It’s spring, it’s spring! (Kind of.) Chicago has felt a string of 70-degree days, although lest we get too excited, there was also a mini blizzard this past weekend. Even still, it’s so close. Thisclose. Can you feel it? Every year, Scott and I joke that Chicagoans have winter amnesia, us included. We’re so ridiculously happy to feel the warm sun in April (or May or June, honestly), that we forget winter ever happened! Chicago spring, summer and fall are so magical, and perhaps it’s that Midwestern mentality that we’ve earned it, but you guys. We’ve earned it!
It’s also at this time of year that every small act seems to offer up a world of difference – but isn’t there a life lesson in there, too? From cracking open the windows for the first time all year, to stuffing your favorite vase full of fresh blooms, well, it’s one mood booster after the next, don’t you think? Below, we’re sharing the steps we take we at the start of this season to get our home – and our selves! – ready for spring. Ready for the new season (both literally and figuratively) ahead.
We wash the windows, inside and out. | If there’s one thing that makes a room, it’s lighting. This goes for natural light, too! Washing the windows, while a bit of a time suck, makes all. the. difference, but good music will help the time fly! We promise you, this one is worth it.
We remake the bed with lighter linens and fold away that extra coverlet. | Folding away that extra heavy blanket is one of those things that always makes us ask each other, Are we ready? Is it time? It’s time.
We wash the baseboards. | This one falls under Least Likely to Enjoy, but it’s a small detail that will have your whole house singing. (I can’t stress this one enough.) We usually follow this up with a damp Magic Eraser to clean up any wall scuffs, too.
We empty out the fridge (mostly) and wipe down all the shelves. | The refrigerator, the dishwasher, the oven and the stove top – they all need attention after a long winter of homemade comfort meals. Although we try to clean up spills as they happen, we’ll go the extra mile and remove items from shelves and soak the oven grilles.
We add fresh (or faux) greenery. | We can’t not scoop up a few bunches of silver dollar eucalyptus (our favorite!) whenever we see it, but when all else fails, we go faux. At the end of a cleaning session, it always feels like such a treat to place a vase of greens on the dining table.
We change the furnace filter. |Winter, spring, summer and fall – you better believe we’re swapping out the old filter for new! We make sure to have a few backups in our furnace closet so we can make the change instantly. (Because nothing kills momentum more than having to first run to the hardware store.)
Our Indoor Essentials
We cut back our garden and fill in with new. |At the first signs of those little green shoots, we’ll spend an hour on the back patio cutting back the dead growth to make room for new. If we notice that something hasn’t made it over the winter, we’ll treat ourselves to a lively perennial from a local nursery.
We uncover, spray and wipe down the patio furniture. |This might be one of our favorite tasks! Every winter, we cover our patio furniture and fireplace, and every spring, we’re giddy at the thought of peeling it all back. We’ll also blow off any debris, spray everything down and wipe off any winter gunk.
We scrub down the grill (and pick up chicken sausages and veggies). | We’ll celebrate our outdoor successes with the first spring dinner from the grill! It’s even sweeter when shared with friends.
Our Outdoor Essentials
We re-evaluate our wardrobes and donate anything we didn’t wear this winter. | I’m proud to say that my Konmari-ed closet is still looking clean and tidy, but in a past life, I would spend 30 minutes at the end of winter to donate the clothes I didn’t wear. If I didn’t wear it for an entire season, chances are, I won’t be excited to wear it next year!
We ditch the flannel pjs and fleece lined leggings for crisp cotton. | It’s always a happy day to say goodbye to thick sleeping socks and fleecy joggers. Although cuddly and cozy during the holiday season, they begin to feel like a weight come April – who’s with me?
We burn a lightly scented candle. | We tuck away the fir, nutty and sage scented candles, and we unleash the scents of spring: citrus, fresh cut grass and sun soaked lavender. It’s magical what a new scent can do for the soul.
We change up our beauty routine. | As the seasons change, so does our skin. I’ll swap to a lighter – but still tough! – face lotion (loving this one right now!), and I’ll remind Scott to do the same – ha! I’ll also skip the deep conditioner every now and again in favor of a cold water rinse, or if I’m feeling up for it, an ACV rinse for a boost of shine! And for mid-day pick me ups, I’ve been loving this facial mist so much. PS: This champagne candle is a dead ringer for the cult favorite scent of Anthropologie.
Our Self Care Essentials
How do you prepare for the changing of the seasons?
What a delightfully fun post! It’s going to be 64 here in Minneapolis and 70 tomorrow and 60’s for as far as the forecast goes. The last of the snow from last weeks storm just melted so yes! I declare spring is here! I LOVE spring cleaning and sweeping away of old heavy things (physical and metaphorical) and picking up maybe a new fun bright thing or two :) Cheers!
It’s 40 today, but is supposed to be near 70 this weekend! Ahh this crazy weather. Spring in the midwest, haha. Happy Friday to you! I’ll be spring cleaning today, and I couldn’t be more excited for it.
Where is Scott in the flower shot? I figure it’s from last year, but if I can see those flowers right now I want to be there…
Yes, from last year ;) and it’s in Humboldt Park, just north of division, west of the boulevard. Humboldt Park has so many pretty gems hidden throughout… can’t wait for those blooms again!
I’ll have to check it out. We always seem to drive by and through the park but still have never played there.
The BRASS CRAB in the last picture! I have it too (the shell flips up for storage?).
Yup! I think it’s actually meant to be an ash tray – or at least, that’s what we always thought? We don’t keep anything in ours, but we should start stashing our secrets in there. ;)
Love these tips! I plan to tackle some this weekend since it’ll be pouring out. I saw you mention that you soak your oven grilles. Do you have a tried and true method for getting them clean? Ours are cast iron and need a thorough cleaning but I can’t seem to get them to stop being sticky!
It can be tough! But you can try soaking them in a sing full of hot soapy water and then using a scratch free scouring pad to loosen the debris. They’ll never really be as perfect as the day they were new, but you can get close!
I’ve been using the 11 11 perfume since you recommended it in your holiday round up. Seems strange to order a perfume without smelling it first…. thankfully, I LOVE it. Obsessed. Wear it daily. So thank you!!
Glad to hear this! I’m wearing it right now! It’s subtle and so, so nice.
Such a good list! My husband and I started our outdoor list on the very first warm day we had. Winter once again felt long in PA. Last year, we had so much rain it was hard to mow the grass, let alone anything extra. So, this year, we’ve been knocking things off the to-do list any chance we get. We’ve also been able to take a few good hikes. I’m ready for the outdoors to look alive again! I’ve seen a few tiny leaves peeking out, but that’s about it so far. Soon, I tell myself, soon. :)
Soon. So soon! We’ve noticed the green shoots peeking up through the soil in our planter boxes, and every day, Lucy and I will see if we can find the tops of our row of hostas. We’re thisclose to warmth after a brutally cold winter!
This list made me feel accomplished and I haven’t even tackled any of these things yet! haha. Finally getting our privacy fence installed and getting rid of our chain link and I can’t wait to get the backyard up and running, but you never know when we are truly done with winter in Chicago!