Out of the Attic

Our mission was to clear out the attic. It runs the full length of the ranch style home that was built for my husband’s family in 1954.

They have been filling it with stuff since then.attic-storage

It did not/does not look like this picture.

This is a promotional real estate image that I found on an internet search.

The family is preparing to sell their home of 6 decades as their mother has lived in an senior independent living apartment for almost 2 years now.

It is time to let go.

But sorting through/clearing out has been a gargantuan task.

There are books, photographs, holiday decorations, antiques, clothing, arts and crafts. We pulled down 2 dozen plastic storage bins of bedding, linens, window treatments, cooking utensils.

And that is just the attic. There is also a full garage, basement and oversized utility shed.

There is a lifetime of memories, treasures, trash.

Baby steps. This will not happen overnight.

We have been without WIFI connection, 300 miles from home, and much has been put on hold. Including this blog.

Thanks so much to those who have read and followed in spite of the lack of new material.

Hope to be back soon. Van



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93 Responses to Out of the Attic

  1. What a task, Van. This will be so difficult

  2. Clearing out old and unused items can be a major task.
    People accumulate plenty in their life

  3. Jim says:

    a lifetime of memories and experiences disappear so quickly.

  4. Val Boyko says:

    Thinking of you as you approach this immense task Van πŸ’›
    I just admit, you had me going with that photo … I didn’t know whether to be impressed or concerned about the OCD πŸ˜‰

    • That photo was staged, Val. The in-laws were good at using labeled containers, cross-referenced in a logbook. Yep, there is some OCD at work, for sure. What surprises me is that they thought they would need all this stuff one day. There were 18 full comforter sets that she replaced. When she moved out, she bought new stuff for the apartment ??? I don’t get it, I guess.

      • Val Boyko says:

        It’s definitely a mindset. I still have to check myself when I put something away “just in case” … my mum and dad were brought up during World War II so I guess I get a lot from that! It’s all about feeling safe and secure. Take your time and be kind to yourself and siblings ❣️

      • Our many relocations have really been helpful in sorting out what we really need, Val. So many WWII and Depression era families hang on to stuff. I do get that. πŸ’˜

  5. This is a difficult process. We had to clean out my family’s home before we could start the restoration. It was quite an undertaking as no one threw anything away in a hundred years. We found everything from confederate money to empty milk jugs from the 1970s. 😳 Thinking of you. You’ll get through it. Take care!

  6. That seems like a huge undertaking emotionally and logistically. Best of luck on both counts.

  7. This is a tough, tough task. Friends of mine did that for the wife’s parents home where her dad was a hoarder. He had over ten thousand golf clubs in a three bedroom ranch, along with collection upon collection. It was a gargantuan undertaking! Pace yourselves πŸ™‚

  8. George says:

    Ugh…my basement needs a cleaning out. I had a garage sale last summer and got rid of so much but I didn’t make a dent. We need to make some serious decisions but sometimes it’s hard to get of some things. Too many years of not staying on top of it. We may need an intervention😊

  9. Running Elk says:

    …and once you’ve finished with George’s basement, could we book you in? :p

  10. Sue Vincent says:

    Not long since I had to do mine… you have my sympathies! x

  11. Eek! Good luck Van! ❀
    Diana xo

  12. This is what we did 2 years ago after 40 years of my parents being in that home. I understand the huge task for sure! Take it easy and take care of yourself! xxx

  13. writerinsoul says:

    Depression-era people like to hang on to stuff. Not that they’re the only ones. I think now hoarding happens because so much STUFF is available. The psychology behind it fascinates me too. There is typically deep-seated stuff going on, having to do with control. It makes people feel secure but of course it’s a false security and counter-productive. I think it’s wrong that people leave it for others to clean up after them. 18 comforters and buying new!! AGGHHH!!!

    • Thank you for “getting it”. She was anxious for us to bring them down, so she could pick one out. She’s cold at the new apt. (thermostat set at 80). We found out that there were some struggles for them both as children…it was complicated, and no doubt, explains some of this compulsive spending/accumulating.

  14. I do not envy you in having to sort things out. Good luck!

  15. I saw the image of that organized attic with all the bins and nearly fell over! Ha ha. Seriously, it’s tough work, isn’t it? I’ve started the process with my parents and each item has to be mused over before a decision can be made. I have no doubt you are handling it with grace, Van.

  16. Nurse Kelly says:

    Went through this with my husband’s parents a few years ago. It was definitely a process where time and a lot of sensitivity was needed – many emotions tied to a lifetime of belongings. Hang in there – I’ve missed you! xoxo

    • Thanks for the moral support, Kelly.❀️ Sensitivity, for sure. She wanted to come along to the house, that wasn’t happening. She has no room to take any more to her apt., is hoping we will all take some of her collections (brass, ceramics, porcelain birds, animals, houses, teapots.) Looking to auction or e-bay, maybe ? We are all downsizing our own homes.

      • Nurse Kelly says:

        Yeah, selling things is a whole ‘nother part of it! My sister-in-law held garage sales and what was left was donated to charity. It was a long process from beginning to end!

