I've been to the Spring Home & Garden Show a bundle of times and there are a few things you need to know to make the most of your time there. It's a fantastic opportunity to chat with experts and get ready for spring yard work. Here's what I've learned:

  • Take photos of your home and yard before you go

It happens every year: I walk past a booth with a smiling professional and start asking questions, and they ask questions back, and I WISH I HAD A PICTURE! Thinking of remodeling the bathroom in the next 5 years? Take pics. Need a new roof soon? Take pics. Thinking of installing garden boxes? Take pics!

  • Bring cash

Most vendors take your cards, but I always see stuff like "bundle of socks for $10" or mini-donuts or coconut smoothies or a tiny cactus attached to a magnet to sit on my fridge. It's so much easier to hand over a $10 or $20. Kettle popcorn. Bottles of vinaigrette. Bathroom shower squeegees. So many items you'll want to grab, pay and go!

  • Wear good shoes

It happens every year: I think we're only staying for an hour or two. But we end up spending an hour debating which hammock to buy and talking another hour with the bathroom remodel guy and another hour asking gardening questions. Be prepared to be there ALL DAY and wear your most comfortable sneakers.

  • Enter to win EVERYTHING!

Working in radio I was surprised to find out a couple dozen people win frequently. Isn't it totally random? Why do I keep seeing the same names pop up? It's because they ENTER FREQUENTLY! You can't win a prize you don't enter for. People who enter to win everything win a surprising amount even though it's totally random. It's the same logic as having multiple BINGO cards! So when people are giving away really good stuff at the Home & Garden Show, enter to win it all!

  • Bring the truck, or car with a big trunk

I know, I know, you're just going to look. "We're just looking today, right honey?" You're not a sucker for buying something incredible you fall in love with, you're a sucker for not being prepared to fall in love! Come prepared with a truck bed or at least enough space to take home some lawn art, or a lawn chair, or a new mirror. I see it every year: people trying to squeeze that thing they couldn't live without into the PT Cruiser. There's so much good stuff there just accept that you may make a purchase and be sure to have room for it.