10 September 2007

There are chores, and then there are CHORES

Doing the laundry. Running errands. Unloading the dishwasher. Running the vacuum cleaner. Daily events, a part of mundane life. We all do them mostly without thinking too much about them. Even though there are only two of us in my household, most of these things need done on a daily basis.

Then there are the things that need done around the house that we don't do frequently. At my house, they tend to be things that I see, and things that drive my obsessive-compulsive self crazy because they aren't done, but they are things that aren't any fun and neither of us wants to do them.

One of those things at our current residence has been to clean the attic. No, I can't see it on a daily basis (Blessed Be!) but it has been much on both of our minds.

Our attic has been crammed full of junk, no wait, really, let's be blunt: it was full of shit, from the day we moved in. Not our shit, either. The former occupant of the house, bless her, exhibits some classic hoarding behaviors. There was also a room inside the house crammed full of her junk...no, wait....there were TWO rooms full of stuff when we started working on the house. Thankfully, I know for a fact that she's computer illiterate, so she won't be reading this anytime soon.

There were things like boxes full of more boxes, bags full of more bags, boxes filled with General Foods International Coffee tins, emptied of their contents, inside the house. Seriously. WTF?! Why would you want those? I'm sure, positive, that there is a method to her madness, but I don't know what it is.

I have only ever been in the attic to put our holiday decorations up there and then remove them annually, so I don't think very often about the fact that it was crammed wall-to-wall, floor to ceiling, with more junk. We simply moved aside the junk we needed to move in order to be able to get our stuff up there and left the rest alone.

Until this past weekend. Our piece of suburban hell has collectively agreed to rent a dumpster, a 30 cubic yard dumpster, in which everyone who pays into it will be allowed to dispose of general junk. DH and I both knew that there were a few salvageable things in that attic, but we've put off going through any of it because it is always either too hot or too cold up there to work. Plus the lights don't function, so you have to drag an extension cord and work-lights up there to be able to see or do anything.

And what did we find in the attic? Unfortunately, not the ticket to riches. There isn't a Monet or Picasso hiding up there, that's for sure. More boxes full of smaller boxes. More bags full of bags. More General Foods International Coffee tins. All empty. (Seriously. W.T.H.? That stuff isn't/wasn't any good at all.) Along with boxes full of styrofoam packing peanuts, (dude, I hate those things) boxes full of tissue paper, bags upon bags of take-out containers, washed and clean, stacked neatly with deli containers, margarine tubs, and boxes full of foam rubber. Empty shoeboxes. Bags full of toiletries from hotels and cruise ships. Pieces and parts of various refrigerators; the only thing missing that you'd need to build a whole fridge is the cabinet itself and the doors.

Everything that can be recycled will be, but a whole lot of it is going into the dumpster. We did find a few pairs of shoes, brand new, which if you know me IRL you know that shoes are an issue for me. But unfortunately, these are all about a size 5-1/2, which I would, sadly, not ever be able to wear.

We managed to go through about half of the attic's contents in just over two hours, the heat up there is a motivating factor to get it done and get the heck outta there. We've found a small amount of salvageable things, which may end up on eBay at some point. We're afraid that the amount of stuff that is currently dumpster-bound is going to fill the dumpster; half of our garage is full of this junk. So we've decided to leave half of the attic as is until we see how much stuff our neighbors are getting rid of. Wouldn't want to hog the dumpster space.

If anything, this has reminded me of how important it is to use the resources at hand wisely. I was talking to environmentally hyper-conscious Babysis the other day, and she asked me, "If we all lived like the lady who used to live in your house, how many landfills do you think we'd need?" Thousands more than what we have is my only answer.

It is really a shame that we're not done up there yet; we still, even with half of the attic being junk that we neither need nor want, have to get OUR junk up there, clearing space in the garage so that we can both breathe when walking through there. It is so cluttered that it makes us both nuts. How do we acquire so much crap? Ugh.

Laundry? Chore. Cleaning the attic? CHORE.

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