This time of year, you’re probably itching for a little change of scenery. You’ve mostly been stuck inside all winter, staring at the same items that have been adorning your home since you took the holiday decorations down, and everything feels kind of stale. Since it’s not quite warm enough to start cleaning out the garden, your best option is to bring springtime indoors. All your house needs is a few little tweaks, and you’ll be feeling brighter in no time.

There’s a Reason It’s Called “Spring Cleaning”

Different cultures all over the world have developed their own traditions akin to what we call “spring cleaning.” Especially in climates with cold winters, people would often do a deep cleanse of their homes once it got warm enough to open windows and doors, allowing them to sweep away dust and get some fresh air into spaces that had been shut tight against the winter’s chill. 

In our modern era, a thorough scrub-down of our house can be done any time of year, but now is when our spirit needs it the most. To get started with your spring refresh, tackle some tasks that you usually put off for another time. For example, scrub your baseboards — you’ll be shocked at how much cleaner the room will look. This is also a great time of year to clean your windows, washing the window screens and interior casings. And since your windows are open, take the opportunity to clean your oven while you have all that beautiful ventilation.

One aspect of spring cleaning that I dread every year is the semiannual closet culling. I’m not a clothes hound by any means, but I do accumulate bits and pieces throughout the year — and if I didn’t get rid of a few things periodically my tiny closet would be overrun. The change of season is a perfect time to start pulling out items that you haven’t worn all winter, and put them in a pile to donate. (Trust me — if you didn’t wear it this year, you won’t wear it in the next.)

Along these same lines, try to pay attention to areas in the house that accumulate clutter. Kitchen counters, entryway tables and that spot in the living room where you love to sit are all places where stuff just magically gathers. Go through the piles of magazines you intended to look through and recycle them. If you have stacks of “reminders” notes, gather them up and address the ones you can, then put the rest into one organized list. Any way you can reduce clutter will get your home feeling spacious and fresh.

Bring Spring Inside

Since the season might be taking its time outdoors, you can always bring some springtime inside. This time of year, grocery stores and garden centers are chock full of spring flowers that will brighten up any room of the house. You could opt for cut flowers, but bulbs like tulips, grape hyacinths or daffodils will last for weeks if cared for properly in a bowl, vase or planter.

Spring decoration made with moss
Moss can be preserved and arranged artfully. (Photo by Caitlin Manner)

If you don’t have a green thumb, you could always get some faux flowers instead. The way to ensure these don’t look silly is to use ones that would be blooming in season outside. Branches of faux pussy willow or forsythia always look beautiful arranged in a tall, cylindrical glass vase. Alternatively, you could opt for some greenery apart from flowers. Moss is having a major moment in the interior decorating world, whether it’s preserved and arranged artfully as a wall hanging, or formed into balls and displayed in a glass bowl. 

Follow Your Nose

One of the harbingers of spring I cherish the most is its smell. I associate spring’s arrival with the smell of fresh grass, wet dirt and all the beautiful floral scents starting to emerge. They don’t really make candles with my particular nostalgia bouquet (“Ooh, smell this one! It’s called ‘Wet Mud’!”) but it’s likely you can still find a scent that evokes the season for you. Just like a pine-scented candle makes the Christmas season feel complete, a candle that has a slightly woodsy, floral fragrance can pull your spring décor together beautifully.

It’s Time to Color Swap

We tend to associate certain colors with each season: Fall features deep jewel and earthy tones, winter is often starkly white or ice blue, and summer is full of yellows and greens. Spring, though, is soft. Spring is a time to lean into pastels, like robin’s-egg blue or the green of a new leaf. To help brighten up your home, add some fresh throw pillows or blankets in pastel hues and bright patterns to really evoke the new season.

Top image by Maya23K from Getty Images, via

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