UNITED STATES—I really can’t believe it, but it seems like winter zoomed past us and spring is just a few weeks away. Am I happy about the news? Without a doubt because for someone who is native to the Midwest, our winters can be downright brutal! We have had winters where we had a snowstorm once a week, to winters where the temperatures were in the 50s, 60s and 70s on some occasions. The weather is quite unpredictable to say the least.

I always tell people when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around that is always a good thing. Why St. Patrick’s Day? It just seems to always been nice, at least 60 degree weather, which is a positive sign in my opinion. So with winter getting ready to bid adieu and spring ready to say ‘hello’ what does this mean for most Americans? It means it’s time to get things in order. I know so many people just automatically hone their attention on spring cleaning, and that’s great, but there are other things that should be of focus as well.

First, I’m a big proponent of getting things organized outdoors. Those leaves, dog poop that may be sitting in the yard and patio furniture, it’s now time to clean those things up. Get out the water hose, some outdoor cleaning products and begin to get your yard in place, so that when the heat really intensifies you’re already prepared.

Next, turn your focus to organizing your closets. Yes, it’s time to start putting away all those winter clothes and start bringing out the spring and summer attire people. It can be a daunting task, but at the same time you don’t want to be looking at clothes in your closet that you might not wear for another 6 months. Save yourself the time and the hassle of having to do it later.

When it comes to cleaning the house, do it in phases. Please do not attempt to do a massive overhaul in a single day. While it’s not an impossible task, it will NOT be easy to do, if you don’t have the manpower behind you. This tends to happen over and over again. People want to clean, yet when the work presents itself everyone decides to space out or disappear. Not fair people, not fair at all. I think spring cleaning is the worse, because there is so much more that has to be completed than people originally expect. I mean windows, doors, the yard, the floors, the carpet, the attic, the basement; the entire house is in free-for-all once things get moving.

This is also that time of year that many begin planning for their gardens. Getting the grass, the soil/dirt in proper shape, only makes things easier down the line people. You don’t wait till the midst of summer to begin working on a garden. If you plan ahead you prepare yourself for less stress later. Now, let’s talk about the great thing about spring: longer hours of sunshine and much more feasible weather. This is the type of weather where a light jacket or no jacket at all tends to come into play.

In addition, we do need to prepare for plenty of rain that seems common come April, not to mention the pop-up of severe weather for most parts of the country. Have an emergency plan in place so you and the family knows exactly what do to when danger strikes. I may have been born in the winter, but I’ve always said this and I will continue to say it: I’ve always been a fan of fall and spring; it’s the two seasons of the year where the weather is too cold or not too hot. It’s the perfect balance!