The Things You Find When You’re Spring Cleaning


My plan for the day was to get outside, clean up my yard, and plant more flowers and veggies. The sun was not shining, though — thick layers of fog hung around the entire morning and into the afternoon. Lack of sunshine always kills my weed-pulling, dirt-digging mood.

If the day was going to be a dreary one, I figured, then I might as well dive into the dreary jobs that I’ve put aside for too long. So I turned on my shredder, grabbed a recycling bin and trash bags, and got busy.

Closet #1: Bedroom. When was the last time I wore those pants? I can’t fit into that dress anymore. What was I thinking when I bought that jacket? I’ve been looking for that scarf!

Closet #2: Home Office. Two full boxes of papers to shred? I really need to have a separate craft room. Why am I keeping these 20-year-old business files? I wrote that drivel? Shredding it  … 

IMG_6735File Cabinet. I keep my files in good order since they contain the really important stuff of life: insurance, keepsakes, banking, medical, bills, and vacuum cleaner instructions. Today I opened the two bottom drawers and found the hundreds of papers from my son’s elementary school years. And junior high years. And high school. And college. I thought I had sorted through these. I had. Nicely sorted, but nothing had been thrown away.

It’s a Mom thing.

Mail Bins. The idea is to place all incoming paper into one of four slots: Action, File, Shred, and Recycle. My problem? I added an imaginary slot: Do This Later. So, today I found ridiculous things, such as water bills from the summer of 2015 and all they did was remind me of our crazy drought. A drop of water costs $50 around here. (I exaggerate. Barely.)

pagemakerUseless Finds. Compact Discs from the early 2000s. Yes, Adobe’s Pagemaker was quite the desktop publishing program. I will never use it again. Everything that Pagemaker did for me at a cost of about $300 is now available online and free. Why is the CD still in my files? I will frame it and hang it in the office. Now that I think of it, I wish I had kept the 15 floppy discs that came with my 1990s WordPerfect installation set and created a nice wall hanging with them.

Church File: Memorial Services. The gloomy weather that ruined my gardening plans for today did bring a bit of joy after all. While sorting through my church file, I found a note from a friend. Not long before he died, Bob had mailed to me the draft of his memorial service. He wanted to remind me, as he had done regularly for years, that I would sing “Amazing Grace” at his memorial service.


When the day came and I waited for my time to sing at Bob’s service, I remembered his words from this note. I imagined that he, in the midst of all the wonderful things he was experiencing in heaven, would hear me … and so would God. I get the chills when I think about that.

Today was a spring-cleaning-and-worth-it kind of day.

Happy Spring!

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4, Holy Bible, English Standard Version)

Darla McDavid

I'm Darla, a writer of stories about family, friends, goodness, and God. I love cats, coffee, gardening, and tall stacks of books. Click here to subscribe to my blog. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. In my other life, I'm an administrative professional and a Sunday School teacher for preschoolers.

6 Comments Write a comment

  1. I loved the progression of this, and the final handwritten note was wonderful.
    One of the best gifts my daughter has given me (and she’s created outstanding gifts) was a 3 hr. gift of focused clean out/sort out/divide and conquer cleaning of our spare bedroom that couldn’t be used for almost two years because it stored all the keepsakes, “will pick up later” boxes for others, and confusing bags no telling what. By the end of the 3hrs. I had back my spare room AND a sense of joy.


    • Divide and conquer cleaning — ha! Love that. Having someone else come in and do it is a smart idea. I spend too much time on the “to keep or not to keep” part of it!


  2. Feels so good to Spring Clean, doesn’t it, Darla? I look forward to the next foggy day when I don’t have to rush off to work. After I walk Duke. After I give Georgia a ride somewhere. By then it will be sunny.


    • Ha! Well, maybe it will be foggy for you during Spring Break — though I hope not! I’m looking forward to sunny weather when I don’t have to be at work.


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