In this week’s challenge we’re tackling attic organization, to declutter and bring order to this long-term storage area in your home.
Again this week (just like with the basement organization challenge a couple weeks ago) we’re dealing with an area of our home where things often are stored, never to be seen again.
The reasons are quite similar in both areas – our attics, just like our basements, are typically a large space in our homes intended for storage, and it just begs to be filled up, doesn’t it?
Are you new here? The Attic Organization Challenge is part of the 52 Week Home Organization Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren’t already a regular reader).
Unfortunately, the day of reckoning always comes, doesn’t it? And then, there is lots of junk, clutter, and major decisions to make to get the attic back under control.
During this challenge we’ll conquer your attic’s clutter and go about the process of attic organizing, so the space does what it is supposed to do — provide long-term storage for little used items in your home, while making them as accessible as possible given the space limitations.
Step 1: Get One Or More Partners To Help You With Attic Organization
Because of the way most attic spaces are built, this whole challenge is not really a one person job, but at least a two person job, since partners need to work together to move things around.
Therefore, before beginning make sure you’ve got help, such as from a family member or friend.
Similarly, always be mindful of safety when working in attic storage areas. Many of these spaces are not easily accessible, requiring use of a ladder, are unfinished, and/or can have dangerous flooring, among other things, so be careful up there!
Step 2: Declutter Your Attic
First, make sure to have a plan for how to get rid of everything you decide to declutter from this space. This could include, for example, renting a dumpster, getting lots of trash bags ready, or having a vehicle ready that you can use to drop large items off at the dump, or to take to a charity for donation.
Second, get ready to make some difficult decisions you may have been putting off for a while. Not wanting to make the decision may be why you had the stuff stashed in the attic to begin with.
Step 3: Categorize Items And Assess Where They Should Be Stored
Once you’ve gotten rid of all the clutter from your attic that will no longer be stored there, it’s time for the third step in the Attic Organization Challenge, which is to categorize the items left, putting like items with like.
When storing anything it is easiest to store like items together, so you can find and access things as easily as possible. Once they’re all together, go ahead and also place them in containers (and label them, as discussed more in step 6 below), since it is not advisable to store loose items in your attic.
Once you put the items together, look at the categories you’ve created, which might include some of the following:
- Outgrown baby or kid stuff
- Out of season clothing
- Holiday decorations
Next, consider whether the attic is actually the best place to store each of these categories of items, or if perhaps there is a better place somewhere else in your home.
This really comes down to an issue of accessibility, how often you’ll need these items, and whether they’re suited to be stored in the temperature extremes that your attic has.
Step 4: Create Zones In Your Attic For Your Storage Categories
Looking at the containers you’ve packed up with attic storage items, the next step in the Attic Organization Challenge is to create zones within the space to store these containers.
Plan to store all the containers of a certain category together, if at all possible, to make it easier to find what you need later. For example, all boxes of Christmas decorations should be in one area, for example, if at all possible.
When designating your zones, consider which storage items you’ll need to access most frequently and make sure those things are placed in the most accessible areas.
Step 5: Consider These Attic Storage Solutions
As I mentioned above, everything in your attic should be placed in containers or tubs, if possible.
This keeps items from being loose in your attic, which can make them harder to access, plus it protects your stored stuff from rodents and insects.
In addition to containers, several other popular storage solutions include:
- Mounting a pole between the roof rafters to hang out of season clothes (inside zippered garment bags)
- Attic truss shelves (shown in the picture on the right)
- Rafter hangers or hooks for hanging storage
- Plywood or Attic Dek Flooring to increase floor space for storage
Step 6: Label And Inventory Your Attic Storage
Finally, the last step in the Attic Organization Challenge is to label all of your boxes and other storage containers, and take an inventory of what you’ve got in the storage space.
Make sure you label all four sides and the top of each container, so that no matter from what angle you’re looking at it, you can get a clue of the container’s contents.
Tell Me How The Attic Organization Challenge Is Going For You
I would love to know how this week’s Attic Organization Challenge is going. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you’ve organized this area of your home in the comments below.