4 Essential Apps for Springtime
If you’re like us, the itch for springtime starts right after the winter holidays. Sure, family time by the fire is nice, but once the holiday decorations go back in their boxes and we’ve exhausted all of our cookie recipes, we’re ready for the snow to melt and the little birdies to start chirping. There’s a distinct freshness to spring that makes us feel like anything is possible.
With all the energy you stored over winter, you’ll probably have a billion things on your to-do list once the first flowers start poking up. Whether you want to jet off for a last-minute break, plant the vegetable garden you’ve always wanted or make some extra money tackling that garage full of junk you accumulated last season, we have four suggestions for making sure your season is spent wisely, productively, enjoyably—and in weather-appropriate attire!
Planting a vegetable garden is a great way to spend time outdoors, get some exercise, spruce up your backyard and help lower your grocery bill. There’s no better time to start gardening than spring! The Food Gardening Guide app from Mother Earth News (America’s leading magazine on organic gardening) is full of detailed information about what to plant and when, from asparagus and artichokes to peppers and potatoes.
There’s a lot of reading, but the app’s organized so that beginners can focus on what they want, without getting overwhelmed. If you’re a little more advanced, the techniques section of the app allows you to peruse a variety of articles about how to make your garden extra special, like extending your growing season, watering efficiently and making your own potting soil.
The Food Gardening Guide app is a no-nonsense reference guide for your new veggie adventure. Plus, you can bring it with to the yard when it comes time to start planting. Who knew your smartphone would make such a great gardening tool? (Free for Android and iOS)
Spring cleaning makes us feel particularly refreshed and unburdened—but not until it’s complete, of course. And how can you even begin cleaning with all this stuff in the way!? Craigslist is famous for being a reliable place to offload your old junk (and make some dough while you’re at it).
With the CraigsPro app, you can easily search and create ads for every possible spring-cleaning need in just a few swipes. Give away winter coats you’ve outgrown, sell that dust-covered collection of stamps, advertise the garage sale you’ll be having after you scavenge the house from top to bottom, or just hire someone to do all the sorting and cleaning for you. Best of all, you can get notifications when there’s a new listing for something you’re searching for, which is critical when time is of the essence.
The quickest way to get rid of the clutter is right in the palm of your hand, and it isn’t a broom. (Free for Android and iOS)
Now that you’ve sold some of your stuff and earned some extra moolah, the Hipmunk app will help you get out of town. Booking an escape to somewhere warm after a winter funk isn’t just desirable—it’s necessary. And while we’re constantly bombarded with travel sites that can help us get to where we (desperately) want to go, the Hipmunk app seems to be the answer when it comes to keeping the agony of traveling at its ultimate lowest.
With just a few pieces of info, Hipmunk can help you plan the perfect last-minute (or carefully thought out) trip based on critical factors: cost, time of departure, number of connections and length of trip—some of the most torturous parts of getting from point A to point B. Hipmunk’s search results are laid out in a visually appealing and easy-to-assess grid that ultimately makes for the best vacation, even on short notice. Who says you can’t make your own Spring Break? (Free for Android and iOS)
Weather apps are a dime a dozen (and we all have our favorites already), but none of them are quite as fun as Swackett. This app helps you figure out the most appropriate attire for the current conditions before you head out, a feature that’s especially helpful in the spring, when the weather is unpredictable.
The Swackett app combines your basic weather data (temps, precipitation, radar maps, etc.) with “peeps” who are always appropriately dressed. Whether it’s going to be a hot, sunny day (bring water and sunglasses) or a rainy, chilly evening (bring an umbrella and throw on a lined jacket), the Swackett peeps are there to help you dress your best (or at least more comfortably) for the occasion. (Free for Android and iOS)
Written by Sara Runnels. Revised by Amanda Keith.