Attic Attack not Panic Attack
The attic can be a scary place – full of cobwebs and trip hazards and who knows what else. However, if you follow my Zone Plan and tackle this area every year it is not so bad. November is the perfect time to work in this zone because at least in Georgia it is not too hot or too cold and you are probably already digging around for your holiday decorations.
So, if you are doing this as a maintenance job or tackling it for the first time since you moved in, let’s develop a plan.
1. Determine the purpose of this zone. Usually, it is a storage area but what categories do you store?
You might store:
· Seasonal decorations
· Seasonal home furnishings like heaters or fans
· Out of season clothing or sporting equipment
· Household items you wish to keep but are not currently using
· Toys, furniture, or other items you plan on passing on to family or friends
· Archival paper
2. Once you have decided on the categories, put like items together. By grouping the categories, you will get a better idea of what you really use and the condition of the items.
3. Cull out items you no longer want or need. How many suitcases do you really need? Do you have some seasonal items that have not been unboxed or used for years? Are family members really going to want the stuff you are storing for them? Do you have broken items that you have not gotten around to repairing?
4. Determine the area to store each category. Items that you access frequently like suitcases or pet carriers should be near the entrance. Items that you are storing but don’t plan to use for a long while should be stored to the back. Seasonal items are somewhere in between. Leave space to walk (or crawl) between each category.
5. Label all containers. Use large labels you can see from some distance. Even if a container is clear, it is hard to see what is inside if the lighting is dim. It helps to locate different holiday items if you use colored or themed containers to store your decorations. Still label the containers with the primary items. This keeps you from having to dig through multiple boxes to find the advent wreath or creche you want early in the season.
6. If you are storing archival papers in the attic, make sure they are in bins that are water and rodent tight. Each year notice what can now be brought down and trashed or shredded. For example, if you store your tax papers in containers, label the containers by years so that you can pull out back up data and get rid of it when no longer needed.
7. While you are working in the attic, sweep the floor area and knock down the cobwebs. Look for any leaks or rodent activity.
You will feel so much lighter when this sort and organization project is finished. When you tackle it again next November, it will not be so difficult.
If you want help or just some accountability in organizing a space in your home or working any other organizational plan either outside or inside your home, join Diane Quintana and me on our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.