12 Easy and Fun Ideas to Refresh Your Home in Time for Spring

Squirrels are chasing each other outside my window.  Sun is shining on delicate green leaves, and the many buds on our azalea are beginning to open.

Even if you still have gray skies and icy mornings, I bet you're looking ahead to spring and all of its promise.  Time to welcome fresh air, sunshine, and a brand-new start.

Ready to make your home look like spring?  I am.

spring lamb

12 simple steps to a fresh start

1.  Let in light and air.

Okay, I know that cleaning windows is no one's favorite chore.  But we've been huddling by the fire and cuddling under blankets long enough.  Time to undrape those windows and let our homes breathe.

Mix a spray bottle full of equal parts white vinegar and hot water (I like to add a few drops of lemon essential oil*).  Gather your lint-free cleaning cloths (old cloth diapers or white tee shirts work well) and make your windows shine!  When you're ready to do the outside, that can be a much dirtier job, so follow the advice here.  Be sure to clean and repair screens so you can open your windows on the first warm day.

* This blog is reader-supported.  If you buy through my links, I may earn a small commission.

Once you've finished, consider leaving off your heavy drapes in favor of sheer curtains, or invest in some curtain holdbacks.

If you really hate cleaning windows and can't afford to hire someone to do it, try cleaning just one window per day.  You may be so inspired by your clearer, brighter view that you go ahead and do more.

2.  Get something growing.

That's what spring is all about, after all.  Even if it's too cold to plant outside, you can start garden plants inside.  You could also plant some herbs such as basil, mint, and lemon balm, and keep them near a sunny window.  Or buy a new house plant such as pothos, snake plant, or a peace lily.

3.  Add flowers.

A bouquet of tulips or freesia would be elegant, and if you can cut some blooming branches your house will instantly look more spring-like.  But if you don't have those options or you have allergies, add floral elements another way.

  • Do you have floral bedsheets, toss pillows, or perhaps a tablecloth?  Now's the time to use them.
  • Maybe you have floral dishes, a vase, or an heirloom tea set.  Use or display them.
  • How about a set of three floral canvas prints for your entry hall, living room, dining room, or bedroom?

4.  Add scents.

This can be as simple as changing up your dish soap or bath soap (I love Yardley English Lavender), or adding a different essential oil to your white vinegar/water cleaning spray.  You could also use simple pantry ingredients and fresh herbs to make two sensational slow-cooker potpourri recipes, lemon vanilla and minty lime.

On a warm day, open the windows and let fresh breezes into your home.

5.  Visit a farmer's market.

If they're not open yet where you live, visit the produce section of a natural foods store instead.  Fill your basket with seasonal delights such as asparagus, avocados, early strawberries, peas, carrots, radishes, beautiful lettuces, and more.  Display some as a spring centerpiece, but enjoy eating them all!

6.  Tidy the coat closet and mud room.

After months of cold weather, this area may be a jumble of coats, scarves, gloves, boots, rain hats, and umbrellas.  Time to sort things out, clean them up, and prepare to store them until next year.  If there are items you didn't use this winter, box them up and label them clearly so you can donate them next fall.  Someone will be thrilled to get what you don't need.

add flowers

7.  Purge the pantry.

Spring is a great time to take everything out of your pantry, toss items that are expired, donate things that are still good but that you bought on a whim and will never eat, and reorganize what's left.  Wipe down shelves and replace shelf paper, if you use it.  Store like things together so you can see at a glance what you have and what you need.

If appropriate, stock with things you'll use for the warmer season, such as

  • barbecue sauce
  • an extra jar of mayonnaise for potato and macaroni salads
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Dijon and yellow mustards
  • jars of pickles and olives
  • cans of tuna and garbanzo beans (here's a great recipe)
  • whole or chopped walnuts, pecans, and/or cashews
  • whole wheat or lentil pastas
  • couscous or quinoa

8.  Rearrange the furniture.

Moving furniture can make your home feel fresh and new, and it costs nothing.  Consider orienting your couch or bed to look out a window.  Move end tables, lamps, chairs – even remove pieces to make more room.  Take this opportunity to dust, mop, vacuum, etc.

Even if your result is no better (or not as good) as what you currently have, it feels good to try something new, and you even get a bit of a workout.

9.  Dust and declutter bookshelves.

You can "style" your bookshelves, but I prefer to have things that are useful and beautiful rather than pointless.  Our bookends are large polished mineral specimens my husband (son of a geologist) has picked up in different places over the years.  There are a couple of plants in pretty pots and a couple of cherished photos in nice frames.  Otherwise my bookshelves hold books.

In case you think removing all of your books, dusting them, and cleaning the shelves once a year or so is just a bit too fussy, let me tell you about my mother-in-law's bookshelves, which I helped to pack up when she left the family home to move closer to Jon's oldest brother.  We're not talking dust, we're talking grime, sort of oily and impossible to remove.  The tops of the books were blackish.  And they smelled like decay.

Once a year cleaning isn't ridiculous.

Display some of your all-time favorites on the coffee table, donate books you'll never read again, and leave room for summer reading.

10.  Clean up the deck, porch, and patio.

Prepare for more daylight and warmer temperatures.  A pleasant outdoor room, even just a tiny table on an apartment balcony, is a wonderful luxury.  It makes morning coffee and evening drinks just a bit more special.  Consider adding pots of lavender or rosemary to scent the area, fairy lights for a bit of sparkle, and maybe a wind chime or DIY water fountain.

11.  Make your entry welcoming.

Your front door is probably dusty or mud-spattered, so give it a good wash.  A nice front door welcomes you and your guests and adds curb appeal, so you might want to paint it too.  A red door is bold and stimulating, green is fresh, and navy is confident.  A sunny yellow is cheerful, and black is sophisticated.  But whatever color you choose, use high quality semi-gloss paint for a bit of sheen and easy cleanup.  Hang a wreath (faux is fine) to complete your home's focal point.

If your doormat is worn or hopelessly dirty, replacing it is an easy fix and will protect your floor inside.

Don't let overgrown landscaping hide your home or block the windows.  A well-manicured yard feels orderly and lets more light into the house, so spend some time trimming, weeding, mowing, and edging if the yard is beginning to look like a jungle.

12.  Add music.

Here's my classical playlist for spring.  Enjoy!

Want more inspiration to make your home a haven?

We need the shelter that our homes provide.  But think about how you feel when you walk into your home.  What happens to your energy and your mood?  Does your home make you feel as good as it could?  Does it support the quality of life you need and want?  If not, why not?  What should you do to make a change?

These are important questions, because the answers affect you and your family every day.

With my book Comfortable Minimalism: Create a Home With Plenty of Style and a Lot Less Stuff, you can start making your home more beautiful and welcoming right now, even if you have no money to spend.  Experience more open space, more natural light, and easier home care.  Choose and display the items that bring you the most joy.  Make small changes for a big impact.

From slight tweaks to a completely new look, Comfortable Minimalism is packed with ideas and projects that will make your home the stylish haven of your dreams.


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