      • The donations are ongoing. I’m partial to Habitat for Humanity, they have taken large furniture items. We found a used book dealer who took hundreds of books, so far. A cancer hospice center took many clothing articles. We are months away from an empty house, but there is progress. ☺

      • Nurse Kelly says:

        Sounds like it. You’ll get there! xo

  17. Binge watch “Hoarders” immediately. It will make your attic look like a walk in the park.

    PS: Only accountants and serial killers have attics that look like that picture and I’m not sure about the serial killers.

  18. C.E.Robinson says:

    Van, such a difficult task! I read somewhere that putting things in identified piles…keep, donate, give-away, sell, throw out…helps. Know you already thought of that! I have a garage full of storage boxes that I need to sort out. Thankful I don’t have an attic! Would love to be a minimalist and live in a tiny house! I’m keeping that thought as I clean out closets, drawers, and cabinets. Do not want my family to deal with all my stuff! πŸ’› Christine

    • I have fantasized about living in a tiny house, would love to downsize sooner than later. All this just motivates me further. Thanks, Christine. πŸ’•

      • C.E.Robinson says:

        I’m serious about the tiny house! Years ago I lived in a 480 sq ft bungalow (ocean in front) and loved it. Then an 800 sq ft house on a canyon. Bought a larger house in the country with too much space to fill up and a yard to maintain. I’d settle for 500-600 sq ft near the ocean again! My sons laugh at the idea! πŸ’› CE

  19. Thinking of you Van, I know what a task and a half this is, after clearing out my Dad’s home after he past.. Love and Blessings your way xxx Sue

  20. I was about to say, wow. That’s your attic. πŸ˜€

  21. lbeth1950 says:

    Oh, I have been there. God help you.

  22. spearfruit says:

    This is very difficult and time consuming – but eventually needs to be done. Hang in there Van! πŸ™‚

  23. Phew! I feel exhausted just reading your post. That’s a gargantuan task. Do take it easy and all the best with sifting through stuff.

  24. amommasview says:

    Wow, Van, what a task… It just made me think about my parents house, the house I grew up in… So much stuff, so many memories in the attic… one day all needs to go. I have to say my parents have done a good job clearing out a lot already but there is still tons. As you said, a lifetime of memories…

  25. Van the attic looks great, coming together has made a difference, It was so hard, I didn’t want to give much up. Growing up with them, I knew all the stories, the furniture and wall art stayed same for 60 years. If it wasn’t broke you didn’t need new. Overtime sorting through their home was like seeing your life passing by. sending you health and happiness.

  26. LaVagabonde says:

    A monumental undertaking. Good luck! My grandmother foresaw such a thing and didn’t want her kids to be burdened with it. She began to organize her affairs after my grandfather died…thirty years ago. She’s now 92 and, even though most has been cleared out, she’s still at it.

  27. I sounds gargantuan! We’re here for you…;)

  28. Good luck – just cleared out my Dad’s house after he moved to a home – he hadn’t been there long but he had brought nearly everything from the previous house (40 year’s worth) and stored it in neatly labelled boxes in garage, attic and spare room, We had to unpack it to check it, decide its destination – keep, auction, charity shop, bin.

    I already had too much stuff and I now have more!

  29. Thinking of you among the dust.. Have a good weekend Van.. you were on my rounds again to call in.. no need to reply.. I know what a busy lady you are xx

  30. marianbeaman says:

    Thank you for the follow today, “Van.” My sisters and I have an attic to clear out too. It also does not look like the one pictured above. Worse. Much worse!

  31. dgkaye says:

    What a job. I’ve taken on that similar task before, and gargantuan is an apt word, lol. Wishing you lots of strength and patience to get through it and look forward to your return. πŸ™‚

  32. Almost afraid to venture a commentβ€”given my blogs name. Wishing you a speedy resolution to the project, Van. πŸ˜€

  33. Good luck – it would take me forever – I would have to examine and read every bit of history stored up there – and then put it all back and keep! 😁

  34. stevetanham says:

    Such a big job. My study is now full of what we should have thrown away from the last house attic!

  35. Rowena says:

    My grandparents’ Queenslander house wasn’t cluttered at all but had things stored away in cupboards and it was like a museum and I loved it. They had an old operating copper under the house. They had a box of cards from the 1940s which must have been collected to send to kids in hospital from the Church or something. I snaffled that up and have used some of them and am still trying to think of a good project for the rest. I collect antique china tea cups and I’ve bought many on eBay and I can’t imagine anyone being able to part with some of these beautiful but each to their own.
    xx Rowena

    • Apart from books, I’ve never collected much of anything. Different strokes… The clutter in cupboards would be much easier to handle. This is not at all museum-like. ☺

      • Rowena says:

        I can feel your pain even though I’m dreadful. I think I would’ve made an excellent hunter gatherer!
        My grandfather was a serious book hoarder and when my grandparents got married, his mother sent all his books round to their flat before their furniture had even arrived. After her husband died, the same one burned all her husband’s stuff while my uncle was salvaging things from the flames.
        That uncle is a hoarder and I suspect the great grandfather was awsw well and she couldn’t wait to get rid of it all!

      • Fire as a solution…yikes. Thanks for sharing, Ro.

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