Now that we all lost an hour of sleep Saturday night going into Sunday morning and our bodies are adjusting to Daylight Saving Time, the next thing we'll be looking forward to is "spring cleaning."

While it is not really my favorite time of year, it does have its purpose and just one of those things that we have to do.

The first place I usually start is with my closet, taking out the clothes which are a bit out-of-date or just out of style. Those go off to one of our local charities where they might find a better use.

Next comes of office, which seems to have become a storage room for the rest of the people in the house. I know there are a couple of desks in there, so the challenge is getting to them. What to keep and what to give away is always a challenge -- one that we've all gone through.

Next we tackle the kitchen cupboards. We try to reorganize them and are often surprised at what is hidden at the back of those shelves and how we managed to let some items go past their "best buy" dates.

Books: Sometimes I am amazed at the number of books we have. While my wife enjoys fiction, I've always been more on the technical and historical side of reading. How many times does someone reread a book? I do have a few that science fiction books written in the 1920s and 1930s that I do enjoy rereading, so they are keepers. So those that won't be read again will go off to a charity shop for someone else to enjoy.

Getting the rugs cleaned will be top of the list once everything else in the house has been sorted out.


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Then I find it is time to get outside and trim the trees and bushes before they start sprouting all those leaves. Thankfully, Republic Services (formerly Allied Waste) provides a service for all Antioch residents for three pickups of excess materials to be removed. All you have to do is call them to set it up. Just follow the instructions in the mailer all residents received in the past two weeks.

As for any hazardous materials (like old paint), they can be dropped off at Delta Diablo on the Antioch-Pittsburg Highway. Just make sure you check what hours they are open before you make the trip.

Then there is the garage -- yes, I always save it for the last for more reasons that I want to admit.

It would be nice to be able to walk from the back to the front of the garage, but I haven't been able to do that for awhile. It seems to be the favorite place to "toss" things so that they are out-of-sight. In fact, I believe there are still some sealed boxes dating back to when we moved here in 1987!

My son introduced me to a couple local websites (not Craig's List) where you can post pictures of items you either want to give away or sell. I was able to have him post some pictures of a rototiller and gas-powered lawn mower that needed some work and they were gone in one day! At least they went to people who knew how to fix them and put them back into service.

Thankfully spring is still a few weeks off and my goal will be to have the garage cleaned out. Somewhere under all that "stuff" is a 1955 Chevy that my granddaughter would love me to restore before she graduates from high school!

So to all you "spring cleaners," I feel your pain; but you'll sure be glad you did it.

Arne Simonsen is the Antioch City Clerk. He can be contacted at arne@arnesimonsen.com