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A is for Attic November 13, 2013

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

On October 26, a Saturday, I announced on Facebook: “Resolved: To spend 12 hours between now and Thanksgiving cleaning out my attic (i.e., approximately 1 hour for every year I’ve been thinking about doing it). OK, now that that’s decided, I’m going to yoga class.”

I did go to yoga class.

After class, I trudged up to the attic. At the far end are boxes filled with stuff, much of it stuff that has been there since I moved in. In 1999.

In between me and the stuff were lots of other empty boxes. More on that later.

Because I want to go through the stuff, the plan is to bring the boxes downstairs to do this in climate-controlled, properly lit conditions. So I worked my way back to the faraway boxes and began pulling them out. Unfortunately, the roofline slants in such a way right there that every time I tried to clear it (while hunched over, holding a box), I would smash the bejeezus out of my hip.

I brought about eight boxes downstairs to have a look, piling them in my back office for future perusal.

Clearly, all that stuff in the middle had to be dealt with first.

Most of that stuff was this: Any time we’d make a somewhat major purchase—a computer, say, or some kitchen item—I’d keep the box and packing material just in case we’d need to return it before the warranty ran out. Of course, once the box was upstairs, it was upstairs. I didn’t go up after a year, find the box, and toss it.

In fact, I didn’t do this for 14 years.

The other boxes I’d keep were ones that seemed a good size for shipping things out. I could get rid of at least two thirds of these, easy.

So on Sunday, Tim and I broke down all the boxes and packing material. We made a huge pile of flattened boxes in the garage to take to the dump the next weekend. We used what little room we had left in our recycling bin for Monday’s pickup.

I’d left the packing material in the attic. It took until Wednesday for me to bring it all downstairs, then break it up as best I could. I’m talking Styrofoam, which doesn’t recycle.

When we were away this summer, Martha, who was doing a big clean-out project herself, asked if she could use our trash bins for pickup. Remembering this, and looking at the huge pile, I asked Lynda, next door, if I could use hers if she had room. She said yes; she was going to be away and not using them at all. I was hoping that between hers, mine, and the trip to the dump, it could all be gotten rid of that first November Monday.

I filled her recycling with cardboard. I filled mine with cardboard. I filled her trash bin with Styrofoam packing. I filled mine with Styrofoam packing.

There was still a lot of Styrofoam packing.

I asked Martha and Laura if I could put Styrofoam in their trash if there was room. Under cover of darkness Sunday night, in that line of bins across the street (including Dorothy’s), I got rid of what I could. Martha was having dinner with us, and as she noted, once the bins are out, if there’s room, why not make it a free-for-all anyway? (Socialism! Anarchy! Ain’t we got fun?)

I still had Styrofoam packing, but the cardboard left us after Saturday’s dump run. (Note: Recycling at the dump—I mean, the transfer station—is free. I could have taken the Styrofoam there, but they would have charged by the bag. There were a lot of bags, and I already pay for trash pickup.)

This past Sunday night, I had only one huge piece of Styrofoam to sneak into an unsuspecting bin. So, as of Monday morning, that ready-the-attic-for-the-real-work part of the chore is done.

And there, in the back office, sit those first boxes to be gone through.

And, not counting the dump run, I have only 3.5 hours into this project.

And Thanksgiving is in 15 days.

And yoga class starts at 5:00.


1. Eulalia Benejam Cobb - November 14, 2013

Those packing boxes! That styrofoam! My spouse insists on keeping it all, just in case we have to return it, and we have mountains of boxes in the basement. I have taken a vow to never again buy anything that comes in a box.

indigobunting - November 16, 2013

It’s so painful, isn’t it? I was afraid this morning that I’d need a box for a return, but they said they’d send a new one without a return! Whew! (In boxes I will recyle.)

2. Mali - November 16, 2013

3.5 hours is better than none. So congratulate yourself on progress so far. I would still be procrastinating!

indigobunting - November 16, 2013

I got nearly 1.5 more hours in on Thursday, Mali. And yesterday I bought some plastic bins for repacking. We’ll see if any further progress can be made this weekend…

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