Summer is almost here. The weather has been volatile: wind, rain and thunderstorms for a few days and then sunshine. Given the warmth and sunshine of the past few days, though, summer is definitely around the corner.

Spring is associated with spring cleaning, which can mean more than thoroughly vacuuming drapes, carpets, lamp shades, blinds and so on.

Perhaps you want to take out your carpet and replace it with tile or laminate, or get carpets cleaned.

Sometimes cleaning means taking a serious look at our possessions and making some hard decisions whether to keep or donate items. Maybe it is time to donate that statue Great Aunt Ada gave us that we hate to dust and think is an eyesore.

This is a good time to clean out our closets and critically look at our clothes. Give those nice clothes that are no longer worn to a charity thrift store or homeless shelter. If it no longer fits, donate it. Don't clutter up your closet and life needlessly.

Do you need all the pots, pans, cooking implements, dishes and storage containers you own? Would your life be easier if you could find the lids to what you use?

Take the items out of your cupboard and check for lids that match pans. Make sure your skillets are in good condition. If they are scratched, toss them and use the new skillet you've been saving for a special occasion. Verify that all of your storage containers have tops and bottoms that fit and make sure they aren't cracked or split. Give away the excess. Your life will be easier.

I love cookbooks, but I can't use them all. I am going to donate some of them as I know I won't use them again.

Don't leave all your junk for when you are elderly. You may not have the health or stamina to sort your items and make good decisions. Decluttering a little at a time makes an enormous job much easier.

This also may be a good time to get to know that new neighbor. Buy some cookies or a small plant, then walk over and introduce yourself. Another tip is to smile at everyone you meet.

Your neighbor may become your new friend and a fun companion for gardening, exercising or shopping.

I have been reading that we Americans don't know our neighbors' names and don't talk with each other. Here in Crestview, we are known for our friendliness, so let's change that. Let's get to know our neighbors, their names and watch out for each other.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.