Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Attic cleaning adventures

This week I started tackling the attic and cleaning up things I have been ignoring. This is stuff that is out of the way and not necessarily urgent but it's stuff I know I don't need and it can't just simply go into the trash bin for pickup. It involves packing the car and heading to the dump. That's actual work and it goes against my laziness!

I'm not proud to say that some of this stuff had been the attic for at least 10 years including the box that a pressure washer came in years ago (the actual pressure washer lives in the garage and I have used it only twice that I can remember) and a stack of Styrofoam coolers we used for a party right after we moved in the house that I felt guilty about throwing away. There was also furniture held together by Gorilla Glue that I saved in the name of maybe I will use this again. Also there was this big plastic piece from the back of my Buick that was cracked so I replaced it with a perfect one from the junkyard. It was too big to go in the trash so it ended up in the attic.

And, there was an old turntable combo unit that died. I had replaced it and only saved it because my mother had given it to me years ago. How crazy to save something that was broken! I got my use out of the gift and should have tossed it when it stopped working but, nope, guilt dictated that I lug that thing up to the attic to deal with on a future day.

The famous closet from Fibber McGee and Molly - proof that clutter is not just a current-day problem!
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibber_McGee_and_Molly

Well, that future day was yesterday and all of this stuff and much more is gone. I had gone up in the attic and first thought to myself, "Why not put this off to another day?" because really, it was not urgent to get it done yesterday. It was not in the way! But, something motivated me to go ahead and take care of it.

And doing so made me realize that I am now at the "next level" of cleaning things up. I'm being more proactive and more discerning about what I really need vs. what I just think I need or thought I needed at one time or only keep because I feel guilty or only keep because I am too lazy to deal with the work involved in disposing of it.

Coincidentally, I had "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" on hold at the local library and it finally became available so I started reading it this morning and it is perfect for taking this project of cleaning up and cleaning out to that next level. There are so many great quotes and ideas from "Gentle Art" that I want to share but I will save that for either the podcast or a more dedicated entry here on a later date.

Basically, the Marie Kondo books, which I learned a lot from, show you how to organize for today but "Gentle Art" tells you about getting prepared for the eventual end and not leaving behind a ton of stuff you don't need for your family to deal with when that eventual end does come.

I know my major motivation for cleaning up has been my experience dealing with all of the stuff my mother left behind and even with all I have cleaned out, I still have even further to go at both houses and that means it's time to start making the tougher decisions about nostalgic items and duplicate items (those "just in case" things) and it makes me wonder just how much further I can really go. I think I am really ahead of most folks when it comes to lack of and organization of material things but I do believe that I can do even more to get to even less!

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