Now that we are physically distancing you may be wondering, “How many books can I read or how much TV/video can I watch?” Some of us are gardening and some are cooking and some are exercising, or all of the above. Well, I have another idea – how about Spring Cleaning? The timing is right and it can even serve as a spiritual practice (see Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”). There are many benefits:

– If you do a little each day, it gives you a specific task to focus on;

– You may uncover lost or forgotten treasures (or junk) that will bring back memories;

– You may find pictures, poems. books or other items that you can send or email to family and friends. It may start conversations and let people know you are thinking of them;

– You can freshen up your space and disinfect at the same time if you have the ability and energy. Cleanliness is a good thing right now. I’ve recently had our carpets cleaned and washed our windows – the sun comes through more clearly now (isn’t that a song?);

– AND, you may find items you’re ready to part with that are needed by others – or could be donated to OUUC for our ongoing eSale Giving fundraiser and sold to benefit our beloved congregation.

Want to join me in this challenge? Ok here’s how to get started. Pick one room – or drawer, or closet – for each day. Decide what your goal is for that space. Are you cleaning only, throwing out, rearranging, repurposing the space, or all of the above? Give yourself a time limit for each day. Involve others if you can – if you have children, this could be a great treasure hunt activity.

Then, as you’re clearing out spaces – go through items and decide:

– Does it still bring me joy and I want to keep it?

– Is it time to give it to family or friends?

– Would it likely sell for at least $40 to help OUUC? If so, please email a list of your items to Susan Dodson. She can help assess the market value of the items, determine if and when she can sell them on eBay, and work with you to arrange a pick-up or drop-off time and place.

– Could someone else use it, such as the homeless, a school, a local organization, or Goodwill?

– Can it be recycled or is it just trash?

Only you can decide how important each item is. But please, if you are cleaning your refrigerator or your bathroom shelves be sure and check expiration dates. Out of date prescriptions can be taken to the Sherriff’s Office at the courthouse (when we can leave our homes) and older food can be used up while we’re at home COOKING.

Once you have done the space you have selected for the day, put your feet up, have a nice cuppa, congratulate yourself and decide if you want to do more. If once is enough, no worries, at least it was a diversion for the day.

If you want to join me in the Spring Cleaning Challenge, pick 4-5 spaces or more, complete the steps above and send me your stories. We’ll collect some good ones to share with the congregation if you agree. So . . . Ready, Set, Spring Clean!!

Gail Gosney Wrede