Weather Forecast


Spring cleaning our home, city and life

My 10-year-old son declared it was time for him to clean out his closet last week. He retreated to his room, turned on some fun music and wasn't heard from for about an hour. That's when he came out, gave a status report that he was making some great progress and headed back to his room for more spring cleaning.

When he emerged with a grin on his face and that proud look of accomplishment, I knew it was time for me to assess the project. His walk-in closet was definitely a walk-in. The sports memorabilia was displayed, Legos were neatly stored and shoes were back in their places. But then there was the stack of items that were now in the middle of his room, items he determined would get much more love and use from someone younger.

I remember when he couldn't part with even the smallest items. At a younger age, every toy or gift gave him such a strong sense of ownership. Isn't that why we hear "mine" so often from little kids? I have been noticing the changes in recent years. More and more often, he has wanted to pass along a truck, train or game to a younger friend or neighbor. And he loves to see their faces light up with delight over a new toy.

Spring cleaning does that to a lot of us. It allows us to find a new purpose for something. It gives us a sense of accomplishment when we feel organized. The finished product is welcoming and inviting.

We've done our own spring cleaning in Duluth's Downtown Waterfront District. Thanks to the City of Duluth, the streets and sidewalks had some fresh sweeping this past week. We removed the remnants of winter grit and grime. And we encouraged business and property owners to conduct any individual "spruce-up" projects. Whether it was washing windows, cleaning awnings or adding any fresh paint, it all made our downtown more welcoming and inviting.

Our next step will be to get streetscape planters ready for the summer season. Mark your calendars now to join us for the annual "dig in for the downtown waterfront" on June 1 as volunteers help plant flowers in our streetscape containers.

Spring cleaning leads to summer relaxing. We hope you can find time to relax downtown, as we'll be ready for you!

Kristi Stokes is the president of the Greater Downtown Council in Duluth. Contact her at 727-8549 or by email at

Kristi Stokes

Kristi Stokes is the president of the Greater Downtown Council in Duluth. Contact her at 727-8549.