99 Fun Things to Do to Celebrate Leap Day

published Feb 29, 2020
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An extra day falls out of the sky every four years, it’s true, but it’s even less often that this extra day falls on a Saturday. (The leap-Saturday phenomenon happens just 13 times in 400 years, to be exact.) What better combo is there for putting your extra day to deliberate good use?

Whether you’re a numbers person or not, don’t let this special day pass you by without making something of it. In a year that gives you 366 days, here are some things you can do, deliberately, with all that bonus time:

If You’re Feeling Productive

  1. Make a detailed, drilled-down, personalized spring cleaning checklist.
  2. Catch up on the chores you missed doing last week.
  3. Get ahead on next week’s chores.
  4. Make the returns that are sitting in your front hall.
  5. Meal plan for the next week and order groceries.
  6. Create a master meal plan template (for instance, Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Bowl Wednesday, Leftovers Thursday, Pizza Friday, etc.).
  7. Create a block schedule.
  8. Take action on the “actionable” paper pile on your desk.
  9. Catch up on laundry.
  10. Do a blitz-clean of your whole house.
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

In the Kitchen

  1. Clean out your oven.
  2. Take inventory of your spices so you don’t have to run to the store in the middle of cooking to replenish your cumin.
  3. Toss expired leftovers and condiments, and any produce that’s spoiled.
  4. Prep your veggies for next week’s meals.
  5. Make a meal (or two) to store in the freezer for those inevitable don’t-feel-like-cooking nights.
  6. Decant the snacks into your storage containers and get rid of boxes and bags.
  7. Clean underneath your appliances.
  8. Polish and clean your stainless steel appliances.
  9. Deep clean your dishwasher.
  10. Seal your granite counter tops.

If You Need to Relax

  1. Take a bath. Toss in some Epsom salts, eucalyptus, or essential oils to take it up a notch.
  2. Drink a hot cup of tea outside, wrapped in a blanket.
  3. Soak your feet in warm water and vinegar.
  4. Trade back rubs with your partner or friend.
  5. Go for a walk in the neighborhood.
  6. Go on a car ride with your favorite music blasting.
  7. Read fiction.
  8. Take a hike.
  9. Have a picnic.
  10. Journal.

If Decluttering Would Help You Breathe Easier

  1. Empty out your closet and only put back what you wear and love in your current life.
  2. Go through one drawer or one category of clothes/accessories/shoes at a time, keeping only what makes you feel good when it’s on.
  3. Decide on a number of shirts or shoes or coats you feel is reasonable and get rid of what you choose that’s in excess of that number.
  4. Sort through your kitchen tools and donate any duplicates.
  5. Purge your children’s drawers and closets of clothes they never wear or have outgrown.
  6. Go through your cosmetics and makeup and toss anything that’s expired or been open too long.
  7. Grab a garbage bag and donate or toss a designated number of items (say, 50) throughout your house.
  8. Donate ten (non-expired) items from your pantry to a local food bank.
  9. Banish these things from your under-sink cabinet.
  10. Sort through that pesky box of papers (or three of them).
Credit: Sarah Crowley

If You’re Itching to Organize

  1. Put your small garage items (spray paint, specialty cleaners, etc.) in bins or baskets on a bookshelf or in a cabinet.
  2. Make “parking spaces” for your kids’ scooters and bikes in the garage.
  3. Sort through your junk drawer.
  4. Take everything out of the drawer dividers in your kitchen drawers and add everything back, exactly where it should go.
  5. Re-fold the items in your dresser drawers.
  6. Hang the items in your closet by function or season and then in rainbow order.
  7. Put your books in rainbow order.
  8. Clear off your desk.
  9. Delete unused apps on your phone.
  10. Empty your linen closet or wherever you keep your linens and re-fold them. Consider this tip if you struggle with linen storage space.
  11. Empty out and organize one kitchen cabinet or one desk drawer.
  12. Set up an entry way landing strip.

If You Want to Connect With Others

  1. Write a thank-you note by hand to someone who did something meaningful for you or gave something special to you.
  2. Bake something and package it up for your neighbors.
  3. Make a list of people you want to have over the next time you entertain at home.
  4. Start making concrete plans with one or two of those people.
  5. Come up with a fun party theme (dinner party, game night, movie night, s’mores night) and invite a few friends.
  6. Email an old teacher and tell them about the impact they made on you.
  7. Give someone in your household one of those magical 10-second hugs.
  8. Pay someone a compliment or practice giving words of affirmation.
  9. Do something helpful for someone.
  10. Sit down and have a conversation over a mug or glass of something.
  11. Call an old friend.
  12. Take Marco Polo for a spin.
Credit: Amelia Lawrence/Kitchn

If You Want to Get Something Really Clean

  1. Swipe a Magic Eraser around your door frames.
  2. Scrub the grout in your kitchen or bathroom.
  3. Renew your baking sheets.
  4. Dust your plants’ leaves.
  5. Sanitize your kitchen sink.
  6. Wash your garbage cans and recycling bins.
  7. Spot clean your upholstery and/or rugs.
  8. Start a self-cleaning cycle in your washing machine.
  9. Wipe down your walls, especially near your eating area.
  10. Toss your throw blankets in the wash.
  11. Wash your throw pillows (many can be washed in the washer).
  12. Dust and then wipe down your baseboards.
  13. Run a lint roller over your lamp shades.
  14. Run a lint roller over your window screens.
  15. Vacuum sliding door and window tracks.
  16. Whiten some dingy laundry.

If You’re Feeling Creative

  1. Make a list of projects you’d love to tackle.
  2. Spend some time learning about a hobby or project you’ve always been interested in.
  3. Pull out your old watercolors, brushes, and paper and play around with them.
  4. Try contour drawing.
  5. Bake and decorate some cookies or cupcakes.
  6. Make a minimalist wreath.
  7. Paint a tired piece of furniture.
  8. Pull out that embroidery/crochet/knitting project and designate some time to work on it.
  9. Propagate some plants.
  10. Take a stab at hand lettering.

To Get a Handle on Your Finances

  1. Scour your bank and credit card statements for subscriptions you can cancel.
  2. Make lists of short- and long-term financial goals.
  3. Have a difficult money conversation, or two.
  4. See if you’re getting the best insurance rates.
  5. Create a master budget.
  6. Set up a personal budgeting system, such as YNAB.
  7. Set up monthly automatic transfers to your savings account.
  8. Set up semi-monthly mortgage payments.
  9. Commit to a money-saving hack.

What will you do with your leap day?