Transitions With Jean Blog

May is Attic Month!

May 5, 2019

Years ago, you were running out of room in your house, so you boxed up stuff and put it in the attic. You figured you’d go through it later. Do you remember that chair from Aunt Dotty that you put up there in the 1980s? The seat needed recovering (still does). Then, there is the trunk. You can’t remember where it is from, but someone in the family gave it to you so up into the attic it went.

Boxes, broken furniture, pictures, chairs, Christmas, who knows what! You haven’t been up there for years. Your kids keep telling you it needs to be cleared out.

We live in Wisconsin. No one wants to work up there in winter because it is freezing, literally. And in summer? Are you kidding me? It is 120 degrees up there in July. It would be cruel to do it then.

Now is the time. Make a plan. Ask the someone to bring down all (yes, all) of it and put it in the garage. Can the grandkids do it? Is there someone who you can hire to bring it all down? Maybe you know a starving student. Resolve that nothing will go back up there.

Then have the kids take whatever they want. Don’t be surprised if they don’t want any of those “treasures”. The reason you stashed it up there in the first place was that you didn’t have a use for it at the time.

If the mice have been feasting on it, out it goes.

Bat do-do? Get it gone. Don’t give it to charity. Those hardworking volunteers don’t need to be grossed out.

The broken chair; who are you saving it for? Out with it.

Do you have some items and you wonder if they are valuable? Look up “antique buyer” in your city. If their phone number has a different area code, skip them. Ask two antique buyers to come and look at your goodies and make an offer. Any reputable buyer should be willing to write down their offer and leave, giving you the opportunity to sleep on it. Don’t decide while they are standing there.

What they don’t offer on, and the kids didn’t want, should go away. Relieve your children from the burden of doing this later. Do not make them go through all the work of bringing it down, and then ask them to put it back up there. That isn’t fair.

The plan needs to have a start date and an end date. Don’t let this drag on. 1) Bring it down. 2) Pitch out the nasties. 3) Kids take things. 4) Dealer makes an offer. 5) Balance goes away.

Let’s finish by the end of May. After all, we want to enjoy being outside in June, not mess around with all of that dusty stuff that now is in the garage. 

Jean Long Manteufel, senior move manager and CEO of Long’s Senior Transitions in Appleton can be reached at 920/734-3260 or Manteufel’s book, “Transitions: Stories of how to help Mom and Dad with their stuff” can be found on Kindle or at

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