The attic can be one a great storage space, or it can be a major headache. Below are ways you can stop the headache and enjoy attic storage.
Set a realistic goal for having the attic organized. Break it into several sessions, and be prepared with the following items: trash bags, permanent markers, labels, and storage containers. These items will make organizing a breeze. Next take inventory. Go through the items in your attic recording what you find. As you compile your list, look for emerging categories: out-of-season clothes, holiday decorations, family keepsakes and so on. These categories will be helpful when you begin to sort and organize the items you decide to keep.
Now, organize the list into three groups: always used, used on special occasions and rarely used. This will help you decide what to part with, and determine where and how to store what you're keeping. You can break things down further by separating items into these categories: things to store, things to throw out or donate, and things to think about. Don't be afraid to toss items you don't need and can't see yourself using in the foreseeable future. However, just because you haven't used something recently doesn't mean it should automatically go in the garbage bin. Evening gowns or special holiday decorations may only come out on occasion, but can still be worth keeping. Instead of basing your decision on how often you use something, try basing it on how hard it would be to replace the item. Once you have your attic contents narrowed down to what you want to keep, start sorting these items into categories.
Instead of storing treasured clothing items you no longer wear, make a quilt from them. This is a great way to cherish the memories without clutter. With non-wearable items take pictures or scan and put them in a photo album or scrapbook. Organize your important papers by using boxes with file folders or use the notebook filing system. Try to organize according to certain types of paperwork. For example, "bills" "college application papers" “House” “Medical” etc. Anything important, such as legal documents, should be stored in a fireproof container.
Now, box and label everything -- storing loose items will lead to unnecessary clutter and broken belongings. Choose the container that works best with your space and that protects its contents -- plastic containers are great for protecting important things from roof leaks or other unforeseen accidents. After you've boxed a pile, be sure to label the container even if it is transparent.
The final step is storing your items in a practical and accessible way that maximizes your available space. Your storage method should have a purpose, you will want the ability to access everything whenever you need it. How often do you access each item? The items you use most often place toward the front of your space. Family keepsakes you don't want to part with but never get out place toward the back.
A shelving system will help maximize storage and keep items at eye level, making them easier to find. Saving a lot of time and energy in the future. Consider labeling areas of your attic by the type of item stored in that section. When you've finished organizing and inventorying everything, type up the inventory list up and keep it on file.
Now your attic is organized, so be sure to maintain it. If you need to add a few more items, don't break away from your organization system -- you'll make more work for yourself in the future. Don’t let the attic give you a headache again, and enjoy life!
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