Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 6: Will My Attic Defeat Me?

I fear it will. It's like a wrestling match every time I go in there. There's one corner in particular that keeps me in a painful half-nelson, hissing at me in a menacing tone, "Do you give? Do you give?" This corner of my attic is populated by layer upon layer of toys that have broken or never worked in the first place (an expensive race track that lasted for two laps, for example) and boxes of school ephemera dating back to 2002. If only I had the wherewithal to chuck it all. None of it would be missed. No one even knows what's there.

I find it difficult to throw things away, not because I'm a hoarder, but because I'd rather recycle stuff than trash it. The problem is, I don't want to give away broken toys. Believing that one day a magic toymaker will come to my house and make everything good as new, I leave the broken- down things in my attic, where they breed with each other and make more broken-down things.

I need to throw the broken stuff away, don't I? Please make me. And convince me that a few math sheets and one spelling test saved from each year will suffice. I can take pictures of the art projects and then put the real deal in the recycling bin. Right? That's okay, isn't?

I'm taking a break from the attic for the day, but will get back to it tomorrow afternoon. A little bit at a time, one day at a time. No saying "Uncle." No rolling over and playing dead.


Danielle said...

It WILL not defeat you!!

Back from the camping trip. Our girls love playing games outdoors and singing silly songs. It's so old-fashioned and lovely it helps see me through the other times.

Pergo floor about finished. Kudos to hubby and big brother. The new carpet is wonderful. Now I get to unpack from a camping trip as well as attempt to get the upstairs rooms back in order. This is going to test me in many ways. To remind myself why we did this, I will roll around on my lovely, clean new carpet. Maybe naked. While everyone else is away.

the crew said...

You can do it, Frances!!! Throw it all away! I LOVE purging things from my home - my favorite saying is, "If you break that, I am throwing it in the trash." Which I know makes me sound like an earth and child hater, which really I am not. But cleaning out attics is a total high for me, so if it becomes unbearable, please call. I will bring a bottle of wine and we will do amazing things. Seriously. So fun. Call me.

Gumbo Lily said...

No, no NO! The attic will not defeat you, my friend! I am with you. I have the same race track that made two laps on Christmas Day and then we could not buy parts for it. I'll throw mine away; you throw yours away and we'll both be giving each other high 5's. I have several rubbermaids full of 5 kids' homeschool work through the years. Yes, we will chuck it. We have the memories. Perhaps there will be one little storybook that our cherubs wrote in 3rd grade that we will save, but we will chuck the rest. I wish we could be doing this together.

Don't say "uncle" yet.

Sandy H said...

I always think of getting rid of junk as a way to make more space to accumulate new and more interesting junk. Like quilting junk. Now that's always worth the space!

That being said, I definitely remember having to slog through years' worth of kids' paperwork, making decisions as to what to keep. It's easier if you let a couple of years pass, actually. When they were both done with elementary school, I bought myself one nice plastic bin (fairly small) for each kid and restricted myself to only keeping what would fit in that bin. That really helped.

So arm yourself with fortitude and maybe some wine...and tackle that attic demon!

magsmcc said...

What are rubbermaids? Who is this uncle and do you share one with Gumbo Lily? Why does the attic need to be cleared? I'm just going to wait until ours falls though the roof. I've commented before about the essential hope that we will do something with their first dinner ticket etc. I still have the blank scrapbooks... I do think the photographing of the robots made from rubbish is genius. That would get rid of one big squatter in the spare room! You are 20% through November, Frances- yay!!

Tracy said...

I think I need to come for a visit Frances. I'll do the chucking and you'll not be forced to make these decisions. Easy fix. I'm really good at throwing things out. It happened the year we moved after only 18 months and I had to store things for an undefined period of time. I culled a lot. And then I unpacked about 18 months later and threw out a whole lot more that I then wondered why I'd wasted energy on packing and storing.

You can do it!

debbie bailey said...

Ask yourself the question, "How would I feel if all of this junk was gone?" If the answer is, "Wonderful and fifty pounds lighter!", then LET IT GO AND THROW IT OUT!

I've found it so freeing to not even go through stuff but to just bag it up and Goodwill it. It takes way too much mental energy to go through stuff. Of course, I already know that there's nothing important in there I'd want to keep. You'd hate to throw out the only drawing your child ever made.

The dB family said...

Totally hearing you on the schoolwork! It's on my list to pare down the keepers to minimal. When my crowd leaves home they really should only have to take one box of Momma's favorites each, right?? The attic will NOT defeat you!! Hang in there and work on those small chunks at a time.