Getting over procrastination: write about it to get over it

Today’s procrastination post comes to you via these pictures. (#AmWritingNotDoing)

My dining room currently houses these bags with winter gear that need transporting up to the attic.

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The entrance of the hallway leading to the bedroom houses the ringette equipment that needs transporting up to the attic.

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The trap door in the bedroom ceiling that needs opening remains closed.

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Sigh.

I’m torn. On the once hand, we actually now HAVE an attic for storage purposes. On the other hand, it’s such a production to get up there and put stuff away, it often takes me days of planning to make it actually happen.

Before we renovated this house about three years ago, we had no space anywhere for anything, and often items just remained stacked in bins in locations that weren’t frequented often. Corners in the basement, back of closets, that kind of thing.

But when they tore apart our main floor during the extensive renovation, we asked the architect if he would reinforce our attic floor so we can use it for storage of seasonal items. Christmas decorations, sports equipment, clothes…you know what I’m talking about. Winter coats and snowsuits take up so much space, and the kids, the youngest in particular, is still able to wear her stuff about two seasons in a row, warranting the money-saving storage of these items in a place that is not part of our main living area.

Now that we have the attic, I find myself procrastinating getting up there. There is only one small spot where you can stand upright up there, the rest of the attic is roof and requires kneeling and crawling. There’s also only one light bulb, so light doesn’t reach beyond certain boundaries, making it hard to read the labels on the bags and bins.

To solve this issue, I left a long extension cord up there, and plugged some old lamps into it. The lamps are portable, which helps when I’m crawling into the back corner of one area to access something hidden behind stuff.

The extension cord remains unplugged unless I’m up there, as there is no plug in the attic. It’s so helpful to have the additional lamps.

That was my idea, by the way, keeping the old lamps. For a person who struggles with clutter and stuff, keeping things we don’t use is not often something I encourage. But in this case, functionality was the main motivator.

So glad to have the extra light.

But it just seems like such an ordeal to maintain order when using the attic.

First I have to bring the stairs down. I climb up far enough so I can reach the light string, and pull it to turn on the permanently installed lamp in the attic ceiling. That lamp provides light right over the stairs, which is kind of stupid. I need light in the back of the attic, not at the entrance.

Next I have to throw down the extension cord which feeds my portable lamps, and climb back down the ladder to plug it in somewhere on the main floor.

Now I pick a bag to take up into the attic.

As I ascend the stairs again with a bag in hand, I have to maneuver in such a way that a) the bag is above or in front of me, and b) hold on somewhere with the other hand so I won’t fall backwards should I lose my balance.

(Really, keeping order in this house is hazardous to my health.)

Often I don’t lose my balance, but rather a shoe or slipper. If that happens the bag and I come back down and we try again.

Once I’m up there I have to move the two portable lamps into the locations where I want to store stuff. Being me, I organize the area up there in a somewhat logical arrangement: kids clothes in this location, hunting stuff over there, seasonal bins in another corner, rack for winter coats and snow suits to the left, little box with a flashlight, sharpie marker and masking tape to label stuff next to the stairs, etc.

I scan the area to get a visual. Where did I store the kids stuff? Was it to the left or to the right? Almost immediately I notice that someone must have been up there recently. The travel bags are moved from here to there, and in its place is now a bag labeled long-johns. Behind the long-johns is a box of lego, a bin with a mix of random items  and a box full of old cables and electronic gadgets.

I’m feeling myself get a bit irritated. Who would mix long-johns with toys? Why stow away defunct electronic gadgets and useless cables? It doesn’t make sense to my rational, logical mind.

I rearrange the stuff back into order, trying not to stand up so I won’t bang my head, push the electronic box near the stairs to take down and either throw out or sort through (whatever) and move the lamps to the other side of the stairs. I will need to put the ringette stuff with the hockey gear.

Except, the Christmas bins are in the way. They’re supposed to be at the back corner, because I only use those once a  year for a few weeks. Why are they in the location most conveniently accessible? Who moved them here?

Argh.

I descend the stairs with the stupid box of gadgets, drop it on the bed, grab my next bag that needs to be stowed upstairs, and repeat the scenario.

Thinking about it (typing it out) gives me anxiety and feeds my irritation.

Theoretically, this whole thing would take a lot less time and aggravation if there were someone to help me.  Someone could hang on the steps with the bags and I reach for them from the attic and put them where they belong.

But this never happens. Probably because my irritation at the disarray up there gets on everyone’s nerves.

SIGH.

But the alternative is to leave the bags sitting in the dining room and irritate me as I blog about this.

Ha.

So now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go through my described scenario and deal with the bags. Procrastination is over.

#amwriting

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