09 December 2009

No Flowers in My Attic

Sometimes when it's your turn for Cleaning Club your mind does acrobatics in anticipation. You think, I want to do something that's not too icky, that needs to be done, that doesn't make my friends hate me, that can involve some sitting down and chatting. Then you think, but I really need to get all those boxes out of the attic. And then your brain does this crazy, sudden Kung Fu move to that idea and is all, no! let's clean out the coat closet or something. And that's usually where mine stops. But, this time, it didn't. The Clean Out the Attic voice was impervious to the Kung Fu moves.

When Jennifer arrived I announced to her, smiling, that we would be going up the rickety ladder into my attic! Where cockroaches may or may not be nesting! And we'll bring up some sharp, rusty tools with us! It'll be great! Like that time we cleaned up dog shit out of your front yard! Even as I was making this great sell to her, I was secretly hoping she would try to deter me from my hateful plan. She didn't. And once Shannon arrived, in a glorious mood (do you sense sarcasm?), and the requisite baby handling and ogling, we got to it.

IMG_1159Since we moved into our house six years ago, there have been boxes--empty and of unknown contents--in our attic, left by the previous owners. Last Christmas, the packing boxes from ordered gifts ended up stashed up there, adding to the fire fodder and the roach habitat. It's been in the back of my mind that I should break down those boxes and recycle them, and see what else is up there to contend with. Once up there we learned that in addition to every household appliance and tacky knickknack that the previous owners (or perhaps the owners before them?) had procured, they had put the empty box in the attic. They'd also sent some hideous draperies and wallpapers up there to die as well.

Once up there, we developed a system wherein I checked each box to see if any inhabitants of the insect variety had taken up residence there, then tossed it to Jennifer, who tossed it over the railing and down to the floor below. Shannon sat on the couch offering support and encouragement.


Box by box, we got them all down, and cleared out all the stuff that'd been stashed there to take to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Coming down from the attic and seeing the floor covered with empty boxes made me realize how much there really was up there, and that it would have been a day long job for me, practically, to deal with it all on my own.


Meanwhile, some little fairies took up playing in the little space created by the descended ladder to the attic.

And some kids hung out away from the chaos, watching some of So You Think You Can Dance. In this picture you can also see our colored pencil arrangement, ala Jennifer's inspiration, and the results of the previous Cleaning Club effort reorganizing our games shelf, and my little, orderly office off in the distance there.

Discovered amidst the boxes in the attic was Luke's racetrack, which was enjoyed by several of the kids.

IMG_1180We broke down the boxes and flattened them and stuck the in Jennifer's van. I loaded the back of my car with the ReStore donations, which was literally across the street from where we went on a field trip the next day, so was easily dropped off in a timely manner (instead of riding around town with me for days like the Goodwill donations usually do).

IMG_1166And although I don't see my attic very often, it is one of those back-of-the-mind projects that felt really good to take care of. And it turned out there weren't swarms of cockroaches (official noun of assemblage for cockroaches? An Intrusion of Cockroaches.)!



Jennifer said...

I really could not believe the size of the pile once it moved down to the foyer. Somehow it shrank again when we managed to fit it all in our vehicles and in the trash/recycling.

I love taking pictures in your house. The light is so great and all the colors always look so nice. I like shooting the dining room from up above, too!

Alisa said...

You are all inspiring me. I've already sent an email to one friend about forming our cleaning club. (I know, Jennifer. I asked you about this more than a year ago. but I'm a procrastinator.)

Shannon said...

LOL! You are in good company, Alisa! We are all pretty procrastinate-y, too. That's a big part of why having other people helps us so much!

Jennifer said...

Ha! That is an understatement. I am a HUGE procrastinator. And so of course the accountability is very important for me.

I started dreaming of having someone to help me get housework done years ago, and it has just this year come into full reality. So don't feel bad! Just start talking about it and try it out once or twice on a trial basis, and maybe even with just one friend. Shannon is working on a post with details and ideas to help other groups get started, so watch for that soon!

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