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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Trash in the Attic....

Trash in the Attic

A few weeks ago I wrote about all the junk in my attic. I've been working on cleaning out the stash of trash that sneaked up the stairs when I was either gone to work or too sick to care. Yes, I will admit it, some of it is my stuff too, but most belongs to other people.

I've always heard that the first step in de-cluttering is to get rid of the things that belong to other people. Easier said than done. I found it easier to get rid of my own junk. I know what is actually useful and what is unnecessary.

There are, however, a few things I can't make a decision on and so they are still pending:

1. The iron pothook: It has sentimental value, the first thing bought for my home after moving to Nashville. Plus, I like it. It just happens that I have no place to hang it up since moving. My daughter took it once to use in an apartment, but she moved later and returned it. So… to the attic.

2. The Racasetti: I have a large sofa-size painting that I love called "Ships in Port" or something to that effect. Unfortunately, the ships are sinking and the painting became too shabby to hang. I want to replace it, but it seems Racasetti is an artist whose work is mostly found in thrift stores, garage sales, and junk piles. Great taste I have in art, huh? So… the picture is in the attic.

3. My wedding dress: How can you throw away your wedding dress? Even though my husband has been dead for almost 25 years, it is still in the attic, gathering dust and turning yellow with age. The trend now seems to be for brides to jump in a lake and destroy the dress after the wedding is over. Forget it. It is a size 9, way too small now.

Before you get too tough on me, be aware I bit the bullet and threw out a ton of stuff. If you want to get rid of things, you must be relentless in purging. I have it down to three plastic bins of stuff and one coffee table. And the bins are mostly quilts or afghans made by my mother. "You should be able to keep a few things," my daughter says.

Throwing away Honey's stuff is another matter entirely. He still has every single thing that he owned when he moved here, and more has been added since then. Some of it is easy. I know he values the set of white dishes, his trophies in various sports, and old photos. That's a no brainer. But what about the tennis racquet he never uses, the bicycle helmet, the dozens of video tapes?

"Keep my baseball uniforms," he says. See what I mean?

He has found excuses not to help so far, even though cleaning out the attic and turning it into space for people instead of junk was his idea. Do I just throw it all out? It is tempting, but I wouldn't want someone throwing out my things without checking with me first.

So… I am spending half the day in the attic stomping silverfish with a bandana over my mouth and nose because I'm allergic to dust. If anyone saw me, they would call the guys in white jackets to take me away and turn me in to a TV program on hoarders.

"Did you say get rid of the waterbed?" I ask. That means I can give away the sheets too as we won't need them. "What about the computers and cell phones that are obsolete and useless? I found a couple of places that will recycle old electronics."

"Throw out the bicycling clothes, but save the helmet; save the baseball clothes, but throw away the shoes."

I don't dare ask about the mood lamp. I'm afraid he will want to keep it.

Copyright 2014 Sheila Moss

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