Because space is at such a premium in the apartment balcony garden, you will need to clear up any clutter you have on your balcony. You can always maximize space by planting vertically (which you can achieve with this DIY plant shelf), but there may be some other items in your balcony garden that you can do without.
Decide what you can get rid of. Any extra bicycles, unused furniture or decor, or anything that can be put in storage should be placed elsewhere. Remember that most apartment balcony gardens are usually not quiet and secluded areas that you will want spend much time on. If you have plastic chairs that you never sit on, consider donating them to Goodwill or having a “balcony” sale. If you like the look of a table and chairs or an outdoor couch or bench, and don’t mind just a few low-maintenance container plants, keep your favorite furniture and plan around them. Remember to keep seating away from any flowering plants that will attract bees.
Hide what you need to keep. There will be some essential garden tools that you will permanently keep outside. Get a small storage bin for your gardening gloves, tools, extra pots, dustpan, etc., and hide it behind a bushy plant. Most apartments and condos will not allow storage on a balcony, especially if it is visible, so hide it well. You can even grow a plant (such as English ivy in shade or bougainvillea in sun) up a trellis and keep the storage bin behind it if you don’t want a large plant.
Once you’ve cleared the clutter and decided what to keep and what to get rid of, then you can plan out just how many and what size plant containers you can keep, and what plants you will grow. A clutter-free apartment balcony garden will be more aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to work in, so get to work on getting rid of the clutter!