21 Ways to Make the Most of Leap Day

Wondering what to do with that extra day? We've come up with 21 ideas that are practical, rewarding and probably overdue. 

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By late February, most people have moved on from their New Year's resolutions, and dreams of an organized home or a major clutter purge have been pushed away to next year. But this year, we’ve been given a special gift: more time. Every four years, we actually get an extra day, and that means more time to devote to making our clutter-free, deep-cleaned, ultra-organized dreams a reality.

Leap Day

Leap Day

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/Craig Dingle

©iStockphoto.com/Craig Dingle

So what if this year’s extra 24 hours happen to fall on a Monday? My suggestion: take the day off and make the most of it. Do the things you always want to do but never seem to have time for. This is a free day! Don’t treat it like any old regular calendar day. This is Leap Day, and Leap Day is magical.

1. Create a Gallery Wall

Lead?- Art Wall

Lead?- Art Wall

Photo by: Sarah Dorio & Rustic White

Sarah Dorio & Rustic White

So you've been collecting art, framing family pictures and just waiting until the perfect day rolls around when you have the time to really focus on your gallery wall … the time is now! We know it can be a bit daunting, but with some expert tips and a little pin-worthy inspiration, we know you can do it!

Find Your Inspiration

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Make a Statement

Have Fun With the Layout

Think About Placement

Develop a Palette

Create a Wall Story

Frame Your Work

Go Off-Center

Mix It Up

Let Loose

2. Make Room for a Home Office

Small Home Office

Small Home Office

Whether you work from home on the regular or just need a space to go through paperwork and keep the house running, it doesn’t take an extra bedroom to have an efficient home office. In fact, you might be surprised just how cheap and easy it is to turn even the tiniest space into a hard-working home office. And with the right attitude, we bet you’ll be marking this one off the to-do list by the end of the day.

Find Space Anywhere

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Modern Artwork

Shelf Under the Stairs

Bachelor Pad Nook

Homework Helper

Corner Curios

Minimal and Modern

Masculine Area

Tiny but Flexible

From: Luis Caicedo

Vintage With a View

Hidden Away

Wash Room Workspace

Closet Office

Loft on Wheels

Portable Laptop Table

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

3. Clean Your Mattress

Blue Wicker Bed with Dog

Blue Wicker Bed with Dog

Photo by: Eric Roth Photography

Eric Roth Photography

People spend almost one third of their lives in bed. So just washing your sheets and pillows isn’t going to cut it if you want a clean, healthy spot to lay your head down at night. Unfortunately, this is one task that often gets overlooked. You should regularly run the vacuum over your mattress to suck up allergens and dust mites. Take this day to start a healthy, new routine.

4. Build a Fire Pit

Fire Pit

Fire Pit

Photo by: Image courtesy of Shayne Newman

Image courtesy of Shayne Newman

Depending on the weather, this may be the perfect day to finally head outside and build the fire pit of your dreams. Come springtime, you’ll be so glad you did.

Make This: Brick Fire Pit

30 Gorgeous Styles

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Private Fire Pit

Photo By: DK - Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Built-In Fire Pit

Limestone Fire Pit

Sunken Fire Pit

Marble Fire Pit

Four-Unit Fire Pit

Open Fire Pit

Bluestone Fire Pit

Photo By: Frontier Group ©Photographed by Frontier Group

Stacked Stone Fire Pit

Old World Fire Pit

Flat Stone Fire Pit

Photo By: DarrenMcCollester/Getty Images © 2012, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Stacked Stone Fire Pit

Covered Fire Pit

Photo By: Chris Amaral © 2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Stacked Stone Fire Pit

Natural Stone Fire Pit

Stone Fire Pit

Stone Fire Pit

Photo By: Geoffrey Hodgdon ©Geoffrey Hodgdon

Contemporary Fire Pit

Mobile Fire Pit

Fire Pit Bowl

Patio Fire Pit

Fire Pit With a View

Photo By: Smiths Gore Limited, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Gray Stone Fire Pit

Garden Fire Pit

Reflecting Fire Pit

Concrete Fire Pit

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle / Associated Press

Geo Fire Pit Patio

L-Shaped Fire Pit

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle / Associated Press

Tabletop Fire Pit

Half Fire Pit, Half Epic View

From: Mark Scott Associates

Photo By: Anthony Gomez

5. Set Up a Recycling Station

BPF_original_outdoor-storage-recycling-center_beauty-b_4x3

BPF_original_outdoor-storage-recycling-center_beauty-b_4x3

Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

You know how you always want to recycle but just don’t have the space? No more excuses. Make recycling easy and convenient with a designated area for your paper, plastic, glass and even compost. And the best part is that this recycling station won’t take up any of your precious indoor space. 

