Tag Archives: attic

Clutter Clearing Success is a Choice!

You never know what will lead to a major clutter clearing achievement! I had not planned to

A simple choice can make a big difference!

work on any particular clutter clearing projects this past weekend. I was merely picking up the house to get ready for the house cleaner. I had a stack of tax files to go to the attic. As I contemplated taking them up there I cringed a bit. The order in my attic had “melted down” over the winter. The space had been so cold that instead of carefully putting things away, I had been doing a hit and run put away process. I’d get to the top of the stairs and put items in any open space I could find. Yes, professional organizers take short cuts that create more clutter too!

Now I was facing a congested mess whose negative energy had my gut churning and my mind racing for excuses to do anything but go up there. Fortunately I recognized my resistance for what it was, a reluctance to face the negative energy I had created in a small attic that at best is hard to move around in. I knew I had two choices: toss the file folders into the mess and shut the door, or reorganize and reclaim the space so I could put the tax files in the bin where they belong.

I knew it would be better to bite the bullet and tackle the mess that day because the attic temperature was perfect. If I waited much longer I’d be avoiding the space because it would be too hot. That fact gave me the extra nudge I needed to decide in favor of reclaiming order in my attic.

Once up in the attic I had to fight with irritation and annoyance about how crowded the space was in order to stay the course. However, the congestion created an urgency to get rid of things. After the first few hesitant decisions it felt so good to relieve the pressure caused by too many things in a small space that I got on a roll and was able to identify half a car load of things to take to Goodwill. I also brought down three boxes and four bags of old files to sort and get rid of. Once those things were out of the attic, reorganizing what was left was actually fun.

When done with the attic I was so energized that I very quickly went through all the paper files, sorting those that need to be shredded from those that could be recycled immediately. Within two hours I had 5 grocery bags of paper for recycling and one stack of paper to be shredded. I’ve never cleared paper so quickly! The energy and optimism that I got from that clearing stayed with me all weekend, and made it possible for me to get many other important tasks done.

It all started with recognizing that I had a choice to make when I encountered internal resistance to fixing the mess I’d created. I could have taken the easy path that would only make my attic clutter challenge worse and more time-consuming when I finally addressed it. Instead I found a compelling reason not to procrastinate reclaiming my attic. I chose the path that was more mentally challenging, but that led to new order, great relief, and increased energy and motivation to continue clearing. I made the right choice and was paid for my efforts with a deep sense of well being, optimism, and positive energy.

The next time you run into a choice point that involves clearing clutter, what path will you choose? The easy road that provides only temporary pleasure and ultimately more challenge? Or, the more difficult path that provides a deeper sense of satisfaction, feelings of competence and success, and that keeps your life moving in a positive direction? It is a choice.

The Junk Drawer: A Kitchen Mini-Attic

Don’t know what to do with the curtains you removed from a child’s bedroom? Stick them in the attic! Don’t know what to do with miscellaneous pieces of plastic that might be important for

Adding dividers or small containers to “junk” drawers to separate items into categories can transform your “junk” drawer into a highly functional drawer.

some reason? Stick them in the junk drawer! Is it any wonder that most people cringe, not only when attics are mentioned, but also when junk drawers become the subject of conversation? Junk drawers are the “I don’t know what to do with it” places for small items, often located in the kitchen.

What I don’t understand is how that drawer of miscellaneous items got its name. Often most of the things in a junk drawer are not junk. They are useful items: screw drivers and other small tools, pencils, pens, batteries, nail files, sewing kits, screws and nails, gum, rubber bands . . . I’ll bet junk drawers were so named because their contents were jumbled and looked junky!

I object to using the adjective “junk” to describe any storage area in a house, because using “junk” to describe a space gives it permission to be junky. I once had a client who had a junk room! Can you imagine giving over one whole room in a house to junk?! Needless to say, that room is now a small study, not a junk room!

