A Step Back…

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Do you know those posts where bloggers sometimes write about how messy their house is, or how it looks when not getting staged for a photo – in other words – those posts that show real life?

Well, I have one of those for you today.  A real life snapshot of what the past few days at my house looked like.

Spring Cleaning

Boxes everywhere!!!  No, we are not moving – just cleaning out the attic.

Attic cleaning

I had planned to post about painting the sideboard in my family room today, but I had to stop and take a big step back – literally to sift through the past.

Cleaning out the attice

Both my daughters were home last week and I happened to mention to them that the attic was filled with stuff saved from their childhood.  If we move, and they are not around – it might get thrown out, so they should go through it soon to find what they want to keep and get rid of the rest.


Well, they decided to get right to it. Not quite what I expected.  The thought, “Oh, not now, I have projects to work on”, fleeted through my mind,  but that quickly passed as the beautiful visions of an empty attic came to mind.

Since the attic is cold, they decided to bring all the boxes to the family room so they could watch movies as they sifted and purged through boxes.  Moving it all down from the attic to the family room was a major undertaking in itself.

Derby Racers

As big of a chore as it was for them, they also enjoyed it  – a trip down memory lane seeing their childhood toys, books and trinkets they played with and loved.

Glo Worms

They had a hard time throwing out anything with a face – Ed joked that they should watch Toy Story as they were purging, but they both chimed back “No way – we would never be able to get rid of anything then” 

Cleaning out the attic

Ed hung out on the couch to watch golf for a while – a neighbor even came over and sat on the couch among all the boxes to watch with him. They had a few drinks like it was a normal weekend afternoon spent watching golf together.

Cleaning house

I, on the other hand could not do the projects I had planned, but orchestrated the logistics of the purge. 2 days of purging, boxes, piles, and stuff everywhere and no space for me to work on the sideboard.


Life is good though, when there is a big trash can in your foyer, right?

This was a huge undertaking. Years and years of accumulated stuff – saved at the time for some reason or another – now gone.

The house feels much lighter now – and the HUGE check off my To-Do list even though the task made me step back from completing another project feels liberating!   I feel I have jumped forward by a mile getting the attic cleaned up and the task no longer hanging around in my head.


There are still a few “keeper” boxes in the living room waiting to go back to the attic, the deck outside filled with empty boxes that need to get flattened and recycled as well as a trip or two to Goodwill in store for me today.

Now that the task is completed, I realize the “Just Do It”  philosophy  even if it means stopping something else you were doing, gets everything moving in the right direction.

If I keep up the momentum, maybe I will have the guest room closet, basement, and garage done before Spring arrives. Now that would truly be a step in the right direction.



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  1. I am so amazed that it actually got finished….. WTG! I am picturing a lot of happy little kids that will get their toys.

    I don’t want to talk about my junk room (supposed to be guest room)! I have no attic, no basement, no garage. I need to get something done soon, cause I need a sewing room that I can keep shut, cause of my awful floors (tearing up carpeting to find black glue under 9 inch linoleum tiles, that is nasty). My kitty kats and pups track black paw prints onto everything….. it is really awful. Wish me luck…. lol lol lol…… sigh.

  2. @Cathie – smartest idea ever! Pictures of everything, throw it on the computer, add a favorite song from childhood and then you have a great slide show they can store on their computers!

    Win win!

  3. I’m just amazed you got it done in a weekend. Did your hubby get the job? I’m praying…hoping you’re done waiting.

    1. Hi Michele – It took all weekend. 2 solid days of going through it. And about a half hour to get what they wanted to keep back to the attic. :) No job for Ed yet, but he is doing some consulting. I created a website for him, still tweaking it, but he is going to try to self employ himself consulting and if a job comes up, he can still do that on the side. Thanks for asking :)

  4. You all did a great job and think of it this way. It was a bonding time & creating a memory in itself!

  5. You must feel great! We don’t have an attic, or basement, but we still manage to accumulate stuff. With Spring comes the urge to purge. Your home just looks normal…for purging! ;)

  6. Congratulations on cleaning out the dreaded attic! I personally keep putting it off and what happens? The stuff multiplies like rabbits…whenever we can’t figure where to put something, up the stairs it goes to the ever fuller attic! You are inspiring me to take charge of it and ruin my downstairs too! LOL

  7. My friend’s college age daughter came up with the perfect solution. She loved the memories that her childhood and high school items brought her but did not want the stuff taking up space. She took pictures of the items she wanted to remember and put them in an album. Memories still there in lots less space. Items could then be donated or trashed.

    1. Hi Cathie –
      I did take a few pictures of a few items for them – things they really didn’t want, but had a fun memory attached to them. I remember reading in a magazine once – to start doing that when your kids are little. Take a photo of all the cute art they make in school, projects, etc and keep them in an album. Doing so would keep the stuff from piling up in the first place. :)

  8. The thought of doing this very necessary task just tugs at my heart. When I do these projects I am consumed in the “where did the time go?”…..makes me sad : ( It’s true…time does fly!

  9. How liberating that must feel! I just finished a huge project of unpacking china and arranging in a new breakfront. The china was on the kitchen counters and everywhere for about 4 days and what a pleasure to walk in the kitchen and see a clean counter this am.

  10. Wow Diane, what an undertaking. We need to do this too. What a great idea to involve the kids. I have issues with letting go of childhood things. If my kids say let it go maybe I would feel better having “permission”. I am sure you feel so good knowing that job is off your list!

  11. That is quite a feat. I have been progressively clearing out for three years now – it is soooo liberating. I had big purges with my girls each holidays and they enjoy it (really they do).

  12. Good for you! I still have stuff in the attic for my girls. In fact, I think my mom still has some of my stuff in her attic.

  13. It can be a big feeling of satisfaction to get something like that done, Diane. We had to do our attic because we were moving. It felt so good afterwards. Half the stuff I’m not even sure why we held onto it, but other things like the kids’ stuff I had a hard time getting rid of. My kids did take some of their things, but others got donated. I remember I had to keep reminding myself not to let emotion into taking on that project.

  14. I wonder how you convinced Your daughters to keep only few boxes of keepsakes? When my mum tried to “clean up” my childhood stuff I couldn’t get rid of anything. I even kept my old school notebooks, so her idea of tidying up did not work. Your daughters were really brave. I am still worried that very few items from my childhood that I managed to get rid of will revenge on me one day…

  15. I love that you were able to turn a project most of us dread into something fun, and that you didn’t do it halfway! Kudos!

  16. I love this post Diane! We moved all the time growing up and I know tons of my “stuff” was “lost” with each move. My mom announced a few yrs ago that anything left in her attic of ours would find its way to the curb if we didn’t claim it asap. Fun times perusing through the memories of the past. Happy purging!

    1. Hi Kim – My mom told my siblings and I the same thing after we had all graduated from college and were out on our own. We each took what we wanted and the rest went to the curb. When my parents moved years later, we did come across a few treasured items that were boxed up in the attic. It was fun discovery. I probably saved more of my girls stuff than needed to be saved, but I didn’t want them to ever say to me – What! you threw that out! :) So their stuff went up to the attic. Now they are making the decisions.