Summer projects

Summer projects

One more week of school and then we are officially in summer break mode! I feel like I have a solid plan in place for the teens (jobs, camps, time to relax), but they are also going to help me with a big summer project – cleaning out the attics and crawl space under the house.

I have a bad habit of just throwing things in the attics and under the house so they are out of sight and out of mind. 99% of things that go to these places are never seen again. Why am I hanging onto these things?

Some examples – a jogging stroller. Do we have toddlers? Why is this living under the house? Same for bikes that are no longer used, a car roof rack for a car that has not been at our house for over 4 years. Sadly, I could keep going.

My plan in steps.

Step one – photograph and list on Craigslist/Ebay the things we can make some money off of. These funds will be used for the editing services for my Smooch memoir, so I am highly motivated to sell even the smallest items. I feel like my memoir has good content, but it needs to be more narrative, and I need help with this step. Most of the writing that I do professionally is more technical in nature, so story telling is new for me. But oh, do I have good Smooch stories. So Craigslist/Ebay, get ready!

Step two – donate outgrown/out of fashion clothes and shoes. Easy, just bag up the clothes and take them to donation places.

Step three – take all those old textbooks and paperbacks from the 1990s – to present to the Swap Shop. Like my Best Running Friend said this morning, if I have not re-read any of those books by now, they are not getting re-read. Oh, and I don’t even “read” books anymore, so if I were to revisit any of those literary greats, I can just download a copy from Audible.

Step four – take all the kitchen items that went into the attic for our kitchen remodel in 2012 and never made it back downstairs to the Swap Shop.

You might be wondering about this thing called the Swap Shop. It is a great resource at our local recycling center. The rules are you bring things to donate and can take things you find that you need – a swap. I took a bunch of things to the Swap Shop when we did this project when we thought we might move in 2008, and I was amazed at how quickly things were taken. Aidan even found an old Oxford dictionary that still lives on his computer desk.

My clean out plan has a protection clause for my back – have the teens with young, strong backs move the items from the attics and crawl spaces to me in areas that I can stand upright and sort. Of course they will earn allowance money for their hard work. And if this clean out is like the last one, all of us will find things we will rediscover that we must hang onto. But most of it really just needs to find a new home.

What about you? How do you keep your house tidy with organized attics and crawl spaces? Am I the only attic and crawl space hoarder?

2 thoughts on “Summer projects

  1. I haven’t been in our attic (which requires climbing a 12 foot ladder outside) for at least 8 years . It requires strong helper at the top and someone to hold the ladder – problematic since our kids are grown. I want to get up there once more(fall or spring – too hot in the summer) and do a massive cleanout (and to see what damage the squirrels did). I hope to do it this fall because I missed doing it this spring.Probably everything can go.

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