Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Working on 2009 Goals - The Attic

One of the goals I set for 2009 was to fix up my attic space. I have a small third floor finished attic room that has been needing some help for awhile. When I was married, this tiny nook was my office. I had my bookshelves up there, my desk, a comfy chair, and, of course, my computer. Unfortunately, because it is tucked up in the eaves, the room was always blistering hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. Even with alternating between my space heater and my widow air conditioning unit, it was hard to find a comfortable temperature. When my ex and I separated, I left a ton of stuff I didn't know what else to do with stashed up in this room, along with all my files.

Now that I am back in the house, I've put my office in the spare bedroom where there is a lot more space and a more consistent temperature. What I would like to do with that little attic space is make it into a nice storage area. Although it is finished, it needs a lot of help. The carpeting is stained and the walls need repair and painting. (It didn't bother me that much when it was my office - the bookcases and file cabinet hid a lot of the damage.) I've been thinking though that this is the perfect home improvement project for someone who is still learning her way around a tool belt.

Since the room is small, it won't be a huge project to undertake and since it is tucked away on the third floor, I can work on it in my leisure, and not have to worry about making a mess or being under time restraints. I'd like to pull up the carpet, take down the nasty wallpaper boarder, then repair some of the drywall. A fresh coat of paint and some cabinets from the discount store, and I think this could be a fabulous multipurpose storage room. But first, I need to clean it out...

There are boxes, old computer equipment, miscellaneous books, and all sorts of stuff from my marriage tucked up there. It's become something of a "catch all" for things I wasn't sure what to do with. Before I can rip up the carpet, I need to get all the junk up off it!

So, after months of admitting in my monthly posts on my goals that I hadn't done anything with this room, I finally got off my tush and did something about it. Last night I emptied out my file cabinet and brought it downstairs to the spare bedroom. It was a bit awkward, not heavy, but rather bulky and there was no good way to hold onto it, but still, I managed to get it down the stairs to where I wanted it. The next step was bringing down all my files. I haven't done a good job filing my papers since I moved out, so for about two years, things have been chaotic. Since I've moved back in, I knew that I was going to work on that room which meant moving the file cabinet, and that would mean moving it empty. So instead of filing any new papers, I just put them in piles on the floor around the cabinet. (Real organized, eh?) In hindsight, I realize that was kind of a dumb thing to do. With the old files already in the cabinet, I was able to just pull them out, stack them neatly and then carry them down and put them back in the drawers where they belong. Now though, I have to take all my piles of miscellaneous papers from the last year and start filing. It would have been an easier job if I had just done that from the first place! Ah well... live and learn.

The good news is that with a little bit of work I now have a nice clear patch of carpet in the attic and I can easily get back to keeping all my records, financial and otherwise, in an orderly fashion. It will be nice having all my financial papers in one spot. I keep all my receipts in two shoe boxes, each marked with the year, one for regular receipts and one for tax deductible items, in the closet of the spare bedroom. I also have nearby a fireproof safe for extremely important documents. Now that I have the file cabinet in the spare bedroom, all these storage units are a whole lot closer together, which should make filing a whole lot easier. Isn't it nice when a plan comes together?

Photo by: Curiousyellow


getting stuff done said...

well done. I am lagging in my get stuff done ness at the moment I feel!

And you have reminded me of something important. I need a fireproof safe for the crucial documents....

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I've been enjoying your blog; gone back to the beginning and reading forward but I do sometimes sneak a look at current posts. I agree with you on this one of getting organized. I have a small room on the 2nd floor of my home that I turned into a library and it took me forever to get it where I want it. Now I may have to sell the house so it has been discouraging. But I do enjoy your blog - and we are fellow Michiganders (is there such a word?)

Question though - I see that you give credit to the various images you use in your blog. I had not realized that I should be doing that, also. Are you just finding these images through the "Images" section of Google and where do you ascertain WHO to give credit to? I better get some credits up on my images before I get chastised for using without giving credit. Any hints would be great! Thanks

Dawn said...

Getting Stuff Done - I really like my fireproof safe. I keep my home and life insurance info, my passport and a few other critical documents in there. They aren't cheap, but it is peace of mind. I asked for one as a gift, so it might be a birthday idea.

Immer - Michigander is definitely a word! Even my spell check says so.

Thank you so much for the compliment of reading my entire blog. I know what that means, I've done that with others. I am really honored.

As for photos, I get all of mine from Flicker's Creative Commons. They have a huge selection of photos, although almost all of them require that you give credit. I not only try to do so at the end of the post, but if you click on any of the photos it will take you back to their Flicker account. I don't know that you would get in trouble using Google images, but better safe than sorry. This system works well, the photos are searchable and I have had a number of the original photographers/artists comment on my blog.