7 musts to usher in spring at home
Posted by American Homes 4 Rent Team
7m read time
Mar 10, 2022
As Daylight Savings Time begins and the warm weather takes up permanent residence, it’s the ideal chance to get your home—and body—ready for seasonal changes. With simple planning, you can get it all done and still have time to enjoy the best of spring with family and friends. Follow these steps to come out of winter hibernation:
Prepare for Daylight Savings Time
Unless you live in Arizona or Hawaii, Daylight Savings Time begins on March 13. That means you’ll need to “spring forward” your clocks by one hour. Your network-connected devices should adjust the time for you, but you’ll need to manually change other clocks in your kitchen, car, and any non-smart spots.
Remember to also take the time to prepare your body for the change, both before and after Daylight Savings Time begins. After all, you’re losing an hour of sleep and it can be hard to adjust to a new rhythm. Try to schedule a nap in during the days around March 13, for both you and the kids. Getting more sleep comes with a variety of health benefits, including: lower risk of heart problems, fewer sugar and fat cravings, and an increase in creative brain activity.
Just avoid napping for too long, since that can upset your nighttime sleep routine. Instead, opt to lay down for just 10 to 20 minutes. If you work remotely or manage the household, that’s an achievable window of time to balance with your other responsibilities.
Get ready for spring cleaning
Instead of jumping into spring cleaning feet first, create a plan of action that feels manageable and less overwhelming.
Take it one room at a time.
If you attempt to clean your entire house in one go, you’re probably going to set yourself up for disappointment or for a long, exhausting day. Instead, set a schedule to take care of one room at a time and give each one a deep clean. As you hit each major spot, follow this order of actions to be most efficient: Start by decluttering and either donate or throw away items you don’t need anymore. Then, dust surfaces, curtains, ceiling fans, light fixtures, and furniture. Move on to wiping down surfaces, windows, and mirrors with an appropriate cleaning spray. And, lastly, vacuum and mop the floors. Once you've done a couple of rooms, you'll have the sequence memorized, making it that much easier.
Create a cleaning supply station.
Get organized from the get-go by collecting all of your must-have cleaning supplies and keeping them in one place. This saves you time whenever you start to clean a room. And you’ll be much more likely to jump in if you have just one caddy or basket with everything you need.
Give your kitchen and bathrooms some extra TLC.
Your kitchens and bathrooms need a little extra maintenance during spring cleaning. Wipe down the cabinets and give your grout lines a good scrub. Upgrade your cleaning supply to an antibacterial spray here for maximum cleaning.
Reserve time for these seasonal items.
After you clean each room, be sure to check out our annual home maintenance checklist by month for additional steps to keep your house healthy and clean this spring, including replacing air filters.
Create a weather readiness plan
Weather shifts from colder to warmer temperatures also mean a higher likelihood of storms. One simple way to prepare is to download the mobile app from FEMA and sign up for text alerts. That way you’ll know exactly when there’s a weather warning for your area.
Also, take the time to put together a home emergency kit in case you ever lose power. Here are some basics to include:
Bottled water: At least two gallons for each family member. If you know it’s likely you’re going to lose power, you can also fill up a bathtub to use for flushing toilets.
Flashlights, batteries, candles, and a lighter: Check to make sure your flashlights and batteries are powered up.
First aid kit: Include bandages, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic cleaning pads, compresses, non-latex gloves, and blankets. Check out a list of full recommendations from the Red Cross.
Emergency phone charger: Get a phone charger that doesn’t require electricity. Make sure to look at the instructions in advance. Some hold a charge for a period of time, but may need to be plugged in every so often to re-charge.
Non-perishable food: Keep a few days’ worth of canned food or dry goods for each person in the family, including pets. That way you don’t have to worry about navigating roads if there’s a long storm or roads are blocked by water or felled trees.
Start a container herb garden
Creating a backyard garden can be a fun spring project by yourself or with the entire family. And, when you focus on growing in containers, it becomes a low-maintenance and budget-friendly garden that doesn’t require grunt work or tearing up your backyard! Here are a few tips on creating an herb garden that will flavor your cooking all spring and summer:
Choose to grow from seeds or seedlings. Annual herbs are easy to start from seed, including basil, cilantro, and parsley. They’ll grow fast and you can simply thin them as seedlings emerge. Perennials like sage, rosemary, and oregano can take longer to get growing, so you may want to pick up established seedlings or small plants from your local nursery.
Pick the right containers. Herbs don’t require huge pots. But they do need drainage holes at the bottom to avoid too much water accumulating and rotting the roots. If you want to lower your ongoing maintenance further, opt for self-watering containers. These can be especially helpful if you plan to take a vacation and will miss some watering days.
Place your container in full sun. Most herbs thrive in full sun conditions, which means at least six hours per day. If you don’t have an area that gets much sun, put your containers on casters and wheel them to different areas in your yard. Or focus on growing herbs that can tolerate some shade, including cilantro, chervil, chives, and lemon balm.
Water and fertilize regularly. Some herbs vary in how much water they prefer. Lavender, for instance, prefers drier conditions. But most other herbs prefer consistent moisture. Depending on the weather, aim to water your container plants one to two times per week, and use fertilizer once or twice a month to help them stay strong.
Incorporate spring decor ideas
Swap out heavy, dark decor you may have favored during winter for fresh pastel tones and hues in spring. Throw pillows and blankets are an easy way to give your interior decor a boost for warmer months. Opt for pastels and nature-inspired prints. Or treat yourself to some early season blooms for a festive table centerpiece. Daffodils and tulips are easy to find this time of year, and they’re inexpensive.
If you still have pine-scented candles leftover from Christmas, get some new scents to enliven your home. Think light floral or herbal smells to switch up the atmosphere. For a bigger interior impact, you could even swap out dark area rugs, dinner plates, and glassware with lighter shades and patterns, which is a simple way to brighten up your indoor space.
Plan seasonal activities for the kids
The excitement of spring is infectious. Here are some ideas to inspire everyone in the family:
Plan a nature scavenger hunt.
Take a rainy day walk and splash in puddles.
Plant a family-friendly garden container. Marigolds, zinnias, nasturtiums, and sunflowers are easy flowers for the little ones to take care of.
Preparing an Irish feast. With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner on March 17, take the opportunity to engage the family in cooking up a festive Irish dinner. Classic favorites include corned beef and cabbage, Guinness beef stew, or shepherd’s pie.
Adopt clean eating habits
Spring is a wonderful time to introduce clean eating habits that are sustainable, rather than giving into a short-term fad diet. Farmers markets are opening back up, full of early season produce that is healthy, grown locally, and often organic.
Salad greens, fresh peas, radishes, strawberries, and rhubarb are just a few examples of what you’re likely to find this time of year. Swapping out a few processed staples with these fresh options can have a major impact on your overall well-being, without feeling like you’re sacrificing much.
Some other clean eating ideas include reducing your take-out food each week and choosing one day a week to go meatless. Obviously, these choices depend a lot on your personal situation, but they’re a starting point to get inspired.
Spring brings a sense of revitalization and the energy to create a fresh start at home. A little bit of planning and preparation now will help you make the most of the season before the hustle and shuffle of summer arrives.
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