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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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