Cleaning my Grandparent's Attic

Imagine this, but with boxes, mouse crap, and dust stacked high to the ceiling.

This summer I received a job, if it could be called that, to clean my Grandparent's attic. Full disclosure, I'm not even completely finished with it yet. That being said, I figure I've hauled down enough boxes and potentially cursed 1960s baby doll figurines to write about my experience!

So it all started on a humid, oppressive Monday during the month of July. The middle of summer. My Grandpa had been kind enough to provide me with gloves, a mask, and a little bit of an incentive to work hard (read: I got partly paid in advance, also I didn't really get gloves I had to steal my Uncle's). I trekked up the steep, creaky steps of his house, into the black and white picture laden bedroom of my grandmother, through the attic door, and up the crumbling steps into the land of dust and hornet's nests.

Immediately I thought to myself, "what have I gotten myself into..."

There was literally a sea of boxes. Not a puddle, pond, pool, river, or lake, but a SEA. Filled to the brim with yearbooks, parenting manuals (from 1963, the year my mother was born unsurprisingly), old college textbooks, trinkets, the aforementioned cursed dolls, family pictures, and mouse droppings. Though a tiny bit discouraged, I carried on, bringing down my first box with glee. Then the next box, with a little less enthusiasm. Then the next, and so on and so forth. Eventually, much like I do whilst running, I got into an "Attic Cleaning High," which, like runner's high, made me feel unusually good about contaminating my lungs and pulling all the discs in my back.

I tried to use this high to my advantage, going up and down non-stop. I moved even faster once I got over my fear of either being jumped by an attic spider or unleashing an angry ghost by jostling some possessed artifact (where I'm from in California I'm used to every old box having a black widow in it, which luckily doesn't happen in New York...instead I had to deal with hornets...speaking of black widows, I once found one chilling out under my bed in college, strapped to an old USPS priority mail box...sigh). I threw away old rotten blankets, lamps, shoes, love letters, you name it. I won't lie, it was a pretty inspiring performance. I probably brought down two tons of Attic build-up dating back to 1960, all in the span of three hours.

As you might imagine, despite the fact that I'm a relatively spry 22 years old (really its 21 and 11 months but who's counting), I was pretty beat up by the end of all this. My arms felt like inflated noodles, unable to carry anything over a pound in weight (luckily I could still grasp a Starbucks latte). My head was pounding. My clothes were filthy, coated in a layer of dust that probably sunk into my bloodstream and started mutating me into Attic Man (who, by the way, is slightly better than Basement Man). Sweat dripped from my face and arms and everywhere. Overall it was pretty gross, though I did feel good, figuratively speaking at least.

The aftermath was as painful as you might imagine. I pushed myself so hard that the next day, I felt like absolute death, except worse. Additionally, while recovering my clumsy mother whacked me in the head, mistakenly (or so I hope) slamming the trunk of a car into my cranium. So, I wasn't in the best shape. By the time I was ready to finish the attic job, it was time for me to leave town and go do other vacation-y things. That was a couple days ago. Now, I'm back and set to finish what I once started.

Am I making this sound more intense than it actually was/is? Maybe. Truth be told, the best way to motivate yourself is to anthropomorphize something, sending all your hatred towards it. Right now, this attic is the Ivan Drago to my Rocky. I'm going to rip those remaining boxes out, throw em outside, and dance on their dusty remains!

In fact, I'm even planning to chop some wood and throw a few boulders before I start, just to get pumped (not really, in actuality I'm still recovering from my first tryst with the attic so I'll probably take it easy).

Luckily, it's nearly cleared out. There's like ~10 boxes left for me to pull down (compared to the original ~100), and a smattering of loose refuse to sweep up and incinerate.

If I can dodge the monstrous rats, radioactive hornets, and Shelob clones remaining up there, I'll hopefully complete the job today. Maybe. Or it's possible I'll pull a muscle, tumble down the steep attic steps, break my legs, and have my soul harvested by the ghost possessing the Barbie doll creepily positioned up there on one of the window sills.

Based on if you see any more updates to this blog, you'll know what went down ;)


  1. Blame your Grandmother, Nick! The only box that belonged to me contained old college books! Your Grandmother is a hoarder, as are many people. Me, I use it and discard it!


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