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.
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.
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
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!
2. Make Room for a 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.
3. Clean Your Mattress
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
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
5. Set Up a Recycling Station
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.
Make This: Outdoor Recycling Center
6. DIY Cleaning Products
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.
Make This: 9 Homemade Cleaning Products
7. Feed and Repot Your Houseplants
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.
Find It: How to Repot Houseplants
8. Makeover Your Medicine Cabinet
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.
Make This: Glam, Organized Medicine Cabinet
9. Customize Your Staircase
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.
10. Finally Start Composting
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.
Make This: Build a Pallet Compost Bin
11. Organize Your Craft Room
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.
12. Refresh Your Bookcases
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.
13. Clean Out Your Fridge and Pantry
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.
Find It: 10 Steps to an Organized Pantry
14. Make Your Own Pet Treats
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.
Watch: Easy Homemade Pet Treats
15. Organize Your Laundry Room
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.
16. Build a Raised Garden
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.
17. Start Your Seedlings
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.
Make This: Create Seed-Starting Pots From Newspaper
18. Clean Out Your Closet
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?
19. Clean Out the Junk Drawer
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
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.
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.