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FRESH THINKING: SPRING INTO ACTION

Put a spring in your step with these simple seasonal ideas to help bring the outside in as well as great things to do when you’re out and about.

1. FLOWER POWER
Spring flowers give everyone a lift at this time of year. Fill a windowsill with tulip, crocus or daffodil bulbs in plastic pots from the local grocery or convenience store. They’re also great to pop, pots and all, into large pots or planters on your front step. Take an afternoon out to visit the Andover Plant Nursery, Andover Estate, N7 to stock up.

2. BEST FOOT FORWARD
Take advantage of the warmer weather by  venturing out for a walk in your neighbourhood. For a more structured stroll, join the new Walkaholics group  starting on 3 June. Meet at Drovers Centre at 1pm for a gentle walk while exploring the local area and history of Islington. It will take around two hours, so make sure you wear comfortable footwear.

3. WARM WELCOME
Give your front door a fresh new look for spring. Replace your winter-ravaged doormat with a new one. If you’re feeling creative, why not design a personalised doormat containing your very own message from Not On The High Street (a tried and tested supplier). www.notonthehighstreet.com (enter ‘doormat’ into their homepage search bar and you’ll soon find them).

4. REPOT TO RENEW
Repotting a houseplant offers up new room for roots to roam and a fresh source of food, which also extends the plant’s life. If you need to repot indoors, lay down a plastic sheet first. Carefully tip the plant upside down. If it is overgrown, you’ll find it needs a thump; if that doesn’t work, take an old kitchen knife and slice around the edge of the pot. You can use houseplant compost, but multipurpose compost with some grit or bark mulch to aid drainage works just as well. Don’t add broken china to the bottom of the pot – it’s a myth that they improve drainage.

5. CHECK ALARMS
Fire safety includes undertaking a battery check every six months. A great way to remember this task is to do it when you reset clocks for daylight savings. You may lose an hour in bed, but you’ll gain extra peace of mind.

6. BRING IN THE BRIGHT
Replace darker colours in your living space with lighter ones as soon as the weather warms up. Cover dark upholstery with light slipcovers; dark-toned pillows and other accents should be switched to light ones. Visit Smug at 13 Camden Passage, N1 8EA for eclectic inspiration. When you have finished browsing the homeware designs you can go to recently launched Café Smug for a coffee in its eccentric surroundings. www.ifeelsmug.com

 

7. IMPROMPTU PICNIC
Given the fact that British weather is unreliable at the best of times, take advantage of a particularly nice day and invite a few friends to join you for an impromptu picnic. Head to Highbury Fields, Rosemary Gardens, Caledonian Park or Spa Fields with a flask, sandwiches and something to satisfy your sweet tooth. You’re all set for an afternoon’s fun in the sun with your friends.

8. JUMBLE SALE
Take your spring cleaning one step further this year. Clean out your closets, garage, and cluttered cupboards. Sort and price items you no longer need. Choose a weekend day and invite your neighbours to join in at your very own jumble sale. It’s a great reason to socialise while generating some extra cash that you can use to treat yourself, or donate to a great cause like Age UK Islington!

9. BEAT THOSE BUGS
As the weather warms, insects return in search of food. Don’t put out the welcome mat. Instead, make sure all dry goods are stored in airtight containers. Wash your pet’s dishes as soon as they finish meals. Check seals on rubbish bins and wash all containers and bottles before recycling.

10. CLEAN UP
It wouldn’t be a spring list worth its salt without a few handy cleaning tips, so here goes… Sanitise you computer area by wiping down your computer screen and mouse pad with a lightly dampened microfibre cloth. Manage microwave messes by microwaving half a lemon and water in a microwave-safe bowl – smells great and softens hardened food so it cleans easily. And finally, discard old medicines, restock supplies, refill prescriptions, and replace any expired cosmetics.

 

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