Catherine Cuddy's Blog
Your attic; it’s a great place for storing things that you need to keep out of the way for most of the year. Maybe a little too great. If your attic is anything like most people’s it quickly has become overridden with anything and everything you can’t quite let go of or don’t know where to put. Perhaps it’s overwhelming to even think about your attic. If you are ready to make your attic more organized or need an idea of where to start, keep reading. If you are planning a major overhaul on your disorganized attic consider breaking up the following tips over a longer span of time than just the weekend to avoid being overwhelmed. The process of sorting through the items that find their way to the attic can be mentally draining as well as physically. Start with a decluttering process. Create a blank slate by pulling everything out of the attic and get rid of everything you no longer want to hold onto. Holding a yard sale or donating items are both ways of giving things you no longer want a chance at a second life and keeping them out of the dump. This is also a great time to figure out what should stay in the attic and what can be moved to other places in the home. Some types of household goods are best not stored in an attic. Once you have settled on what will be staying create an inventory of what is left and create categories for the items you will be storing in your attic. Themes should become apparent such as Christmas ornaments and nostalgic items. Group these similar items together so the next steps will be easier. Now that you know what items are staying and what categories you have you can start thinking about storage arrangements. If you have been keeping everything in cardboard boxes or just strewn about consider investing in some plastic bins for safer storage. Plastic bins can help protect against any roof leaks or other unexpected damage. If you have enough vertical space installing shelving units will help maximize the space available in your attic and allow you to easily organize everything. Be sure to properly store things (Christmas ornaments are wrapped, documents are in file folders, etc.) and label each box accordingly. Designing a layout plan for where containers are placed in your attic will set you up for success in the future. Place lower priority items towards the back of your attic space and/or in harder to reach areas while placing more frequently used items in easy to reach areas. Extra steps for the dedicated: Create an inventory of what is in each box and number them, add this list to a home organization binder or somewhere handy to reference. This will allow you to know what is where in your attic and eliminate opening every box each time you want to find something. Color coding bins by their category and/or numbering them will allow for easy inventory creation and knowing which bins contain holiday decorations or seasonal clothes. While the thought of organizing your attic might fill you with dread taking the time to do so will allow you to create a storage space in your home that is stress-free and easy to access. With a clear plan in hand and spreading out your organization project over several days planning out your attic storage might even become an enjoyable task!
When you stop and think about it, there are a lot of aspects of our lives that need continual organizing. The ideal scenario is to set up an organizing system when you first move into a new home, and then maintain it on a daily or weekly basis. Unfortunately, many people wait to organize their closets, pantries, or home offices until those areas are in a state of utter chaos. By then, the clutter has taken on a life of its own! Not only is it difficult to find things you're looking for, but your frustration can spill over into other aspects of your life. Kitchen Organizing Tips Being organized is the bedrock of a well-managed life. While it's far from a panacea, the results of organizing your home and work space can be far reaching. Take your refrigerator, for example. How many times has perfectly good food been wasted because it was pushed back into a corner and forgotten about until it turned into a "science experiment"? Although refrigerators are designed with organization in mind, it's all too easy to throw vegetables in the meat drawer and haphazardly wrap up leftovers without labeling them. As a side note, if you write the current date on the label, you'll be able to keep track of how long it's been in the fridge and whether it's time to throw it away. (Note: The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises that cooked leftovers be used within four days. Its food safety "window" for raw poultry and ground beef is even shorter: only one or two days.) Whether your goal is to organize your refrigerator, kitchen cabinets, bedroom closets, or garage, the benefits are worth the time and energy. Before getting started, though, it's helpful to make a trip to a local office supply outlet, kitchen retailer, or dollar store to pick up an assortment of small containers, canisters, drawer dividers, a marking pen, and labels. The Benefits of Organizing Your Home Getting started is the hardest aspect of home organizing, but there are many sound reasons for taking the initiative:
- Improving the appearance of your home rewards you with a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of personal satisfaction.
- When you organize closets, cabinets, or other storage areas, you'll stumble upon things you thought you misplaced or lost, long ago.
- You'll get rid of miscellaneous junk and clutter, which will free up space for things you want to save, refer to, or use in the near future.
- Organizing your household supplies, tools, and kitchen accessories will also prevent you from having to buy replacement items that you already have. Knowing where things are will save you time, money, and aggravation!