Order Seeds! And 6 More Ways to Make the Most of This Weekend

If the weather has you stuck inside, cozy up with your favorite hot drink and tackle an organizing project or two

By Laura Gaskill  |  Courtesy of Houzz.com

It’s a good weekend to curl up with a stack of colorful seed catalogs, do some family genealogy and make a hot drink. These seven “could-dos” — including listing your favorite books of 2017 and beautifying one tiny corner of your home — will keep you busy, no matter what Mother Nature is doing outside.

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1. Order seeds (or attend a seed swap). Take the chill off a winter weekend by poring over your favorite seed catalogs, and dream up some plans for your spring garden. Take some time to sketch out your garden and decide what you have room for before ordering. It’s easy to get carried away! If you’d prefer to trade with other gardeners rather than buy seed (especially good for finding heirloom seeds), consider attending a seed swap. National Seed Swap Day is Saturday, Jan. 27, and there will be events happening across the country. You can find a forum of avid seed-savers on Houzz, or join the Seed Savers Exchange online to swap through the mail. 

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2. Make a list of your favorite books of 2017. Pour yourself a mug of tea and peruse your bookshelves. Which books did you really love in 2017? Looking back over what you’ve read in the last year is a great way to sneakily edit your library and deepen your connection to the books that have won a place in your heart (and on your shelves). Keep an empty shopping bag for giveaways beside you as you scan the shelves, and when you come across a title you didn’t enjoy, add it to the bag.

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3. Do a bit of family genealogy. Figuring out what to do with old family photos is tough, especially when there are boxes and boxes of them. Keep the project interesting — and manageable — by tackling one small pile at a time, and challenge yourself to learn something about the people in the pictures. Note what you find out, including names, dates, locations and relationships. Just one album (or a thoughtfully curated photo box) can be more meaningful than an entire closetful of unsorted (and unlabeled) old photos.

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4. Get a head start on organizing for tax time. Tax day in the United States isn’t until April 17, but if you know you’re prone to procrastination, why not start organizing your financial documents now? Sort through loose papers in your home and office to be sure you’re not missing anything, compile receipts and other records and put everything in one easy-to-find place. If you’re planning to have an accountant prepare your taxes, touch base to make sure you’re not forgetting anything.

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5. Make one spot in your home more beautiful. Pick one tiny area — it could be a dressing table, hall console or open shelf in the kitchen — and completely empty it. 

Clean the surface, choose only what you want to put back and remove the rest. 

To finish, add something beautiful, such as a bud vase with a single bloom.

 

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6. Make your favorite hot drink at home. Whether you go for decadent hot chocolate, chai lattes or emerald-green matcha tea, consider whipping up your own version of your favorite coffeehouse drink at home. When the weather outside is frightful, it’s nice to have the supplies on hand to fix your usual order without taking off your slippers. (And, hey, somebody needs to test-drive that hot chocolate cocktail for Valentine’s Day.)7. Check your home and landscape after winter storms. If your area has been hit with a winter storm, be sure to take a walk around your property when the weather clears to look for damage. If needed, call an arborist to remove downed tree limbs.

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7. Check your home and landscape after winter storms. If your area has been hit with a winter storm, be sure to take a walk around your property when the weather clears to look for damage. If needed, call an arborist to remove downed tree limbs.