Forget spring ‘cleaning’— instead, go for a little spring decorating
Spring is here, so let’s examine five inexpensive things that you might do to celebrate the new season. All of these ideas take up very little room, and all are affordable.
An old Chinese adage advises that if you have merely two pennies left in the world, use one to buy bread, the other to buy a flower.
We surely can all use a small dose of cheer.
For your front door, make or buy a wreath that celebrates the colors of the season (you might, of course, have to pretend that you live up North): yellow, pink, lavender, blue and purple.
When you buy or make an artificial wreath, look for greens that are made of plastic.
Before you shudder, know that the technology of artificial plants has advanced to the point that the plant materials and blossoms look very realistic.
You don’t need ribbons or bows, because you want this adornment to look as authentic as possible — as though you cut flowers from your own back yard and stuck them into the wreath.
You might begin with an affordable grapevine wreath from your local crafts store, and a silk ivy plant. Artificial blossoms can be cut with wire snips and inserted into the twisted vines.
If you have more money to spend, consider a “living” succulent wreath, available at local nurseries.
These have less seasonal color, but they should last year-round.
Treat yourself to a new front doormat.
I advise you to stay away from cute sayings and obviously fake-looking entry mats with painted pictures of fairies or kittens.
Instead, make a grown-up statement about who lives beyond the entry door.
Look for solid colors, and know that there are dozens of practicalmaterials to select from, including rugs that can be hosed off.
Some of these have patterns and textures that mimic interior rugs. Don’t be skimpy with the size, because a tiny doormat on a large porch looks really silly.
String some twinkle lights along the fence or around the eaves on the porch.
I have clear lights looped along my side fence, which is visible each night from the kitchen door.
This can introduce a little dreamy quality to a balcony, patio or porch area.
Look also for little Chinese lanterns or other types of ornamental lightemitting diode (LED) lights, which are often sold at home-improvement stores, Big Lots, Tuesday Morning or T.J.Maxx.
Buy a few blooming bulb plants for your windowsills or garden windows.
Choose pots of yellow miniature daffodils at the supermarket or home center.
Slip the plastic pots “as is” right into the slightly larger, matching decorative baskets.
You might also insert the bulbs into water pitchers or small ceramic pots.
Choose young plants for longer enjoyment as they grow.
Pick up fresh pots every few weeks to sustain a continuing springtime show.
You can look for hyacinths if you prefer blue. Freesia is a favorite of mine because the delicious fragrance of this African native exceeds earthy expectations. It is like an aromatic vacation.
Wash your windows. This costs you nearly nothing. I use warm water, white distilled vinegar and crumpled newspapers for the quickest and best results. You will not believe how lovely the inside of your rooms look when you simply clean the windows and screens.
Look around your rooms and pick up the scattered “stuff” like magazines, old mail, photos or clothing that needs a button or a seam mended. You will not spend money and can create extra space in any room by reorganizing and cleaning up. Engage the entire family.
Christine Brun is a Creators.com columnist.
For easy affordable spring color, choose pots of yellow miniature daffodils at the supermarket or home center.