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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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