Believe it or not, junk drawers can be transformed from junky spaces to organized places with organizer inserts or small containers to hold the different categories of things you choose to keep in that drawer. You can even find those containers around the house, if you have some small boxes set aside for gift giving. Both lids and boxes can be used.

Be sure to limit the contents of each container to one category. For example, one container might hold batteries, another would hold pens and pencils, and a third would hold miscellaneous tools. Don’t mix items within a container or you’ll transform your neatly organized drawer of miscellaneous small items back into a junk drawer.

And, why not call your newly organized drawer of miscellaneous small items something fun like the Picasso drawer or the Discovery drawer? You decide! If you want to be successful in maintaining a really useful storage space for miscellaneous small things in your kitchen, let go of the “junk drawer” label. You’ll be glad you did the next time you are able to quickly find that miscellaneous piece of plastic that turns out to be the battery cover for the back of your TV remote!

The “Junk” Drawer: The Mini-Attic in the Kitchen

Don’t know what to do with curtains you removed from a child’s bedroom,
stick it in the attic! Don’t know what to do with miscellaneous pieces of plastic that might be important for some reason, stick it in the junk drawer! Is it any wonder most people cringe not only when attics are mentioned, but also when junk drawers become the subject of conversation! It’s the “I don’t know what to do with it” place for small items, often located in the kitchen.

What I don’t understand is how that drawer of miscellaneous items got its name. Often most of the things in a junk drawer are not junk. They are useful items: screw drivers and other small tools, pencils, pens, batteries, sewing kits, screws, nails, nail files, gum, rubber bands. . . I’ll bet junk drawers were so named because their contents were a jumble and looked junky!

I object to using the adjective “junk” to describe any storage area in a house because using “junk” to describe a space gives it permission to be junky. I once had a client who had a junk room! Can you imagine giving over one whole room in a house to junk?! Needless to say, that room is now a small study, not a junk room!

Believe it or not, junk drawers can be transformed from junky spaces to organized places with small containers to hold the different categories of things you choose to keep in that drawer. You can even find those containers around the house, if you have some small boxes set aside for gift giving. Both lids and boxes can be used. 

Be sure to limit the contents of each container to one category. For example,markers-433177_640 one container might hold batteries, another would hold pens and pencils, and a third would hold miscellaneous tools. Don’t mix items within a container or you’ll transform your neatly organized drawer of miscellaneous small items back into a junk drawer. 

Though you can find all kinds of miscellaneous items in junk drawers, common categories for containers might include: pens and pencils, paperclips, rubber bands, office tools like a stable remover, hole punch, stapler, regular tools like screwdrivers and hammers, post-it notes,  and batteries.

And, why not call your newly organized drawer of miscellaneous small items something fun like the Picasso drawer or the Discovery drawer? You decide!

Remember, if you want to be successful in maintaining a really useful storage space for miscellaneous small things, let go of the “junk drawer” label. You’ll be glad you did the next time you are able to quickly find that miscellaneous piece of plastic to put on the back of your TV remote!

Clear Clutter and Create an Attic You Love

I can imagine that many of your are thinking, “Love my attic. Are you kidding?” What2008 Photos 003 would it take for you to love your attic? Attics are not places that we think about loving. They are storage spaces, not areas where you hang out. But, imagine going into your attic without a sense of dread. Imagine actually looking forward to entering your attic. What would that attic look like? How would it feel?

Here are some of my ideas for having an attic that you love:

  • It has been cleared of all things that you no longer love or use and gets cleared at least once a year.
  • It is well organized so you can find things easily.
  • It has space to move around–not packed to the gills!
  • The floors have been swept or vacuumed to remove dust and grime.
  • The things you use most often are conveniently located for easy access.
  • Everything in the space is in good condition and in good working order.
  • Everything in the space has a purpose.
  • It has good lighting.
An attic you can love.

An attic you can love.

