The sky was overcast as Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his Western Pennsylvania burrow early Saturday morning. He “told” his Inner Circle handlers that he hadn’t seen seen his shadow, and to expect an early spring.
But the world’s most famous marmot is notoriously inaccurate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the woodchuck has zero predictive skill, and Phil’s track record has been equal to a coin toss — about 50/50 — for the last 10 years.
Whatever the groundhog says, no one north of the 35th parallel should be surprised to see wintry weather through mid-March at least. But having projects to do inside your own “burrow” while you hibernate will help make the next six weeks fly by.
This year — instead of just hoping for an early spring — make an early spring cleaning a reality. Start now by #decluttering, says The Simply Organized Home, because “There is no point in cleaning things that you don’t need, use or love.”
Put away or donate any winter-themed knickknacks and decorative items. With those out of the way and the junk you don’t want boxed and bagged for a #donation pickup from ClothingDonations.org, you can get to work on a deep-clean.
Start with the entryways, a checklist from Premeditated Leftovers says. Sweep, mop, and wipe down all surfaces. Empty the front closet to clean and store heavy sweaters and winter coats as the weather warms, or #donate them if they didn’t see any use over the winter.
Clean seldom-considered areas including as sliding door tracks, dryer vents, behind appliances, and the tops of baseboards and picture frames. Pressure-wash the patio and scrub your outdoor furniture and grill so you’re ready to enjoy warmer weather.
If you’re feeling ambitious (or empowered by your initial success), repeat the decluttering/deep-cleaning process in every room of the home, one by one. By the time temperatures reach the 60s and 70s again, your home will be streamlined and sanitized.
When you finally emerge from hibernation to see your shadow, you will no longer be encumbered by useless stuff and your home will feel fresh. And you’ll be ready to make the most of the spring and summer seasons.