Make the Most of Spring Fever

Spring fever is a real phenomenon, says Scientific American. Being outdoors on a warm, sunny spring day is proven to lighten the mood and increase energy, and spring may even intensify romantic impulses by bringing on hormonal fluctuations. Make the most of your seasonal reawakening to get the things done that have been nagging at you throughout the winter — whether that means #decluttering and #organizing, exercising, planning a trip, #spring #cleaning or something else. Things just get easier when warm weather is on the way. #SpringFever

Make the Most of a Spring Break

With school spring breaks and Easter celebrations, many students will have a full week off this month to spend with their families or take a trip. That kind of down time is rare to get, so if you have (or can take) the week off together, make the most of it.

There are plenty of options for a cost-effective trip for the entire family, Family Destinations says, from spring skiing in Colorado and Upstate New York to soaking up the sun in Puerto Rico, Cancun or Jamaica.

Thriftier still — but just as fun — are road trips and camping trips. Whether you want to sleep under the stars or see the city lights, there’s likely an option within a day’s drive of home. Try Roadtrippers and other apps to plan your adventure.

The thriftiest and safest option, of course, is the staycation. While it might be a letdown for kids with wanderlust, you can make it special by planning leisure activities that you don’t normally make time for on school days.

Hikes, scavenger hunts, museum visits and art projects are all fair game. Or visit the library, camp out in the backyard or make your own film festival, National Heritage Academies suggests.

Another good idea is to spend a day or two #decluttering and #cleaning up your house in order to get it ready for the busy summer season. Chances are that there’s a lot of #stuff that needs to find a new home, not to mention some dirt and grime from the winter.

Sort through that stuff, and #donate whatever you don’t want to ClothingDonations.org. Challenge your kids to sort through, #organize and #declutter their possessions, too; there may be any number of school outfits that no longer fit or toys that get ignored.

Then, reward them (and/or yourself) with a special #spring-break outing! You’ll come home to a #cleaner, more #clutter-free place.

Get a Headstart on Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is a tradition that’s likely as old as civilization itself. Certain cultures even incorporate spring cleaning into their religious practices, but the imperative is more likely a byproduct of brighter days and warmer weather. People naturally want to shake off the cold, dark days of winter and make a fresh start.

You don’t have to wait unit March 20 to begin a thorough spring cleaning, however. In fact, with unusually warm months ahead predicted for much of the U.S., it may feel like spring in your area sooner — and that means you can take advantage of the weather to make everything spotless.

The Simply Organized Home suggests starting spring cleaning in February — that’s now — with a thorough #decluttering. “There is no reason to start deep-cleaning if you are surrounded by clutter,” it says. “There is no point in cleaning things that you don’t need, use or love.”

Go through the house room by room and get rid of the things that are just taking up space — clothing you don’t want or need, small appliances you don’t use, knickknacks that hold no real sentimental value. Box and bag your lightly used castoffs and visit ClothingDonations.org to schedule a free #donation #pickup.

With that #junk out of the way, you can start #deep-cleaning. Take a single room and dust, vacuum and clean everything in it, from the window treatments to the windows to the linens to the baseboards to the floors. Proceed to the next room (not necessarily on the same day) until everything is clean.

Alternatively, Apartment Therapy has a single-day spring cleaning plan that refreshes bedding and household fabrics while also sanitizing windows, woodwork and other seldom-scrubbed parts of the home that may have accumulated dirt and grime over the winter.

Spring cleaning is a once-a-year opportunity to freshen your space and make it more livable. But you don’t have to wait — start it now, and you’ll be in a great position to fling open your windows and enjoy the gentle breezes.

Buy Gardening Goods at the Thrift

While the Organizing Blog never advocates buying more #stuff than you really need, savvy shoppers can often find springtime gardening essentials such as gloves, tools, pots and planters among the castoffs at local thrift stores supplied by your generous donations to ClothingDonations.org. And if you need to get rid of some of your lightly used (but disused) gardening equipment and other household items as you start spring cleaning, now is the time to schedule a #donation pickup!

Bringing Your Garden Biodiversity

Want to make your garden ecofriendly, biodiverse and sustainable? Garden Design recommends planting an oak or native fruit tree to provide a butterfly habitat, adding a bird bath, adding a naturalized “meadow” area with native “weeds” such as milkweed, and growing flowering vines to attract hummingbirds without having to fill a feeder with sugar water. A garden tailored to your area’s climate tends to use less water and allows gardeners better options for treating pests without chemicals.