Cleaning up the Backyard

Happy to say that the mess in my backyard has officially been cleaned up!  That was one of those things that was really bugging me until it got done, so excited to get that project marked off the to-do list.

I got myself another Bagster, which I used last year in a promotion and loved it so much that I did it again.  Cleaning up a smaller amount of debris is easy with this handy plastic bag.  This is not a sponsored post, but I do think the Bagster is genius, so I bought another one.  I had enough to fill up the bag to the top and it’s going to be great to have a clean backyard again.  I’ve been looking at that mess long enough, at least since March when we started the screened porch project.  I’m so so happy to have this one behind us too.  We’re whittling down those projects, one by one.


Here’s where we left off after the screened porch and outside stairs were finished.  We had been using the table saw in the backyard for months and had left it like this, all covered in plastic to keep the rain off.  It was a happy day when we were able to load up the table saw and take it back to my dad’s house.

backyard debris

All of that cutting over the months had produced tons of debris, big and smaller pieces of lumber that all had to be picked up piece by piece.  I wasn’t looking forward to it.

My mom and dad came over to help and it was a sweaty job that took a couple of hours, but we got it done. So thankful for their help, it would have taken me days to do this by myself.  I love those folks!

backyard cleanup

We took one day to burn a few things before we started clean up and that was my dad’s idea.  What is it with men?  Men love to burn things, don’t they?

dad burning trash

I already had a little burn pit back there, so we threw a few limbs and cardboard and some scrap lumber and put it on the pile.

backyard burn pit

He loves seeing debris burn up so I guess that is less we have to bag up.  All those old kitchen cabinets that are left had to be torn apart too, so Dad did that as well, so that all the pieces could fit flat in the Bagster.

backyard cleanup time

After tearing down the old cabinets, it was time for a rest and then we started filling that Bagster.


Mom came over too and helped.  I took her to Aldi’s for a few things and then we came back and really got on it.  Took about 2 hours, but that Bagster was full to the top when we finished.  It was a high-80’s day too, so we were all sweaty and exhausted.

The Bagster

Setting up the Bagster is really easy, it’s a heavy duty plastic with big handles.  All you do when it’s filled is call their pick up # and they will schedule a truck from Waste Management to come and pick it up and haul it away.


Totally worth the $129 cost of hauling by Waste Management (it was $99 last year, so they have gone up). The bag itself retails for around $30 at Lowes, Home Depot and Walmart.  I love this idea for cleanup!  We took our time and flattened out the bigger pieces on the bottom and then stacked up from there. This is much better than trying to haul all these tiny pieces to the dump yourself.

debris from backyard

We hauled everything to the cinder block wall and then over to the bag.  Mom helped with the smaller things, she’s such an angel.  I’ve got some plans to update this wall soon too, I’ll be trying out some new Rustoleum products on it and can’t wait for that.


Little by little, the Bagster was filled up with debris.  My dad brought over his wheel barrow to help with hauling.

hauling lumber

Piece by piece, we hauled and packed and got it all in there.

Bagster filled

After about 2 hours, it looked like this.  Filled to the top.  We wrapped the top in a leftover piece of plastic in case it rains.

Bagster filled to top

I hate to tell you pallet lovers that I dumped 2 pallets in there.  Don’t hate me, I’m just not a pallet crafter.  Actually, I still have one left in my garage that I’ll have to do something with eventually.  I see all these creative ideas for pallets, but can’t seem to jump on that bandwagon.

cleaned up yard

After the backyard was all cleaned up, I got out my push mower to finally mow the grass that hasn’t been mowed all summer where our sawhorses were set up.

cleaned up and mowed

Looks so much better now.  With all the debris sitting there, the grass stopped growing, but I’m sure with some rain and sun the grass will grow back again eventually.  Hope so anyway!  I may have to overseed, but we’ll see how it does this Fall.

mowed yard

All these patches of dirt should grow more grass.  I am just happy to have the mess GONE!

mowed yard  clean

And get my backyard back again.  Now I have a clean backyard when I look out the screened porch.

Yippee, it feels good to get big jobs accomplished doesn’t it?  Owning a home comes with all the responsibility too and keeping up the yard is part of it.  One day, I hope to make this yard really pretty! For now, I’ll just take clean!

- Rhoda


  1. Y’all are very productive folks.

  2. Looks great! Getting a big job like this done not only feels wonderful, it gets the old creative juices flowing, doesn’t it! Job well done you three!

  3. That Daddy and Mama of yours are the most hardworking people I’ve ever seen – yourself included ! You guys are amazing and should be very proud of yourselves – your home is absolutely beautiful !

  4. Melissa Parks says:

    Just a suggestion that you could educate all your readers about! The Habitat ReStores will take used cabinets , sinks, toilets, etc from your remodel jobs! In our Habitat, we will even come and help you de-construct FOR FREE. It’s a great way to give back to your local Habitat for Humanity and help build HOPE.

    I live your blog and read it all the time!

    • Hi Melissa,

      I’m so glad I seen your post! Thank you for letting us know about Habitat picking up old cabinets etc. I did not know about this. But, what an awesome idea!

      Thank you again,

  5. Once again I’m impressed with the get up and go of your parents, they truly are motivators for me, we I’m not in the mood to do any physical labor I think of them and that’s all it takes to get me moving. I”ll say it again you are doubly blessed to have both parents in good health.

    I’m shocked at how low your grass was with no mowing, mine would have been 3 feet high, the yard is looking great already.

  6. I so wanted to go through that bagster! This scares me about me! As I comment so many times, you are so, so blessed to have those wonderful parents.

  7. I never new about the Bagster and am thrilled to find out about it. Your parents are awesome!

  8. I’ve seen those bagsters in my neighborhood, and so now I’m curious. Are the bags sent to the landfill too, or are they emptied and recycled? If not, it just seems a bit wasteful to have one more thing going to the landfill.

