Downsizing: Up to the Attic!


I’d love to travel back in time! My first choice is America in the first part of the twentieth century. Second would be dinosaur days. I’d bring my grandson Mazen with me, and we’d watch the dinosaur world from the top of very safe mountain.

This summer, Cliff and I climbed into a real time machine. We went up the ladder to our attic and dealt with thirty years worth of stuff.

I was amazed at our discoveries, including posters from my high school bedroom; sturdy wooden puzzles just right for grandson Mazen; my great-aunt’s tray table, now on the back porch; and Katherine’s Jem lunchbox, a prize for giving up her pacifier at age four.


Why do attics hold such mystique?

Things stored in basements or garages may be part way out the door, but if it goes up in the attic, someone has made a decision that the item has merit, often of  a sentimental nature. And once an item is up there, it hides away until someone comes looking.


Our attic is now empty except for Christmas decorations and American Girl doll clothes and accessories, with hopes of a little girl in our future. I kept some of the treasures we found. The rest went to Goodwill and the recycling shed.

Empty Attic

As much as I was itching to tackle our attic, I’m feeling wistful now that it’s empty. Clearing the attic, like a milestone birthday or a child’s wedding, reminds me that a lot of years went by really fast.

But at least I’ve got the puzzles and posters to prove it.


11 thoughts on “Downsizing: Up to the Attic!”

  1. I, too am emptying closets and attics and under the bed. We aren’t downsizing yet since we still have college aged children, but it is coming faster than I thought possible when I was picking up the matchbox cars for the thousandth time!
    I am curious about your recycling shed. Can you share more about that or is there a post that I missed with that info? We have this neighborhood email thing called Nextdoor Neighbor ( and I have been posting my giveaways on that but then that means six emails, 12 phone calls, etc, etc. It is really amazing what I put up in the attic to ‘deal with later’….


    1. Your Nextdoor sounds like our Freecycle, which I find very inefficient. People tell you they are coming and never show etc. The Shed is part of our county recycling center. Something else I have done is put stuff out on the street with a sign that says “Free.” (Big stuff). It’s somewhat tacky and probably not appropriate for most neighborhoods but ours is kind of funky with a lot of through traffic, so I had great luck with it (and never would leave anything out there more than a day or two). Cliff was semi-mortified at first, but we he realized people were taking the stuff, he was okay.


  2. Congrats on an empty attic! I doubt I’ll see mine empty anytime soon but I’d love to see it less clogged. Good winter project – if I can stand the cold up there!


  3. So hard to get rid of stuff. My kids don’t want their things- old school stuff, etc. But I hate to get rid of it. Good luck! We even moved 8 years ago and still seem to have a full attic.


  4. Wow! Your last photo is inspirational. I may need to print it and display it on my refrigerator to inspire a long procrastinated and much needed attic emptying project so I can have air conditioning installed (and find the source of a roof leak)!


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