Like basements, attics can be dumping zones for things a family is afraid to part with. Throw it in the attic and you don’t have to look at it! The problem with this way of thinking is that out of sight, out of mind works for only so long: A cluttered, disorganized attic space means less overall storage space in the home.
The attic is usually the most difficult room in the house to organize because it entails going upstairs and often requires a pull-down ladder. Before you start, decide on the function of your attic. Is it a place to store craft supplies or family keepsakes? Many attics are dry, which makes them a more suitable place to store items you want to keep safe for a long time but don’t need to access on a regular basis. While they are dry, attics also are very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer, so keep that in mind before you store an item there.
Attic Organization Tips
• Ask yourself these questions before you shove something in the attic:
What is the real reason I am keeping this?
Will it remain in the same condition in the attic?
If I can’t see it, how will I remember I have it?
Honestly, will I ever go up to the attic to get this item?
Do I love this?
• Organize your attic into zones. This will help you keep the area organized and maximize your space. Ideas for zones may include: memorabilia, holiday decorations, out-of-season clothing and outgrown kids’ items.
• Store items by family member and make each person responsible for his or her own things.
• Lay down plywood or sheets if the floor is not in good condition.
• Loose items waste space and are hard to safeguard. Use labeled or clear containers so items can be easily located.
• Containers and boxes are easier to get to if they are on shelves.
• Take advantage of the roof slope by mounting a pole between roof rafters for out-of-season clothing. Store clothing in zippered garment bags.
Keep the Attic Organized
Once a Month
• Peek in the attic to make sure nothing is being ruined by heat or animals. And while you are up there, grab two things you could toss.
Every 3 to 6 Months
• Anytime you use your holiday decorations, get rid of items you don’t use that year. If you don’t use it, don’t keep it.
• If you have attic windows, open them on a nice day to air out this space.
Once a Year
• Tighten the hardware on your pull-down attic stairway if you have one.
• Donate or sell any clothing that hasn’t left the attic in the past year. If you didn’t wear it this year, you won’t wear it next year.
Read the original article How to Organize Your Storage Spaces.
Excerpted from Organize Now! A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life by Jennifer Ford Berry