As daylight savings time approaches this weekend, brighter, longer days and warmer temperatures will soon follow. The official start to spring is just around the corner, so make sure you’re ready to take advantage of better weather by cleaning up your yard and creating a plan to maximize your outdoor space. In fact, according to Lowe’s 2012 Seasonal Consumer Study, more than 75 percent of people completed a yard cleanup project this time of year. Follow these six tips to manage your time efficiently, so you can enjoy the outdoor space when the warmer, longer days arrive. 1. Clean and wash your driveway, patio or deck and the exterior of the house. It’s important to finish washing before you plant your garden beds because you don’t want to disturb any new plantings. You also should clean any outdoor furniture and consider covering it until after all the pollen has fallen. 2. Tune up your outdoor power equipment to make sure it’s in tip-top shape for the first mow of the season. Remember to sharpen the blades on your lawn mower, check the engine oil and restring your trimmer. 3. Don’t forget to check your smaller gardening tools, which are as important as larger ones during spring planting. It’s a good idea to sharpen them once a year to make lawn care easier. Also consider ergonomically friendly tools, such as those by Fiskars, which make pruning and lopping jobs easier and three times faster. 4. Trim and shape bushes around your yard and cut low-hanging tree branches. It’s better to complete this task early and clean up the extra pieces before you freshen up and plant in the beds. 5. Consider adding definition and freshening up your yard by placing a new layer of pine straw or mulch in your beds. They come in a variety of sizes and colors. Be sure to check with your homeowners association for any restrictions. 6. Plan where you want to add color to the existing landscape with bulbs and spring perennials. Also consider planting an herb or vegetable garden this year. Start with a planter of rosemary or basil and grow from there.