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4 Hacks for Effectively Cleaning Your Attic

4 Hacks for Effectively Cleaning Your Attic

Another new year has begun and for most people that means new year’s resolutions. Very few people manage to think of their resolutions in February and beyond, so it is important to get as many done as possible in January while it is still fresh on the mind. The easiest ones to get done now are the ones that involve a single task.

Most homeowners have a lot of resolutions that involve home renovations or home cleanup, and when it comes to cleaning up a home, there is no place more scary or intimidating than the attic. Years of junk piled up and buried under layers of dust and rat droppings are exciting to nobody.

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Here are some important things to note and think about as you get started on that big attic-cleaning project.

Get Organized

If you just head up into your attic and start moving things around, then you will likely discover halfway through cleaning that the organizational structure you are using doesn’t really make sense. Part of you will want to start over and do things differently. Another part of you will want to just continue with your current disorganized system because starting over is too daunting.

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So before you start make sure you understand exactly where everything is going to go. What kind of stuff will go in the trash? What categories will you use to group things so that you can find them in the future? Once you have these questions answered, you can move on to doing the actual work.

Poop Check

If you have not been in your attic for a long while, then there is a good chance a rodent or two has made its way up there. This can be more dangerous than most people realize. One thing to look for from the start is bat feces. Here is a guide to identifying bat poop and knowing how to clean it up. Bat droppings actually are known to carry a disease called histoplasmosis that can be extremely hard to treat. Mice poop can also be dangerous, especially if inhaled. With this in mind, it is a good idea to wear a mask the first few times you go up.

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If you find rodent excrement it may be a good idea to call a professional to remove it. If you are confident in your ability and safety then you can do it yourself, just remember to be careful.

Enjoy Nostalgia

Oftentimes you will be going through old things in the attic and find yourself distracted by old pictures and objects with memories attached to them. You will want to push these aside and keep working, but maybe you shouldn’t. It is actually proven to be extremely healthy to have nostalgia every once in awhile. If you just plan in the extra time, you will not regret it.

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This can also improve your current relationships as you look back at the good times you had with your partner or kids. Nostalgic feelings tend to increase the connection to those that are included in those feelings, and may help rebuild relationships that could be struggling.

Don’t Be Afraid to Throw Away

Let’s face it, most people struggle to throw things away. But the reality is that most of the stuff has been sitting in the attic for years and hasn’t been missed. So even though it may seem as if it will be used someday, if years have gone by it may be time to chuck the item and purchase another if you ever have a need for it again.

This will make room for new things in your attic and is an exciting part of life. If something could still be worth something try using craigslist.org or similar sites to sell the items and make a little side money.

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

More About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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