Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week 1: Decluttering our half story

It's amazing the amount of crap that you can amass in just a few years.

As I said in my previous post, our house is small. We have a full basement as well as a half story/converted attic which has been used as an office for my husband in the summer when he writes marching band drill. There is also a full sized bed upstairs, as well as an armchair with an ottoman, a dresser and a side table, as well as several short bookcases that line the walls of the half story. The ceiling is fairly low so you may hit your head on the ceiling if you're not aware of your surroundings.

When we first moved into this house, we managed to keep the upstairs fairly neat. In fact when we brought our new kitten Lily home shortly after we moved in, that was where she lived for the first few weeks while she got acclimated to living with us. After some major life changes the following year (a change in career for me), we gradually began moving all of our clutter up into the half story, rather than finding an appropriate place for it.

During this first week of preparing our house to be put on the market in August, we have been rooting through all of this clutter and have discovered many interesting things...some of them "lost treasures" like notes from former students, others are things that we would prefer never to see again. All in all it is amazing to discover just how much junk you can amass in just a few short years!

I have found the best way to deal with the clutter, most of which tends to be junk mail and other paper goods is to divide into "neat and manageable piles". The piles consist of four bankers boxes with labels such as "To Shred", "To Keep", "To File" and "Recycle".  Over the last week we have dumped several loads of recyclables  into the ABTIBI paper bins near of our work least someone will actually benefit from our clutter! We also have several boxes of items which are to be shredded by a local non profit which provides work opportunities for special needs adults. We are beginning to see real progress upstairs, but this process becomes a bit daunting when we realize that we have to go through this in every room of the house in order to stage this house to be put on the market.  Not only will it be frustrating to dig through all of that junk we have gathered through the years, but it is a challenge to do anything when you have a six month old infant who is going through a co-dependent stage.

I look forward to the next, more fun stage of this project that should involve buying a new neutral IKEA couch and new window treatments. But before that can happen, we have to paint every wall in this house, as well as move all unnecessary pieces into a storage unit nearby for the duration of the time the house is on the market.  Hopefully this all will remain relatively painless process and we can remain motivated!

This is a picture of our upstairs shortly after we moved in in 2006. That's me with our sad little kitten Lily, who was very scared, but who had the entire upstairs as her playground for the first two weeks she lived here. To this day, she still considers the upstairs to be her area of the house.

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