The great thing about April is we can finally stop hibernating! Winter has turned the corner and headed out of sight until the end of the year. It's not just time to get out into the fresh air -- it's time to let it in as well.
1 Open up the windows and let the fresh breezes flow through the house. At the end of the month when temperatures are warmer, it's a good time to give the outside a cleaning.
2 Another way to make the house fresh and clean after months of being locked up tight against the elements: clean the carpets. Especially if you've got kids, who knows what´s been tracked through the house over the winter? Rent a carpet steamer or call in a professional.
3 April is a good time (and safe bet) to put away the winter woolies and bring out your summer clothes. Whether you move them to an extra closet or pack them up in a chest, wash or dry clean everything so they're ready for wear in 6 months.
4 As soon as weather permits, get out into the garden and clean up all the leftover leaves and debris that has accumulated over the winter. Turn the soil to let it breathe, in readiness for planting. And start planning your garden. Changing it a little each year will keep tending to it fresh and exciting.
5 If you've never planted tulips, now's the time. Be playful and whimsical. There is nothing that says winter's over better than a bright, colourful bed of tulips.
6 Pre-plant your herbs. You can get them started in small indoor pots. When the time is right, transplant them into bigger outdoor pots or flower beds. They'll be stronger and heartier by this point. And since most herbs grow prolifically, you'll be able to start using them sooner.
7 Get ready for long, leisurely bike rides in the warm weather. Get your bike out of the shed, dust it off and get it tuned up by a pro.
8 Paint any rooms you've been meaning to. The temperature's warm enough to keep the windows open. And rooms will feel fresh and revived. It's also a good idea to give your front door a fresh coat. It'll be cleaner and more inviting.
9 For a real seasonal shift in the house, change over cushions, sheets and throws to lighter or brighter colours. It doesn´t have to be a drastic change to your decor. Pick colours that complement what's already there.
10 It's never too late to recommit to your New Year's resolutions. Now that you're not housebound, buy a new pair of running shoes. Or sign up for swimming, tennis, sailing or golf. Outdoor activities will help you get the most out of spring and summer before they´re gone again!