6. DIY Cleaning Products

Homemade Cleaning Supplies

Homemade Cleaning Supplies

This is one of those projects that will improve your life in multiple ways. Not only are homemade cleaning products healthier for you and better for the environment, they’ll also save you money in the long term. The only issue is actually sitting down to put it all together. Make that a priority today and rake in the benefits for the rest of the year.

7. Feed and Repot Your Houseplants

plant in ceramic vase on wooden table with modern sofa

plant in ceramic vase on wooden table with modern sofa

Photo by: Khongkitw

Khongkitw

It’s recommended that most houseplants be repotted once a year. Whoops! If you’re guilty of leaving your precious plants a little too long, this is the time to make it up to them. It’s also a great time to step up your planter game. We’ve got a few recommendations.

16 Bold Planters

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Metallic Dinosaur Planter

Make Your Own Book Planter

Photo By: Design by Kyle Schuneman. Reprinted from The First Apartment Book, copyright 2012.

Living, Breathing Art

Open-Air Terrariums

Photo By: Courtesy of West Elm

Mason-Jar Terrarium

Pet Bowl Planter

Photo By: DK - Ready Set Grow! © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Moveable Wall Art

Green Up Your Desk

Cactus Garden, Y'all

Photo By: DK - Ready Set Grow! ©2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Upside-Down Greenery

Photo By: Courtesy of Poketo

Wall-Mounted Metal

Photo By: Courtesy of Poketo

Simply Geometric

Photo By: Courtesy of MGMY Studios

Busts or Bust

Photo By: Courtesy of Floral Art

Hanging Garden Globes

Photo By: Courtesy of West Elm

Tree Stump Turned Planter

Photo By: Design by Kris Swift

Simple and Rustic

Photo By: Courtesy of The Phillips Collection

8. Makeover Your Medicine Cabinet

ODOC-medicine-cabinet-after-close-up_s4x3

ODOC-medicine-cabinet-after-close-up_s4x3

If empty tubes of toothpaste, old prescription bottles and scattered makeup brushes rain down whenever you open your medicine cabinet, today is the perfect day to sort through what you actually need and what needs to be tossed. If you really want to make an impact, consider giving your cabinet a decor upgrade with a little help from House Counselor Laurie March.

9. Customize Your Staircase

Anthony Carrino with His Ombre Stairway Accent

Anthony Carrino with His Ombre Stairway Accent

From

Cousins Undercover

Photo by: Tricia Messeroux © 2013, HGTV/Scripps Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. OWNED - No limitations on time/term, territory or media as long as the images are o

Tricia Messeroux, 2013, HGTV/Scripps Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. OWNED - No limitations on time/term, territory or media as long as the images are o

Paint a runner, add quirky numbers in varying sizes or create a cool ombre effect using your favorite paint color. No matter your style, Leap Day is a great day to give overlooked spots a little attention.

Step Up Your Stair Game

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Playful Pattern

Cottage-Style Stairs

Candy-Colored Stripes

Wallpaper Your Stair Risers

White on Black

Photo By: Chris Amaral © 2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Color Coded

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier © 2011, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC

Create an Ombre Effect

Photo By: Tricia Messeroux © 2013, HGTV/Scripps Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. OWNED - No limitations on time/term, territory or media as long as the images are o

Tiled Stair Risers

Zebra Carpet Runner

Photo By: Photo Courtesy: Scott Womack © 2013 Gibbs Smith, Allure of French & Italian Decor, Betty Lou Phillips

Add Texture With Sisal

Make Use of Wasted Space

Create a Gallery Wall

Red-Paneled Stairwell Wall

Photo By: Chris Amaral © 2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Make a Modern Art-Inspired Gate

10. Finally Start Composting

Know What to Compost for Best Results

Know What to Compost for Best Results

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

You might be surprised just how easy (and cheap!) it is to build your own compost bin. So stop putting it off, and start saving those scraps for a healthy garden year after year. 