An attic like the one I’ve described would certainly not feel like the burden that most attics seem to be. It would still be a storage area, not a place to spend time, but I’ll bet you’d be less likely to procrastinate going there. Perhaps that’s as close to loving your attic as you can get.

Fall is a great time to clear clutter out of your attic! Feng shui teaches that the attic is the area that holds energies of your hopes and aspirations. Make an investment in attaining your hopes and aspirations by decluttering your attic!

The Gift of Time: A Clutter Clearing Opportunity

A Clutter Clearing Victory!

My weekend plans were changed by a car problem. As a result, I was blessed with most of one day to do whatever I wanted. I could have done some writing. Or, I could have finished some tasks I couldn’t get to last week. Instead I chose to tackle the attic. Why? Because it was the first cool day when I had some time to work up there. And, the attic holds the energy of my hopes and aspirations. I have some compelling wants right now. I figured I could use all the positive energy I could get!

My attic is smaller than most, due to the pitch of our hip roof, and it can get congested very quickly. In the hot summer months it’s much easier to just drop items at the top of the pull down stairs instead of putting them where they really belong. So, my attic was a jumbled mess of negative energy. What a blessing to get most of a day to tackle that hot spot! Now I have a collection of items at the front door, including two bags of shredded supporting documents from our 2005 taxes. And, I have a neat, organized attic! Wonderful!

The next time you’re gifted with an unexpected block of time, consider it a clutter clearing opportunity. What will you clear?

© 2012 Clutter Clearing Community | Debbie Bowie

“Author, Organizing Expert and Feng Shui Practitioner, Debbie Bowie, is a leading authority on clutter clearing to attract more of what you want in life. If you’re ready to clear clutter and move your life forward, get your FREE TIP SHEET, “Feng Shui Tips for Instant Success” at http://www.clutterclearingcommunity.com.

Attic “Hell” Blocking Hopes and Aspirations

I say the word “attic” when I give a speech, and at least half the audience cringes or groans. Why is that? Perhaps, as is so common, their attics have become toxic dump sites.

As I was helping a client excavate her attic, amidst the boxes of useless stuff covered with pollen, dust and dirt, I found myself pondering attics. I thought, “If people remembered that one day they’d be going through the equivalent of ‘hell’ in order to sell their house, follow their dream, or move to a better living situation, they would be VERY careful about what they put up in attics!” But, alas, most of us live only in the moment when the attic seems an easy answer for storing things you aren’t quite ready to get rid of, or about which you are unable to make decisions.

I hate clearing out attics. Did I say that already? Well, I do. They are most often nasty, dirty places housing items of marginal value. These days it’s rare that I run into an attic that holds really interesting stuff. For example, a recent find by a client who was excavating her attic in preparation for a move was 6 boxes of miscellaneous junk that one of her sons threw into boxes, probably when he’d been ordered to clean his room, and hauled into the attic. The son moved away, but his litter remained. The only redeeming quality of that stuff was that it was quickly pitched into the trash with minimal effort and few tears of nostalgia. My thought was, “Why did it end up there in the first place!”

Here are my suggestions for maintaining an attic as a useful storage area instead of a toxic dump site:

  1. Teach all family members that the attic is NOT a place to dump things they don’t want to deal with.
  2. Store only items that have a high likelihood of being used again at a later date.
  3. Attempt to store only the following categories in the attic: luggage, seasonal decorations, out of season clothing or linens, archived financial documents, furniture and household items that grown children will later use in homes of their own, camping/seasonal recreation equipment. Most other categories of items, like books and memorabilia, do not do well when subjected to the temperature extremes of an attic.
  4. Once a year review the contents of the attic, clear out useless items and restore order.

And, remember, feng shui teaches that an attic is the area of your hopes and aspirations. No wonder so few people aren’t achieving their dreams! The area of their hopes and aspirations primarily holds the remains of old dreams and cast off items.

Treat your attic with the respect it deserves, and not only will it be a useful place to store items of real value, but you’ll be more likely to achieve your hopes and aspirations.