Organize the Hidden Areas That Spring Cleaning Missed

You may think you’ve done a thorough #spring #cleaning, Houzz says, but you may have missed some areas that tend to attract lots of #clutter. Living room cupboards, coffee tables and sideboards can fill up with stuff you don’t need, such as old DVDs, candles, menus and flyers, decorative objects, photos, and assorted electronic devices. The home-office desk attracts paperwork, bills and other items that need to be hidden quickly, as does the bedside table. The food storage container cabinet in your kitchen is probably crammed with old and mismatched bowls and lids, and every home has a “dump zone” where incoming goods get dropped.

Make Spring a Time of Personal Renewal

Spring — at least in places with relatively well-defined seasons — is a time of renewal. In the northern climates, crocuses and daffodils are already popping up, the trees are budding, and birds are chirping. Warm weather won’t be far behind.

As nature wakes from its winter slumber, people often start to emerge from their hibernation. That may mean socializing more, exercising outdoors or launching a new project. Whatever one’s rebirth engenders, it’s a welcome respite from the cold, gray days of winter.

“What better time than spring to regroup and reprioritize, and even reinvent ourselves and the lives we find ourselves living?” asks Abigail Brenner, M.D., in a Psychology Today article. Leading her seven suggested personal “rituals” to start a spring renewal? #Decluttering.

First, declutter your living space, sorting out any clothing that you haven’t worn in more than two years and #donating it ( can help). Follow up by getting rid of any pantry items and medications that have expired.

Next (and perhaps more importantly), clear your mental and emotional clutter. Shed the practices and habits that sap your energy. Let go of the past, commit to decisions you’ve been putting off, challenge limiting beliefs, and think positively. Progress is the goal, not perfection.

Try something new, and take advantage of the weather to do something outdoors. Try to #streamline and #renew your life to improve its overall quality. What are your priorities? Focus on what you value the most and structure your time around it.

Once your living environment and psyche are clear, you’ll be more relaxed — there’s just “less noise” in your brain, Mayo Clinic psychologist Craig Sawchuk told CNN Health. And the altruism engendered in donating goods “psychologically can have a really good impact.”

So this season, take a hint from nature: Take the initiative to renew your surroundings and your outlook. You’ll feel better and more refreshed every step of the way.

Grow Seeds in Just About Any Container

If you choose to start seeds for your garden, use a seed-starting kit with multiple cells for seedlings and add a grow light and/or heat mat for a technical assist. Or you can start seeds in “practically anything,” says HGTV. Use newspaper pots, disused seed trays, cardboard tubes, used cans and jugs, egg cartons or eggshells as containers. Just remember to label your pots or rows so you know what’s growing. Give seeds warmth, wetness and indirect sunlight Once the seedlings poke through the soil, move them to a sunny window ledge or greenhouse environment to mature into transplantable starters. #StartingSeeds

Start Some Easy-to-Grow Seedlings

If this is your first year starting plants from seed, start small, says. Easy-to-start vegetables include herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli and leafy greens such as spinach, kale and lettuce; easy flowering plants include cosmos, zinnias, marigolds and sunflowers. Fussier seeds require a temperature change to trigger the end of dormancy and germinate; the good news is that many of these are perennials that will return year after year in your garden. Whatever you choose, be sure that soil and air temperatures don’t ruin your carefully cultivated seedlings; schedule transplant according to the final frost date in your area. #StartingSeeds

Give Seedlings Plenty of Light

As you start to care for your homegrown seedlings, be sure to give them plenty of light — 12 to 16 hours per day. Mist the plants once or twice daily to keep them moist, and try a greenhouse-style covered tray to maintain light dampness. “If your seeds dry out, they won’t germinate, but if they stay too wet, they could rot,” says Swanson Nursery. When your seeds sprout, thin them to concentrate growing energy on the strongest. Once they have several leaves and a week or two before the transplant, “harden” your seedlings by giving them a few hours of outdoor time in a shady or protected spot every day. #StartingSeeds