Spring is definitely in the air, even if it still seems far out of reach (though the warm weather this week is confusing). Contributor Hilary Smith has some easy ideas for bringing the magic of spring foliage into your home.

Thankfully, the drab and dark chill of winter will soon be overtaken by sunlight and pastel pops of flowers and greenery for spring. March begins spring blooming and the return of longer daylight and warmer temps, and I am counting the days for the return of one of the best seasons of the year. To march with style into the vernal equinox, I’m breaking out the spring wardrobe…no, not that wardrobe…the one for the house!

That’s right, with spring’s return comes spring cleaning and decorating. Out with the old and in with the new.  Celebrate warmth, light, flowers, and the return of all things beautiful by turning your house into a spring sanctuary. My first step in this luscious transformation is to decrease the clutter. I’m a packrat. I hold on to everything, including lots of paper—school drawings, sketches, cards. And, of course, I also keep way too many pieces of clothing that I just don’t need or wear. As I sort through all that stuff that clutters my life—and drives the husband crazy—I’m also getting the house ready for a new look.

The walls need new coats of paint, and the carpet needs a good clean. Forget cute spring-themed windsocks or chimes, our family needs greenery. And flowers! Lots of flowers. Ready to bedeck your door, window or stoop for spring? Check out these great ideas.

Potted plants: Use earthy clay pots to create a space for lush greenery. I gravitate toward plants that are both useful and pretty. Try aloe plants or grow herbs in a pot for garden appeal. Aloe plants are wonderful to keep on hand for those not-so-distant summer sunburns. And, of course, fresh herbs are incomparable in the kitchen.

Want artistic appeal? Paint a pot and then plant greenery. Create one that channels your personality or just brings color into the porch. I also love small potted trees for a faux jungle effect! Small palms add a tropical whimsy. Lantana trees add color and vibrancy.

Fantastic flowers: Everyone has a favorite flower. Mine is the daisy (or the sunflower!). I love simple and sweet. Sunflowers can grow quite tall and make a bold statement on the porch, planted near the house or decorating the patio. Wait to plant sunflowers in late April to early May, as sunflowers need warmth! In summer, these beauties really bloom…and you can even eat the seeds.

Popular (and easy) flowers for spring include impatiens and geraniums. But, if you’re feeling bolder and want to break out of the traditional spring floral tradition, opt for lobularia, calibrachoa, portulaca and scaevola. These flowers are just as easy as the old spring annuals. Lobularias feature a delicate cluster of four-petaled flowers and smell sweet. Portulacas are bold blooms and come in colors like bright pink, orange and sunshine yellow and are very low maintenance.

Wrap a wreath. To decorate outdoor porch walls or front doors, create a spring wreath. You can theme your wreath in favorite spring colors, pull in the luck of the Irish with clover or opt for simple greenery with a pale ribbon. Wreaths are an elegant way to express your creativity, and many craft stores offer everything you need to create your masterpiece. Personally, I love colorful satin ribbons wrapped around luscious greenery. Add a monogram for personalized touch.

Hanging baskets. Nebuchadnezzar’s hanging garden in Babylon was one of the ancient wonders of the world. Create your own hanging garden with baskets filled with greenery and flowers. Hang throughout an enclosed or outdoor porch. Use pots decorated with your own mosaic designs. Don’t worry…mosaic pots are super simple. If you’ve never crafted a mosaic pot, Better Homes & Gardens provides an easy tutorial.

Spring is less than a month away, and I am impatiently waiting for the warm weather, the bright colors and the overall burst of the season’s happiness. Perhaps you can feel that temps are already beginning to rise. I am eagerly planning an aggressive spring cleaning and decorating. Wish me luck! Hope spring brings you lots of blooms and blessings.

Hilary Smith has parlayed her love of technology and parenting into a freelance writing career. As a journalist, she specializes in covering the challenges of parenting in the digital age. She loves all things tech and hasn’t met a gadget that didn’t spark her interest. She also writes parental articles on things like this one, featured here. The Texas native currently resides in Chicago, IL and braves the winters with her two children, ages 4 and 7.