Spring is well and truly in the air and for those of us on the west coast that means that we’re getting warm, sunny weather, an abundance of flowering plant life and a wonderful sense of hope and optimism pervading in the hearts and minds of the people. Wherever you live, even if you aren’t blessed with living in the golden state, the chances are that where you live will be starting to warm up and those first few beams of summer sunshine are starting to creep into your life. While summer is the time of year we typically associate with making memories of fun times spent with friends and family languishing in the sun, there’s something super special in the air in spring (and it’s not all the pollen, though hayfever sufferers should really start taking precautions right about now).
This is the time of year where we start to venture a little further out of our comfort zones and emerge from our shells a little. Spring is more than just a warm and pleasant time of year, it has a very real psychological effect on us, especially in areas where the turn of the season brings with it a dramatic change in weather. Perhaps it speaks to our hunter / gatherer instincts. After enduring months of slim pickings in the winter, our caveman brains have evolved to expect warmth, comfort and plenty as the sun comes out and the plants start flowering, giving us the foods we need to sustain ourselves. Although now is the time to be more social, get out of the house more, visit old friends and catch up with family, it’s also a time to enjoy the great indoors. It’s a time for dinner parties, cocktail soirees and maybe even the odd barbecue here and there (because, why not?). If we’re to fully enjoy the rest of spring and enjoy the transition into summer, it’s time to get our houses (quite literally) in order. Nobody wants to invite guests to a rundown shack when we can convert it into a palace with just a little elbow grease.
Here are some ways you can make sure you get the most of your home this season...
Clear out clutter
Many of us have more clutter taking over certain parts of our homes than we’d like to admit. We tend to think of it as something fairly benign and harmless, something that we’ll get around to cleaning eventually but for now we’re happy to simply let it occupy space in our houses and apartments. The trouble with clutter is that it’s like a virus. If left untreated it can grow, multiply and spread. Clutter attracts clutter and before you know it you’re adding everything that you can’t immediately find a home for onto the pile.
The trouble with this mentality is that it can quickly spiral into a clutter problem. While most of us shrug it off, clutter actually has a very negative effect on our psychology. It can increase our stress levels, distract us (especially when we work at home), and the National Institute Of Mental Health have found that cluttered environments can be psychologically harmful and damaging to children. If you want to create a happy and healthy household, ridding the home of clutter is one of the easiest ways to go about it. Moreover, it can be quite a profitable enterprise, too. Throwing a yard sale or selling unwanted items on eBay or Amazon marketplace can make you a little extra PIN money to enjoy over the sunny months. Remember that one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
Deep clean everything
Do you ever feel like no matter how much you tidy the place your home never ever feels clean? This, in itself, can take a psychological toll. It can make us feel like the effort we put in to keep the house clean and tidy is all for nought. The best way to rid ourselves of this feeling is a deep and comprehensive spring clean of the home. The spring clean is a time honored tradition that goes back centuries and transcends culture, religion and geography. Wherever human beings have chosen to create civilizations, we’ve felt the need to deep clean and tidy our homes. It takes a full day to do properly but when you’ve scrubbed the mildew from the shower cubicle, resealed the kitchen sink to get rid of the nasty black gunk that congregates there, scrubbed your floors and kitchen countertops until they gleam and rid the stove of the baked in gunk that’s been accumulating there over the last few months something incredible happens. We feel a wonderful sense of pride, serenity and completion when we relax in our pristine spring cleaned home.
Check out the roof and attic
Now that the winter rain and snow are an increasingly distant memory, now’s a great time to get up to the roof to look out for broken or dislodged shingles. Look after your roof now and your home will stay cool and fresh in the summer while staying warm and cosy in the winter. If your shingles are dislodged and you don’t much feel like replacing them more than once in your lifetime it may be worth the extra expense to invest in designer / architectural shingles. These are far more customisable in appearance than their regular counterparts and come with a lifetime guarantee.
It’s also worth checking your attic for signs of anything that could compromise your insulation. Your attic can become home to all raccoons and rodents of all sizes in the colder months so look out for droppings, bite marks, burrowes holes or damp patches. Replacing your cavity wall insulation now while demand is scarce may save you good money in the long term.
Keep an eye out for critters
Speaking of raccoons, there are a multitude of different critters who will be waking up from their winter slumber and getting more and more adventurous in the warmer months. While we’re keeping the windows open and blasting our favorite tunes as we enjoy the long days and stream of sunshine coming into the home, be wary of inviting snakes, raccoons, rats, mice and opossums. If you encounter any of the above it’s far more advisable to call a pest removal expert than to try and remove them yourself. These are wild creatures and their behavior can be unpredictable. Raccoons, for example may look cute and cuddly but they can wreak havoc in your home and can be aggressive if cornered. An expert can not only remove furry and scaly intruders in a humane way, they can help you take steps to prevent them or their friends from returning. You should also be sure to clean up after yourself immediately after cleaning and keep food well stored so that it isn’t allowed to tempt uninvited guests.
Make the most of the light
Since we’re getting more light for longer in the day, it’s the perfect time to make the most of the light coming into your home. Even something as simple as replacing your heavy drapes or curtains with a blind can flood your rooms with sunlight. Not only does the steady flow of sunshine into the home give your mental health a much needed boost it can also really add vibrancy to your walls and make the colors pop. You don’t need to have boldly colored walls to get this effect (current trends favor subtler tones this year anyway). In fact, this season gelato colors are very popular on walls. These subtle pinks, yellows, purples and pistachio greens don’t call too much attention to themselves but when they meet the amber glow of the sun they really pop.
Unleash the power of plants
There are a huge range of benefits to getting outside of the home and communing with nature. But while most of us will be getting out and about a whole lot more enjoying a few drinks with friends in open air terraces or picnics in the parks with our loved ones, there’s a string argument to be made for letting a little bit of nature into your home. If you run a business, or even work in an office you’ll be aware of the health benefits of house plants. They create a sense of calm and tranquility (which will really add to the serenity that you’ve brought to your home with your spring clean). They can reduce your stress and create a sense of calm and wellbeing, which makes them essential for those who work from home. They can also help to improve concentration by boosting the humidity and oxygenation of the room. In fact there’s evidence to suggest that they can boost healing and immune function.
If you’re more of a flowers person than a plants person you’ll want to fill your home with blooms that simply sing that spring is here. Daffodils are the quintessential spring flower and their vivid yellow blooms add color and cheer to any room. Anemones are boldly colored and secy shile carnations are long lasting and their variety of colors makes them perfect for virtually any room.
With just a little tweaking, your home is the perfect place to enjoy the sunshine and party with those closest to you.