11. Organize Your Craft Room

Photo by: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

With ribbon, fabric, paint pens and so much more to keep track of, it’s no surprise that craft rooms tend to be disheveled and totally unorganized. But a little organization now will make future projects so much more relaxed.

Creative Storage Ideas

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Egg Carton Organizer

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Michele Pacey

Drawers Full of Ribbon

Photo By: John Merkl

A Place for the Extras

Photo By: John Merkl

Borrow From the Kitchen

©Photo courtesy of Alicia McDonald and Jamie Ritter

Muffin Pan for the Miniatures

Photo By: Photo courtesy of Heather Dutton

Easily-Organized Scrapbook Paper

Photo By: John Merkl

Homemade Spinning Caddy

Photo By: John Merkl

DIY Wrapping Station

Ribbon Bar

Hanging Thread Rack

Photo By: John Merkl

Fun With Magnets

Bucket O' Yarn

12. Refresh Your Bookcases

Stacked Books and Decor

Stacked Books and Decor

From

Secrets From a Stylist

And

Secrets From a Stylist

DIY a pair of new bookends, organize by color or add in a few new tchotchkes. For an even bigger impact, consider adding a fun pattern to shelf backs.

Bookshelf Decorating Tips

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Show Off Your Collections

Put Your Passions on Display

Group Like With Like

Make It Functional

Go Big and Bold

Forget Symmetry and Be Odd

Change the Shelf Height

Vary Accessory Height

From: Erinn Valencich

Stack Books

Add Sparkle and Shine

Photo By: drew-o-rama

Create Layers on Shelves

Photo By: fieryeyed

Keep It Spare and Simple

Photo By: the 10 cent designer

Arrange Books by Color

Vary Book Displays

©Design by Emily Henderson

Mix Art in With Books

From: Luis Caicedo

Display Art in Creative Ways

Look Up and Lock Down

Photo By: ninainvorm

Let There Be Light

From: Luis Caicedo

13. Clean Out Your Fridge and Pantry

Original_Toni-Hammersley-pantry-organization-beauty_s3x4

Original_Toni-Hammersley-pantry-organization-beauty_s3x4

Expired cans? Mystery meat? Stale chips? Buh-bye. Bring a little order back to the kitchen by ridding yourself of outdated items and reorganizing what’s left in a way that puts everything on display. It never hurts to give the inside of the fridge a thorough cleaning either. Try this method to really make it sparkle.

14. Make Your Own Pet Treats

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Why not use your extra time to pamper your pups with homemade treats that are packed full of nutrients! And with tasty recipes like peanut butter delight, strawberry shortcake and cream cheese biscuits, we know you’ll find a treat that will delight your pooch. And don’t forget the kitties. Try this tuna cookies recipe for your feline friends.

15. Organize Your Laundry Room

Laundry Room With Stylish Storage Containers

Laundry Room With Stylish Storage Containers

Photo by: Not Another Housewife

Not Another Housewife

Since you’re normally too busy doing the laundry to worry about organizing the laundry room, take this day to clean, organize and personalize your cleaning space. It only takes a few changes in this small space to make a big impact, but you might be surprised how much an organized space improves your mood when it’s time for the next load.

Quick Tips for Organization

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Keep It Clean for Good

From: Jane Ellison

Corral All-Weather Gear

Contain Your Cleaning Supplies

Create a Pet Zone

Go Vertical to Dry Clothes

Presort Dirty Clothes in Hampers

Create a Laundry Room Lost and Found

16. Build a Raised Garden

Brick Mowing Strip Positioned Next to Raised Bed

Brick Mowing Strip Positioned Next to Raised Bed

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

It may still be a little while before you’re ready to plant your garden, but it will sure be nice to already have a raised garden bed when the time comes. Still on the fence about this popular gardening style? Get inspired by these 17 beauties.

Make It for Cheap

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Why Raised Beds?

