected. Some people really enjoy the finesse that can be put into yard care, but that’s ok if you aren’t one of those people. Just because a yard requires more intricate care and attention doesn’t mean that it’s more respectable. There are plenty of lower maintenance options as far as yard decorum goes. Make sure that your yard respects how much you respect it…if that makes sense. What we’re saying is, if the patch of land in front of your house keeps you up at night stressing, maybe it’s time to swap some things around and make maintenance more relaxing.

Finally, your yard shouldn’t be just for show, it should be a place for friends and family to gather. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Nobody wants to spend time in a decrepit, junk-yard of a yard. Healthy yards can bring people together. They can create an atmosphere of relaxation, connection, and fun! But if you don’t take the small amounts of time needed to create such a place, you might just find yourself hanging out at your neighbor’s barbeque wondering what you’re doing wrong. Don’t be embarrassed about your yard. Know that it’s yours and be proud.