As Matt Thrower mentioned in his comments to my first blog entry in this series, public accountability can keep the pressure on. Right now I almost feel like this is all that is keeping me going. Our energy has begun to lag on this project as the weather turns hotter making the process more uncomfortable, and we get tempted by fun summer activities and more interesting projects.
The primary goal of de-hoarding our attic was to allow us to clean out our living area and move infrequently used items into the attic. This weekend we managed to clean out a good deal of the Pantry, Laundry Room and Guest Bedroom, with a number of large items like the humidifiers, turkey pan, folding chairs and winter blankets finding a home in the attic. However my feeling of accomplishment faded after a day or two, and was replaced with feeling overwhelmed by what still needs to be done. There is the sewing stuff that got knocked over in the laundry room this winter and scooped up in a tangled mess of pins, thread and sewing machine hardware and dumped in a basket to be dealt with later; the closet in the Guest Room that contains heaven's knows what; the basket of papers in my office that is a mix of everything from expired coupons to a copy of our will; and all the little things that accumulate in the wrong places around the house that have been gathered up into baskets to sort out. We are down to the tedious nitty gritty of dealling with the flotsam and jettison of 10 years and organizing it - tools, papers, screws, polly pockets, coffee mugs, whatever the hell that little thing is... And this requires that the family work together, including the Spawn.
I have two baskets of kid stuff gathered from around the house (there was a jar of bubble soap in with the canned goods for heaven's sake), and must now pin down the Spawn to go through it and properly put away those things that she wants to keep (which means not shoving them under her bed or dumping them on the floor of her closet). I have been putting this off as I dread a task that should take no more than an hour turning into a whine-fest that drags through an entire afternoon. Fortunately my mother, who often comments that we are "living like children," supports our endeavors and has not only agreed to the Spawn spending tomorrow afternoon doing chores at home rather than with them at the lake, but has also added her own stick and carrot. I think that my mother secretly hopes that all our "strange stuff" and paintings of nude blue women will disappear and be replaced by flower arrangements in attractive vases and paintings of landscapes.
Finally, this clean-up project requires that the attic not only be cleared, but also organized so that we can actually find items when they are needed. This requires some thought and effort, and it is just too damn hot up there during the day and too dark at night. Yesterday evening I entirely intended to get up there and finish cleaning, but after dragging five bags of trash out of the basement and to the curb, I was just too hot and tired, and spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the air conditioned rec room watching movies
I have simply reached the point where I have become tempted to start dumping stuff higgly piggly into bins and then shoving the bins anywhere they fit in the attic. This, of course, is what caused our attic disaster in the first place.
This is the fourth in a series chronicling my attempt to de-clutter my home. During the process I explore my complex relationship with objects and collections, expose my family's chronic disorganization, and try to get my shit together and the crapola out of the house.
For those of you who are just tuning in, here's the rest of the story.