Good Morning everyone! I hope you are settling into a fall schedule with back to school upon us. One of the things that I get motivated to do when the weather turns cooler is to get organized and do a fall clean out before the cold temps and snow of winter hit.
I wind up taking a lot of items to Goodwill as I clean out areas of my home that get neglected through the hectic summer months and feel accomplished as I organize my life again. That’s why I wanted to write about organizing a particular area in your home this week
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This is one area that gets neglected the most, since it isn’t used as often and can be “out of sight, out of mind”. But you know that come Christmas time, you’ll be up in that attic struggling to find the Christmas decorations or extra quilts and flannel sheets, so this is the best time to get this space organized. Plus, the cooler temperatures of fall help keep it cooler in the attic so this task isn’t made harder by overheating like you would in the summer months.
I’m going to break down organizing your attic into 3 steps, but it’s the care you take with these steps that will help you be successful in taming your attic space and making it functional.
Step 1: Pare down and clean out unwanted items
This is an important step because the less clutter you have, the more organized your attic space will be. The attic can sometimes become a dumping ground for items you don’t have time to think about and just want out of your way. This is the time to sit down and think about whether you need to keep these items.
There are 6 main categories that an item could fall into: donate, sell, trash, pass on to family, use in home, and store in attic.
- Donate: If you haven’t used an item in several years but it is still functional, then you should consider donating it to Goodwill or another charity where someone else can use the item.
- Sell: Any items that you won’t be using or needing but are still functional you could also sell. Whether it is in a yard sale on your front lawn or online such as a Facebook yard sale site, Craigslist, or eBay, you can turn your unwanted items into some quick money to put towards Christmas gifts. (Warning: if you will meet someone to exchange the item for sale, be sure to practice precautions and let others know where you will meet, choose a public place, and take someone else with you if possible)
- Trash: Sometimes we hold onto an item even though it is past its use due to sentimental feelings. If an item is broken or no longer works, you should consider throwing it out. If it holds a good deal of sentimentality, take a photo of the item so you can keep the memory alive before you throw it out.
- Pass on to Family: Some items you don’t plan on using, but they have been passed down through the family and you will want to keep them. Consider passing an item to another family member who may be able to use the item. You may not have room for that piece of furniture, painting, or silver tea service, but maybe another family member does. This will allow the item to remain in the family but also be used instead of taking up room in the attic.
- Use in your Home: Sometimes we put items in the attic because we plan on using them in the future, but then we forget about them. When you are going through the items in your attic, you could find things that you are able to use in your home right away. This will cut down what you are storing in the attic and allow you to put it to good use. You may also come across items that should be stored somewhere else in the house, like sporting equipment that may be better stored in the garage. Even though it won’t be used right away, it will still help cut down on items to organize in the attic by moving it to a more appropriate storage location.
- Store in the Attic: These are the items that will remain stored in the attic for future use.
Once you have removed all of the items from the attic that fit into the first 5 categories, you will know what you are working with and be able to move on to the next step.
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Now that you have gone through all of the items in your attic, it’s best to make your attic as accessible as possible for storing items.
- If your attic floor is made up of exposed beams and insulation, this might be the perfect time to lay down a plywood subfloor or attic flooring panels to provide a better floor for walking and for storing items.
- Next, make sure your attic has enough light for finding items when you are searching. If your attic lighting is lacking, consider adding some battery-operated lights that will make it easier to see: strip lights, and adhesive push lights or bulbs can provide extra lights without needing professional installation. You can also consider having an electrician add regular light fixtures.
- Ventilation can also be an issue in an attic space and can ruin items being stored like books, clothing, electronics, and furniture. Be sure not to block air vents or disturb insulation to prevent problems from occurring.
Now that your attic is ready for storage, it’s time to move onto the final step.
The way you store your items in the attic will set you up for success in using this space in the future. You will want to make the best use of your attic space as you store and preserve your items in a way that protects them and makes them easier to access in the future.
- Create specific zones in your attic for items so it will be easier to locate them when you are searching. If you have a designated place for Christmas decorations, you will know right where to go when you need to bring them down, which will reduce the amount of time and effort you put into searching through every item in the attic.
- Protect more fragile items by covering furniture and using airtight containers to store items that can be damages from moisture and high temperatures.
- Purchase some reasonably priced plastic bins and clearly label them so you will be able to quickly locate an item in the future.
- Use shower curtain rods or hanging rods for clothing or items that can hang out of the way.
- Put up some simple shelves to make use of wall space and keep items off of the floor. This will help if your attic is smaller as it can double your space and allow you to have room to move around.
That’s it! You’ve successfully organized your attic space and you’re ready to use this area in a more functional way. Plus, you won’t dread going up there any time you need something now. I hope this has helped motivate you to get your attic space under control. I’d love to hear your tricks and ideas for organizing your attic, so please comment below and share them with us. And don’t forget to share this post on your social media sites so your friends and family can take advantage of these tips!
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