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Organizing your Attic or Basement Zone



November is a good time to reorganize and declutter your attic or basement zone.

Usually, this zone can be quite hot or cold and at least in Georgia, November is about as comfortable as it will get. Also, this is the area where many people store their holiday decorations. As you pull down these decorations you clear a large space which helps you clean and rearrange what else is in that zone.


Before you start this possibly daunting task, develop a plan.


1. Determine the purpose of this zone.

At least for the attic, this is usually a storage area. Decide what categories you plan on storing.

You might store:

· Seasonal decorations

· Seasonal home furnishings like heaters or fans

· Out of season clothing or sports equipment

· Suitcases

· 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 papers


2. Group like items together.

As you group your categories you have a better idea of how much you have and the condition of the items.


3. Get rid of items you no longer need or want.

What seasonal items have you not used in years? How many suitcases do you really use? Are you storing broken items? Do you have archival papers that are no longer needed? Is your sports equipment dated and not used now?


4. Determine where to store each category.

Items you use frequently like suitcases or pet carriers should be near the entrance. Items you are storing but don’t plan to use in this home should be stored in the back. Leave space between each category for easy access.


5. Use containers that are water and critter tight.

Often you only go into this storage area a few times a year except maybe for reaching in and grabbing a suitcase. When you do access your holiday decorations or update your archival papers you don’t want any surprises.


6. Label all containers.

Use large labels that 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. Color coding seasonal or holiday containers also helps. But even then, label the containers with the primary items. This keeps you from having to dig through multiple boxes to find the decorations you want to put out early.


7. While reorganizing the attic or basement, take time to clean.

Sweep the floor area and knock down cobwebs. Look for any evidence of leaks, bugs, or critters. You are only doing this zone once a year and a lot of dirt can accumulate.

When you are finished you will find that you have more room than before and that it is easier to find what you are looking for. If you do this zone every November it will not be that difficult.

If you recognize that you are struggling with completing an organizational project like organizing your holiday storage zone and want some help or accountability, join Diane Quintana and me in our Clear Space for You virtual 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, author of four books 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.


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chantal
20 nov. 2023

Great tips! We don't have an attic or a basement but the garage is a constant clutter magnet.

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Julie Bestry
Julie Bestry
20 nov. 2023

I've never had an attic, but the basement in my family home has had so much excess for years because my father would never throw anything away, so if it wasn't presentable, my mother at least banished his things to the basement. One of these days, I have to get back to New York to dismantle 90+ years of clutter, and while I will follow all the same steps in the process you describe, I can't say that it's a task that I will relish. (I was about to say that at least there's no sporting equipment, but then remembered there are least two full but ancient sets of golf clubs!) Spelling this plan out for people is definitely the…

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