Throw open the windows and send the winter comforters back to storage. There’s nothing like daffodils, ocean air, and those first “open” signs on seasonal shops again to inspire a bit of spring cleaning. Here’s how to mix work and play:

1. Plan your garden.
Some love to flip through glossy shelter magazines; on Cape Cod, we roam the aisles of two local favorites: Agway (with locations in Chatham, Orleans, and South Dennis) and Scenic Roots in Sandwich. Somewhere among the rows of hanging plants, blooming greenhouse flats, and outdoors planters is the landscape of our dreams—and the seventh-heaven of tools, fertilizers, soils, seeds, pest controls, and staff know-how to turn it all into a reality, whether we’re dreaming of an edible garden, a pet-friendly oasis, or a cozy summer evening firepit and days filled with butterflies.

2. Stock up on the essentials.  
Even Orleans day-trippers will put Snow’s Home and Garden's all-encompassing home store on their must-do list—usually for those picture-perfect model railroad displays, famously good card-and-gift selection (Mother’s Day note: Cape Cod jewelry), and proximity to the Hot Chocolate Sparrow. For Lower-Capers, Snow’s is home of the fresh start. Replace that broken kettle, update the guest bed with a new coverlet, choose some pretty dishes for outdoor entertaining, pick up your Fourth of July flags, and let the season begin. If you’re at the Orleans location, bonus: Mid-Cape Home Centers (with locations across the Cape) is right across the street. The world’s quickest and easiest kitchen or bath makeover begins with whimsical drawer pulls.

3. Get a boost.   
If you’re moving into the summer house, readying your rental, or gearing up for a parade of summer guests, start with an eco-friendly clean slate. Hyannis-based Cleangreen will give your home a deep-cleaning overhaul or spring-fresh start, working solely with safe and effective environmentally-friendly products. P.S. Don’t forget the boat. Custom-made marine canvases from Ocean Tailors in South Yarmouth have you covered for a summer on the water.

4. Restore.
Cleaning is a big project; you’ll need perspective. Luckily, whale watching season (Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch, Captain John Boats, Provincetown Whale Watch, Hyannis Whale Watch) has begun. Nothing––not your over-stuffed closet, not the outdoor furniture to be pulled up from the basement, not the pickup bed filled with perennials to be planted—will seem so Herculean after a day on the water.