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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, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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