Christmastime is Here (Yay!)… Time to Brave the Attic (Bah Humbug!)

So Thanksgiving is o-v-e-r, which means I barked loudly enough at C on Friday for him to please get the Christmas decorations down from the attic. Since this stuff is out of sight (and mind) for a good 11 months, so Thanksgiving weekend is the weekend I must go through, assess, and evaluate what I have already and what more we require by way of holiday decorations, wrapping, baking items, and all the other festive trimmings before I hit the town to replenish and replace.

I don’t know about the storage situation at your house, but here at ours, space is at a premium. By premium, I am talking high-dollar real estate if we decide to keep anything that requires long-term storage, and we have a full-sized, walk-in attic (pull-down stairs and everything). The problem is that, well, we apparently own and/or have acquired a lot of stuff (junk) over the years, and once we had T, the stuff just seemed to multiply without any effort whatsoever. Example: if T outgrew anything, the mantra was, “Just put it into the attic.” So after more than 38 attic trips, gee, no wonder it’s all filled up!

Here's the Christmas stuff! We had a missing bin for a little while, but with C's perseverance (and while enduring a minor foot injury), he lovingly located it for me in the hell that is our attic. Oh and he found that cool 10-function massage / heat chair up there, too (which I'm sitting in as I type this up). Merry early Christmas to us... ahh!

With that, C went up this past weekend to first find and then haul down the Christmas bins. We aren’t even talking about a lot of stuff here, just four regular-sized Rubbermaid bins (plus a box for the tree stand). What he brought down first though was a pile of about a dozen empty boxes that were for things we either no longer own or things that are many, many years’ old (so no reason to keep the empty box anymore). C then said anytime he goes into the attic from now on that he’s bringing down one or two more empty boxes. I guess if he just does this about 38 more times, then it might free up some walking room so he doesn’t have to hurdle over boxes full of nothing AND empty boxes to find what he’s looking for. C also said it’s time to clear the entire attic and go through everything so we can reorganize and reload (or better yet, recycle the old yet still usable items). Once it’s vacated he wants to Shop-Vac the space, reinsulate, deck out the rafters, relabel all the bins, and organize it so that all the keepsake stuff is farthest from the stairs, the decorations in order by date closest to the stairs, and so on and so forth.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Yeah, more like daunting if you ask me. Yeah, I’ve heard this one before. See, we have this conversation about once a year and it always seems to be right at the start of this season, the most wonderful yet busiest time of the year. The chat usually ends with me getting bent and resisting his recommendations, but not this time. At C’s urging, I finally got up there and looked for myself (I usually don’t, think Scooby Doo), and he’s right. It’s pretty awful: Scattered insulation, empty boxes, unmarked and disorganized tubs and boxes full of who-knows-what, and bags and bags of stuffed animals. (To all family and friends reading this: Please, no more stuffed animals. T has as many stuffed animals in his room as I do up in the attic from my entire childhood!).

Another cool find amongst the empty boxes and clutter was this Railroad Crossing coin bank. T got this a few Christmases ago, but he was just too young to appreciate it. Merry early Christmas to him as well!

Of course, this undertaking will mean a month of my parking in the driveway and filling the garage with Rubbermaid tubs full of memories (and nothing at all) and going through one by one and doing some hardcore reorganization. It also means C finally gets up there, cleans it up, and turns it into a more functional, organized space. OK, fine, I’m in. I’d like to kick off next holiday season by not having the same little chat about our piles of junk as I merrily unpack tree ornaments, holiday books and DVDs, and cookie cutters with T. I’m also pretty sure C would love to kick off next year’s holiday by not having to do acrobatic maneuvers while benignly retrieving the Christmas decorations.

Dear 2012, you have my (our) first resolution on record. You read it here first. So did you, C. Just get back to me AFTER New Year’s Day, please, and let’s all try to enjoy the magic of the holiday season without stuff strife. Thanks. xxoo me