My house was built in the 1890s and offers endless opportunities for “home improvement” projects…painting, plastering, replacing wiring, squeaky doors and floors…there is always something to fix.
I’ve realized that an unexpected benefit of home projects is the opportunity to reflect on our things. When things get moved around, it’s the perfect time to pause and purge.
For example, last year we upgraded our wiring, which meant that everything in my attic had to move so that the floor boards could come up, and wires and cables could be dropped down through the walls to the second floor. All my semi-organized things moved from one side of the attic to the other, or got piled up in another room.
Finally the wiring was complete and it was time to put everything back. Yikes, what a project! As I started in I was surprised to discover an old bent bed frame that was tucked in the attic corner when we moved in. Hmm, why were we keeping that?
Then I started to to take a closer look and realized other things could go. The waffle iron box for the waffle iron that broke three years ago? Gone. Several other empty boxes for things we no longer had—gone. Broken fans and carpet remnants—gone. Yes, that is part of what was in my attic, and I’m a professional organizer!
My next step was to group and sort the things we were putting back. A big revelation was to keep outgrown baby/child equipment together to go through at another point. We set aside some boxes of books to pare down later, and started a box of small items to donate.
This project was a reminder of how easy it is to stuff our stuff into storage spaces, only to be forgotten! So the next time you are forced to move things around—whether it is a closet or your entire attic—be sure to take the time to pause and purge.
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