Buy fresh cut flowers
iStock/dianazhFlowers make everything better. It's true. Nothing can lighten a dreary mood or a blah kitchen like a bright bouquet of springtime blooms. A study from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that people feel more compassionate toward others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed when there are fresh flowers in their home. Maximize their impact by placing them in a high-traffic area where you'll see them often. And when it comes to displaying your blooms, think outside of the box, er vase, with these creative spring decorating tips. Try floating blossoms in a crystal dish full of water, arrange mason jars into an old-fashioned indoor garden, or scatter petals across your mantle.
Map out your garden
iStock/Geber86All you need is a paper, a pencil (not a pen—trust us on this one), and imagination to start a garden. Along with Pinterest and Instagram, seed catalogs and home and garden magazines can provide inspiration. (Or try one of these best flowers for garden design.) If you're new to gardening, a local master gardener can help you figure out which plants work best in your area, what time to plant them, and how to take care of them. Scan your community directory for free classes and workshops or find a master gardener close to you through the American Horticultural Society.
Swap out your hand towels
iStock/InaTsDoing the dishes is basically the definition of "chore," but you can make it a little less dreary by drying your hands on a fun, spring-themed towel. Ditch the heavy winter colors and opt for lighter versions. Flowers are a springtime favorite but stores everywhere are stocking hand towels with funny scenes, bright Easter prints, or cheerful pastel colors. (Just make sure you're getting your towels squeaky clean with every wash, as they can be a major germ factory.)
Sprout seeds indoors
iStock/VaivirgaJust because you can't plant seeds in the ground yet, doesn't mean you can't start planting. Many master gardeners recommend starting fragile plants in seed trays indoors. You'll enjoy watching the tiny shoots sprout on your windowsill. Then once the sun is shining and the risk of overnight frosts is past, you can transfer them to the ground. Not sure where to start? Try one of these 11 vegetables to start indoors before spring, and reap the numerous health rewards of gardening.
Freshen up your body wash
iStockshironosovMove over, peppermint and pine; it's time to embrace the fresh scents of spring—and that includes scented items like your body wash, hand soap, lotion, and even lip balm. Even if spring isn't quite on the horizon yet, opt for fragrances that remind you of it. You can go traditional with light, citrusy florals or try an out-of-the-box scent like fresh linen, cut grass, or sea breeze. And when you do hop in the shower, make sure you're not making any of these 9 common mistakes people make in the shower in the winter.
Put away winter boots
iStock/AleksandarNakicOkay, so you might still need your heavy snow boots or waterproof galoshes for another month or two, but that doesn't mean you need to look at them all the time! Keep them handy but in a springy way with a cute floral storage bench, a hidden boot rack, or boot hangers in the closet. And make sure you know these 8 genius tips to make your boots last longer, including how to store them during the off-season.
Get a new wreath for your front door
iStock/celcakesWinter is all about decorating with ivy, holly berries, and twinkly lights, and while those are beautiful, nothing says you're ready to welcome spring like a wreath of lilies, tulips, daffodils, or even some colorful Easter eggs. Every time you go in your door you'll get a little rush of spring. Using a fresh wreath? Use this super-simple trick to make fresh wreaths last twice as long!
Take advantage of the extra sunshine
iStock/M_a_y_aThe weather may still be chilly but with each passing day we're getting more daylight. Take advantage of the extra sunshine by opening up your windows. (And deep clean them if necessary—use these 8 clever tricks to get perfectly clean windows). Even better, take a walk outside. Not only will you get some ideas for how to spruce up your yard once all the snow melts, but even a short walk in the sunshine gives you a multitude of health benefits. Check out these 15 great reasons to take a 15-minute walk.
iStock/KLSbearFlowers aren't the only way to bring spring indoors. Lemons, limes, and other brightly colored fruits make excellent centerpieces or displays when arranged in a pretty bowl. And they're as functional as they are fashionable. Need a lemon to zest into your pasta? It's right there! Or try one of these six fresh lemon desserts for a taste of spring.