I thought for sure I would fail to complete the attic cleanup and the Christmas and gift-wrapping stuff would live in its pile, untouched, forever.
But I surprised myself! I bought down every box, sorted the contents, and took the stuff we're keeping back upstairs.
In the pictures, it doesn't look that much smaller, but it's much better organized, and I got rid of a bunch of stuff, including wrapping paper that had basically become shredded paper.
I got rid of all but a few Christmas ornaments. I kept the ones that had sentimental value, mainly ornaments from my childhood and those my mom made. If I ever do put a tree again, that's what I want to see. I also moved out a bag of Christmas tins. How do those accumulate like that? Crazy.
What did I keep? Christmas lights, because I like to put those up on our ficus, and wherever else I feel like. I'm a fan of string lights in general. Our backyard kinda looks like an RV park. Sorry, neighbors.
Our gift-wrapping supplies are all usable and organized by type. I foresee no reason I should ever have to buy a gift bag again. Ever. Or a bow (thanks, Costco!). Or wrapping paper. But those are all things that I would have bought, and have bought, when I haven't been able to find what I needed in the house. I know they say that if you need organizational tools, you have too much stuff, but sometimes a little organization goes a long way. I was able to put all the gift bags and tissue paper in a lidded plastic box (meant for under-bed storage).
One thing I've been doing during this entire decluttering business is keeping a pile of empty plastic organizers, tubs, etc., in the basement. I can't tell you how handy that's been. I know when it's all over, there'll be extras and I'll get rid of those, but realizing something needs a tub and being able to go get it right away has made a world of difference.
Yesterday, we had an impromptu basement decluttering, which I didn't document very well, but one of the things that we dealt with was a bunch of kitchen cabinets from Eric's mom's house. They were piled behind the basement stairs, awaiting future purpose. We ended up taking three base cabinets up to the attic (if you can avoid that task, you should - it was not fun getting the cabinets from the basement up to the attic). I'll use them to organize our camping, hiking, and travel supplies. They need to be evened up and two of them need a counter top, which we'll either buy at Habitat for Humanity's Restore, or just use plywood. Or maybe I'll stack the two without counters. Either way, I think they'll be very useful.
Here are the final attic pictures:
And, in case you're curious about the basement decluttering, we went through all the books, cutting the collection in half again and freeing up two bookcases, and Eric went through his trunk of keepsakes, narrowing that collection enough so that everything fits in the trunk - with room to spare. We also built (or started to build) a wall of cabinets using the top cabinets from the same set. I think those will be very useful in the future.