Clutter In The Attic

If you don’t have an Attic, count yourself lucky.

It means you can simply make decisions about possessions and then trot on with your life.

“I think this can go to the Loft” A dangerous phrase if ever there was one.

Let’s be honest, it can often be translated as “I am choosing to delay my decision about whether this item adds true value to my life, in order to pacify a perceived belief that should I make the wrong decision, I will regret it. So I shall place it out of sight and therefore I create a win/win situation for myself”

But let me ask the question: Is it really a win/win situation?

There are rather a lot of items which fit into this category meaning that if the same logic is used, the space will inevitably get rather full…..

So why a problem? As long as everything squeezes up there?

But what’s the purpose of this space? To store lesser used items until needed?

Let’s unpick that further.

Firstly, the items are lesser used, which means they are not regularly in our conscious thoughts. Therefore, when we return to the place they are stored, we need see them at a glance in order to be sure they exist at all. If we can’t, not only do we forget what’s there, but the overcrowded space doesn’t encourage us to remember.

Secondly, the items will be needed. Or will they? If you decide store an item in this way, make sure it really IS a decision to keep the item, rather than a decision not to decide. Otherwise, you’re potentially wasting your precious storage space.

So what can be justifiably shut away in a place which requires effort and motivation to access?

1) Christmas Decorations (preferably in a clear box or labelled)

2) Other difficult to store seasonal items such as heaters/large tog duvets/thick coats in Summer and fans/picnic basket/beach attire in Winter

3) Items your older child has grown out of IF you have or are planning a younger child

4) Large suitcases, unless you travel regularly

5) Just in when items. Items for which the future use is a when rather than an if.

And which items would I call into question?

1) Sentimental items passed down from loved ones. Why put these away out of sight? Keep them in your awareness. Display them. Use them. Enjoy them. Allow them to fulfill their purpose which is to remind you of the happy time of the person. Read this blog for ideas on how.

2) A large amount of “out of season clothes” If you live in the UK at least, the vast majority of clothes span the seasons. Just add more or less warmth to them as required and so double their wearability.

3) Duplicate items. The odds that you will need another are pretty slim. If you do, the odds are that by this time, your tastes/technology/requirements will have moved on. Sell or donate duplicate items and consider it an exercise in living life on the edge.

4) Memory boxes. I’m all for filling these with the meaningful items we collect through our lives (if the contents are carefully chosen) but why lock them away? Ensure the box itself is one you love and display it like a work of art. Go through it once in a while. Celebrate the items within it and the smiles they invoke.

5) Items to which you have affixed a future use but by attaching your own agenda e.g. your wedding dress to pass down to your daughter (who may or may not even exist, let alone get married, let alone want to wear your dress). Noone wants a loved one to feel obligation, yet this seemingly kind action creates just that. Far better to focus on the wants and needs of the other person when the time comes. To play your role as supporter not the controller. To take your agenda out of it.

6) Just in case items. This phrase is a warning that a decision is about to be delayed. Whilst there isn’t always a black and white answer, there is one guarantee: at some point the decision WILL have to be made. If not by you then by your loved ones.

So why not declutter as many decisions from the list as possible now?

To sum up, a quote from Miss Minimalist:

“Your Home Is Living Space Not Storage Space”

How about using that extra space to live rather than store?

Thanks so much for reading!

A Tidy Mind.

If you like simplify your life quotes nearly as much as I do, you’ll love these.

If the thought of tackling your attic alone is too much, maybe a professional approach is due. It could take as little as one session. Browse my packages here or contact me at [email protected].

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