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Adlen Robinson: First day of spring time for a fresh start

Do you know what today is? It is the first day of spring. I don’t know about you, but I have been waiting for this season for what feels like forever. 

I know my friends from up North, out West, and everywhere in between think we have it pretty good here in Georgia, and I truly know we do. Still, winter and the cold, wet, grey days associated with it make me sad. I dream of spring, sunshine, flowers and all things gardening all winter long.

I also plan my spring-cleaning projects all winter long and now it is time to implement all of those plans. How about you? Do you plan spring projects? Here are some ideas to hopefully inspire you and ensure you have a successful and productive spring season.

First, take inventory of the projects you want to accomplish — and definitely write them down.

Plan a garden — even if it will be a small one. If you have room for one, plan on stacking some 2-by 8-inch boards and making rectangle raised beds. Even one is great for planting a tomato and cucumber plant or two. I love having one entire raised bed just for my herbs. Nothing makes me happier than visiting that herb bed every night before cooking dinner — fresh herbs make everything taste better.

Clean out the garage. Too often the garage becomes the place we store things we don’t know what else to do with. The best way to approach this particular project is to wait for a sunny (or at least not rainy) day, and take everything out of the garage and onto the driveway. 

Be ruthless when it comes to getting rid of things. Painting the garage floor and the walls goes a long way to making the garage look brand new and super clean. Consider investing in a system to organize the tools in the garage. Having a place for everything makes keeping the garage tidy so much easier.

Clean out your closet. So many of us keep clothes we have had for years and years and many of those we never wear or can’t fit into. If getting rid of clothes and shoes isn’t something you want to do, think about it this way: there are people out there who will benefit from your “hand-me-downs.” Many of those people truly need things you have that you don’t need. Purging actually is freeing. Try it.

Schedule a spring-cleaning day. If you have children, they need to be in on this event. Plan ahead and definitely have a plan of action. We always found when it came to getting assistance from our children, bribery helped. A special dinner out, a trip to the movies, or of course, cold hard cash might ensure good, hard workers.

Paint. Nothing changes the look of a room for not too much money than a fresh coat of paint. Maybe your bedroom could use a bit of a makeover — just by changing the paint color and purchasing a new bedspread and maybe some new throw pillows, your bedroom is suddenly completely transformed. 

The same thing is true of your bathroom. Paint the walls, get some new bathmats and towels, and even if you can’t afford that pricey remodel, your bathroom will look new and refreshed.

Spruce up your outdoor space. This is a great time to plant some new shrubs, flowers and trees. In addition, maybe it is time to invest in some new deck/patio furniture and cushions. 

Is it time to refinish/stain your deck? This is the perfect time of year to do this — before it is too hot to work outside. If it is in the budget, invest in an outdoor fire pit. This is a great time of year to enjoy a cozy fire outside. S’mores anybody?

Get your carpets cleaned or your hardwood floors refinished. Especially if you have pets or children, or both, getting your carpets cleaned is always a good idea after a long winter when everybody is inside much of the time. We had our hardwood floors refinished last year (believe me, it was long overdue), and they are so much easier to keep clean now. Not to mention they look like new. If you have area rugs, this is a great time to get them professionally cleaned as well.

Get your air conditioner ready for the summer. Have a maintenance check-up and at the very least clean your outdoor unit and change your indoor filters 

Clean your windows and the screens. Get ready for that glorious sunshine to stream through your windows.

Happy springtime!

South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at