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It's spring-cleaning time — just about everywhere

By Paul Viau | Apr 02, 2014
Photo by: CAROL VIAU PICK OF THE LITTER — Fred Galloway of Waynesville gets an early start at spring-cleaning in Haywood County. Galloway has been picking litter from Haywood County roadways for 15 years.

Ahhh, spring — There are signs all around Haywood County that my second favorite season has finally sprung.  And even after a temporary setback of 3-plus inches of snow, the temperatures are on the rise and should be pushing the 70s by the weekend.

But before everyone gets giddy and flocks to Lake J, this is a friendly reminder that spring means  — we’ve all got some work to do.

If you are a gardener, it’s time to amend the soil and start cultivating. If you’ve been sitting on your duff all winter long and can’t fit into your golf attire (like yours truly) it’s time to cut calories and head to the gym.

Spring is also the perfect time to take a serious look at all the stuff you have accumulated — in the dressers, closets, cupboards, basement and garage — especially the garage.

We all have our own favorite places to squirrel away the stuff we are no longer using, but can’t bring ourselves to throw away. Here are a few suggestions to help you rise to the occasion.

My wife and I have the benefit of a large cedar closet in our basement. Twice a year we haul the past seasonal clothes down, and the new seasonal clothes up. For the past couple of years, we’ve hauled everything up and down without culling anything. This year, we have a pair of large tubs on the closet floor — one for donations and the other for consignment.

Depending on condition, if there is a garment we haven’t worn for awhile, it goes into one of the tubs. The only exceptions are the particularly collectible and vintage items. They often find a way to Craigslist or an eBay auction. After all, as eBay recently reminded me via email announcement, “Get paid for spring cleaning.”

Why not, we’re on a fixed income.

This year I am going to pass along some of those saleable items to Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation, where volunteers will do all the eBay posting, packing and shipping and keep the proceeds to help Sarge’s mission to continue saving animals.

The Viau household will also donate items to Haywood Christian Ministry, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Within Reach Resale Shop and Second Blessing Thrift Shop. All of these organizations sell your unwanted items and put the proceeds toward good work here in Haywood County.

Of course, there are other options for dealing with your unwanted clothing, furniture and household goods, where you generate some income. Consignment shops like Scallywag's, Del-Ray's, Persnickety’s, Fi-Fi’s and Ellie’s on Main, to name a few, abound in Haywood County.

The one thing you don’t want to do with your unwanted items is toss them out the window of your car or truck as you are speeding down the roadway. This spring, after major snows melted, the sides of the roads were full of litter.

Our neighbor, Fred Galloway, adopted Poison Cove Road and portions of Raccoon Road and Ratcliff Cove Road, and cleans-up litter there, four times a year. He’s been doing it for 15 years, and he’ll be the first to tell you, the litter problem is not getting better, it’s getting worse. Much worse.

Still, Galloway presses on with a good attitude, especially with his spring cleaning,

It’s hard, backbreaking work, but as Galloway said, “Cleaning litter is like an Easter egg hunt for adults.”

Please keep that sentiment in mind as you go about your own spring-cleaning this year.