  9. I love your parents Rhoda! Lucky you! Cheryl Ann

  10. Oh my goodness — You are so very lucky to have such loving and giving parents. Do you ever give them a break :))

    Those bagsters sure look handy.

    • Yes, we get long breaks in between. We are going to put up a wall in my laundry room, but that one shouldn’t be too hard. My parents are gems for sure!

  11. Satisfaction for a good job finally completed!

  12. Leslie Cunningham says:

    Rhoda, I just love your parents, and the way you all tackle everything together. You all seem to get the fact that your family is everything. I just love coming to your site and looking and reading your awesome articles. Thank you for brightening my day!

    • Thank YOU, Leslie! You are right, we are a close family and family really is everything. We look out for each other and help each other when we can. My parents are the best parents in the world, I wouldn’t trade them for any other!

  13. Linda Coleman says:

    I too think you and your parents are fabulous! Thanks for sharing so much with us. Would you think about doing a video tour of the porch and outside areas? I would love the inspiration to get me going.

  14. Just looking at it would have depressed me into immobility. It’s amazing how motivating working together is, and how (relatively) quickly the work gets done. I love reading the stories involving your parents. I always tell my Dad he’s got some competition!
    You’re also lucky to have nice neighbors. Mine would have called the City on me for having that debris and definitely for burning it, although we are allowed. I got so tired of the fire trucks arriving, I just put it all out for the trash now. At least we don’t have to pay to haul it. Can’t wait to see what you do next. CTD

  15. You know what I love? How your lovely Dad organizes the trash. 😀 I remember how he did the dumpster and now the bagster. ha. He is tops…So is your Mom. Lucky girl.
    Oh…and the lawn looks great. 😉

  16. It’s takes a T.E.A.M. effort for sure! (Together Everyone Achieves More) I love your stories!! You and your family are near and dear to our hearts! Backyard looks great! Nice and large! Can’t wait to see what you end up doing with the space and the wall at the end of your driveway. It will all look fantastic with your special touch Rhoda!

  17. I’ve never seen the retaining wall you showed. Is it part of the driveway? On the side of the house? Would love a tour of your yard so we can follow along with your progress out there a little better. Your mom and dad sure are hard workers. They seem to have such good health. Probably all that good homemade food your mama makes! 🙂

    • Susan, that retaining wall is straight in front of my driveway and the 2 car garage is to the left of it. I’ve showed it before, but probably not a lot.

  18. Rhoda~

    That is a great feeling just to get a mess cleaned up!! Why is it we have to make a mess before the beauty ?!
    You are truly blessed to have your parents , my dad always said that is what family is for “to help one another”. And yours truly does just that !
    Have a blessed day.

  19. Your back yard look so much bigger now! I know you are thrilled at having all that cleaned up and gone. When I have a mess inside the house it bugs me until it is all put away and cleaned up. I’m in the middle of cleaning out closets and donating to Hannah Home right now and the guest room is a mess with things all over the bed and room. Hope to get that cleaned up this weekend finally. Can’t wait to see what you do to the wall and yard!

  20. I think I need a Bagster to clean out my daughters bedroom! LOL Your yard looks great!

  21. I know you’re glad to get that all cleaned up. Now, knowing you, I see some flowers in the future!
    I hate to put a damper on all the pallet lovers, but there have been several articles about them lately. They say many of them have carried dangerous chemicals and you never know what has been spilled on them. They are made of soft wood that soaks up liquids like a sponge, and even paint and sealers can’t make them safe from some chemicals.

  22. You must be relieved Rhoda, now you can start working on your garden :). Love what you have done inside, would love to see what you could do outside too. You have lots of space for a wonderful cottage garden, is that your style or not?

    Lee 🙂

    • HI, Lee, I do love a cottage garden, but I’m going to take my time and get an action plan in mind before I just start planting. I’ll take one area at a time and get some things done & can’t wait to get on the outside too.

  23. Rhoda…what a great post! Congratulations on getting that job DONE! It motivates me to get moving on some similar projects I need to do this fall. Have you thought about putting up a little fence or some kind of barrier at the top of that retaining wall? I always look forward to reading what you are doing next…or where you are going. Thanks!

  24. Backyard looks awesome! I really need to check into that Bagster, I see it used more and more. And once again your parents are ah-mazing. Of course I had to give the laptop to my husband so he can keep up to date with how awesomely hard working your folks are. Thanks for sharing!

  25. I just love your blog! I don’t often comment, but it just seems so warm and homey when I come here to read. Your dad always has some great ideas with building also with burning some of the waste.

  26. Your dad is a superhero!

  27. YEA FOR YOU!!! I am sure you have plans for that back yard as well. LOVE SEEING IT ALL come together!
    ~~Nancy from OHIO

  28. Hi Rhoda, Just wanted you to know… another great aspect of The Bagster is that The Bag itself is recyclable. It is a poly-propylene fiber that can be reused in Carpet Backing and/or sound insulation in cars. So WM does recycle these bags (from what their web site says) and are not clogging up our Landfills. I was curious about this as we are all becoming so diligent in recycling in our own homes. So I thought I would share that with you.
    ~~Nancy from OHIO

  29. Hi Rhoda – I’m curious as to what you will do with the cinder block wall. I have one myself and want it to match a stacker wall it butts up to, but have no idea what to use. Thanks for any suggestions!

    • HI, Christy, I am going to use a new Rustoleum product that is made for vertical surfaces like this and I hope to be sharing that in the Spring. It will probably take me that long to try it out, but that’s my plan. I’m going to repair the wall and then paint over it with this product. It’s a thick,thick textured paint and I’ll share it all one of these days. Can’t wait to make it all look better!

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