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Clutter in my attic

Submitted by Cheryl Lewis

By Cheryl Lewis

I am forever saving little pieces of paper that just seem to sit in my attic. I don�t need them. Why do I keep them?

Well, I have started this new project, dejunking as I call it. Somewhere I read that my house will �appear� cleaner if I dejunk it so I now have found a new word that will appear through out my life until I feel I have met this new need.

As I am walking up my attic stairs, I really am not looking forward to doing this task. I feel like this is a different lifetime that I am entering. Pieces of my life scattered in boxes, piles through out my attic. (I even have saved cards through out the seasons and put them in the boxes when I pack up my holiday treasures.

I did start this project before this � I found when I opened the Easter box that I have three years of cards, drawings from my children and recipes stored with my decorations. I figured well, I haven�t made that Easter bunny cake yet, I don�t need that magazine article anymore. Pitched it. My kids are getting older (the twins are eight now) so I figure I will save on picture from each of them out of the twenty in the box to keep in their treasure box and I threw the rest away. Sure they were sentimental for a time, but we are in a new stage of life � we can color in the lines now, with new drawing coming home daily.

Yes, I know what you are thinking too, I do have �junk boxes� to pass on to my kids when they reach that age of needing to know what their life consisted of. I started with these small little boxes that were to protect their baby books from the dust, the heat and the cold of being in the attic � but somewhere along the line, I had to move up to a big box for each of the children to contain their lives most important milestones that I could not to part with just yet.  But this will have to be a task for them to tackle later, I am just the collector!

So, I have already been through the Christmas, Valentines Day, and St Patrick�s Day boxes, and now I am on the Easter box � all I really have left is Thanksgiving box that will be much easier so I think I will tackle that right now.  --- Well, all that was in that box was drawings saved from the kids, and my decorations � so I am doing pretty good today even though the garbage is overflowing already and I will have to find another garbage bag.

I come to this pile of (well there had to be at least eleven or twelve) smashed beat up boxes that show that they are holding piles of old books and papers from when my husband was in school.  Another education life contained into boxes. Useless boxes at that!  While I have never actually gone through my husbands cardboard, I feel strange at doing this.  Now mind you, he has been out of college for over ten years, and the boxes look like they haven�t been opened in that long either. The dust piling on top would be a great board for practicing the writing of my entire name!

Anyway, with bag in hand I open the first box.  English for freshmen, binders from  junior science and magazines from a time gone by.  I have to pitch the books, not sure why they have been kept or exactly how much they did cost way back then, but they are useless now.  (Tip � If you have been out of school for less than two years, you may be able to sell your books online through one of many book resell sites to other college students searching for a more inexpensive method to meeting their college needs!)  All I am left with is two magazines and an empty box.  Because my husband will not venture into the attic on such a designated cleaning day as this � I will put the magazines back into the box, keeping the box open to condense the rest of his �boxed life� storage.

I only keep his most memorable precious items such as � the prom pictures he stills keeps, the yearbooks, but the report cards from his first grade years through high school just have to go!  I have made my way through the notebooks (which had to go � used or not) and the saved newspaper clippings from his wresting years gone by (which had to be saved!). I have finally condensed this massive pile into one simple letter sized storage box.  But this box contains history � items that will be important to show the grandkids, or the kids as they continue growing about how great dad is and how much one person can accomplish in life. 

Now I have three garbage bags full of books, papers, awards, and cut up card board to try and drag down the stairs. As I am making my way down the stairs I see a boxed marked 1993 � bills paid � I quickly grab it, not even opening it and haul it to the garbage bucket as well. 

Well, that is one more space made � I wonder what will take place of those boxes. Hopefully nothing for a while anyway.

I am making my way back up those attic stairs � it is time to tackle that box of my �stuff�.  This time I am making my husband come up with my � giving my opinion (yes a strong one at that) at what I should keep of my own.  The decision is so much easier when it is not your own �things� you are actually going through.  I agreed that I should be able to get rid of the how to parenting books finally, and he did give in to my keeping the video of the first sonogram of my oldest son, but at least he is reassuring me what is important as life goes on.  Now I have this space, this actual twelve foot by four foot space with three boxes sitting there � looks so bare! � Until I look around the rest of my attic and see the other �treasures� waiting to be tackled!

Would you believe that the trash man actually took all eight bags this week!  Dejunking my house does feel good. I actually feel like I accomplished something this week. I hate to think about doing the closets but that is another story.

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