Attack Your Attic: How to Organize Your Space

atticWhen was the last time you cleaned out and organized your attic? Many of you may be staring blankly at the screen and realizing your answer is “never.” But let me ask you this. How do you feel when you have to get something out of the attic? Frustrated because you can find your Barbie dolls from when you were 8, but not the Christmas ornaments? Itchy because the dust sets your allergies off? Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of boxes and bins you have stored there? These are all probably reason enough to just slam the door on the attic beast. Tidying up the living room seems doable, right? Eliminate the piles, fluff the cushions, put away toys if you have children (or a significant other). A little dusting, a little vacuuming and in less than an hour, you likely feel better. But when you think about the attic’s stacks and stacks of stuff on top of stuff (you probably can’t even name what’s in the boxes, so stuff suffices) it’s simply overwhelming. Tackling the attic is no one-hour living room clean-up project, but it’s still doable. Here are our best tips for taming the clutter.

  1. Open every box. I know, the horror. I’ve just said the words you feared the most. But let’s get real. You can’t organize the space if you don’t know what’s filling it. Take a deep breath and open the boxes.
  2. Touch everything. OK. You can skip your husband’s lucky shirt that he wore for 21 straight games in college. Just put a bag over it and run for the nearest trashcan. Everything else you need to touch, ponder for a moment and decide whether you are keeping it, donating it or trashing it with the shirt. Make the tough decisions.
  3. Draw a storage plan. Once you’ve discovered what your “stuff” consists of, decide how you want to store it. Least-used items should go in the least-accessible areas. If there are items you frequently find yourself running to the attic for, put those near the steps. Try to organize and group items, too, like keepsakes, overflow kitchenware, off season clothes, etc. Store like items with like items.
  4. Box and label. Every box or storage bin in your attic should be labeled clearly on all sides to prevent you from having to open the box to find out what’s inside. This will make searching for that one particular item a breeze. Also, be sure to consider your storage containers. Choose plastic storage bins for items that need more protection from dust or the weight of other items.
  5. Create a maintenance system. When you take something new to the attic, don’t just dump it at the top of the steps. Remember where you started! Anything you send up to the attic should fit into your storage system. Label it on all sides and put it with other items of its kind.

It can be hard to find the time to tackle big projects like attic cleanouts. Give yourself the gift of time by hiring us to run some of your normal errands to free up time for bigger projects like this. We can pick up prescriptions, cart the dog to the groomer, do the grocery shopping and even take those gently used, extra items to the donation center. Contact Errand Works to discover all the ways you can create the extra time (and space!) you’ve been looking for.