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

What You'll Need

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Measure and Mark

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Cut Plank

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Set Screws

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Attach Side

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Square Corners

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Complete Bed

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Position Bed and Add Cardboard

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Sourcing Soil

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Fill Raised Bed

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Level Soil

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

Add Plants

Photo By: Photo by Mick Telkamp

17. Start Your Seedlings

Growing Seedlings in Trays Makes Jolly Good Fun

Growing Seedlings in Trays Makes Jolly Good Fun

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Fruits and Vegetables in Pots © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Fruits and Vegetables in Pots , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Depending on what you’re growing, this might be the perfect time to start your seeds. And if you’ve never done this before, we’ve got a few pointers for starting your little seedlings off on the right foot. If you need any more incentive, seed starting is a smart way to save money and offers more variety for your garden.

Fun Seed-Starting Projects

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Start Seeds From Practically Anything

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Funny Seed-Starters

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Reuse Seed Trays

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Use Small Pots

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Try Cardboard Tubes

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Start Seeds in Old Food Containers

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Don't Throw Out Your Lunch Container

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

A Milk Jug Living Wall

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Make a Homemade Propagator

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Start Seeds in Eggshells

Use Dollar Store Finds

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Don't Forget About Tubers!

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Sow Seeds on a Paper Towel

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Junk Mail Seed Bombs

Make Seed Paper

18. Clean Out Your Closet

Adjustable Closet Storage System

Adjustable Closet Storage System

Photo by: Organized Living

Organized Living

Time to purge. With the capsule wardrobe trend on the rise and Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up still surging in popularity, jam-packed closets look more sad and overwhelming than ever. Why not take this free day to get down to business and get rid of some stuff?

Creative Closet Storage

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Funky Frame for Your Jewels

Ice Cube Tray Organizer

Silverware Tray Displays Your Jewelry

Prop Up Boots With an Old Tabloid

Hang Baubles on Branches

No Closet? No Problem.

Store It in a Planter

Bread Box Shelving

Basket Made From Plastic Bags

Savvy S Hooks

Tag It With Shipping Labels

Tie Rack for Your Jewelry

Sub Out Your Towels for Scarves

The Catchall Basket

Tidy Up the Tuna Can

Woven Tin Wastebasket

Bungee Cords Hold Items

Rolling Pin Coat Rack

Bring Your Wire Flower Box Indoors

19. Clean Out the Junk Drawer

How to Organize a Messy Drawer

How to Organize a Messy Drawer

Photo by: DK - House Works © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - House Works , 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

And while you’re on that organization high, make your way to the kitchen. It’s time to clean out the junk drawer. Need a little guidance? Follow our simple steps for a kitchen organization system that works for you.

20. Organize Your Paper Clutter

Woman Shredding Receipts From Paper Stack

Woman Shredding Receipts From Paper Stack

Photo by: Martin Poole

Martin Poole

Bills, school permission slips and kids’ artwork have a way of piling up on us. But nothing compares to that feeling you get when your mail is sorted and all other paper clutter is out of the way. You want that feeling, right? Follow our guide to get rid of the mess, and watch your stress melt away.

How to Clear the Clutter

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Say Goodbye to Clutter

"I'll Do It Later" No More

Photo By: ©Digital Vision

Organized Family

Photo By: Zach DeSart ©HGTV Magazine

Get Organized

Personal Filing

Banish the Stacks

Careful Keepsakes

Money-Savers

Keep or Shred?

Photo By: Martin Poole

Stay On Top of It

Keep the Kids Clean

Photo By: ©Martin Poole

21. Decorate for St. Patrick’s Day

If this is one holiday that usually flies by before you know it, take your extra day to deck out the house in festive green decor.

Easy Handmade Ideas for St. Patrick's Day

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Paper Leprechaun Hat

St. Patrick's Day Cupcake Toppers

Lucky Banner

Felt Shamrock Pillow

St. Patrick's Day Art Prints

Potted Paper Clovers

Bubble Wrap Shamrocks

Easy-to-Make Burlap Wreath

Rainbow Paper Bunting

St. Patrick's Day T-Shirts

Rainbow Paper Wreath

Free Printable T-Shirt Patterns

Felt Shamrock: Project 1

Felt Shamrock: Project 2

Felt Shamrock: Project 3

Wax Paper Rainbow Art

Treat-Filled Paper Clovers

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