This step by step guide will help you plan, purge, and organize your attic before cold weather and the holiday season arrives.
It’s finally cooling down outside and you know what that means! Pumpkin candles and Halloween sweatshirts! KIDDING! Time to clean out your attic! Yeah, I see you rolling your eyes, but even though an attic cleanout isn’t as fun as lighting a candle and reading the newest issue of BHG magazine, it’s essential to do before winter shows up.
Go ahead and pick a weekend on your calendar that everyone will be home and no events are scheduled, and block off the whole time to give your attic some love. Trust me, you’ll be thanking me when you’re ready to break out your holiday decorations and you can actually find them this year.
Here are eight tips to make this gross and exhausting chore a little more manageable and lot more effective.
1. Enlist Help
Cleaning out an attic is hard work, Girlfriend! Sure, you can be all Superwoman and do it on your own if you really want to, but there’s going to be a lot of lifting, shifting, moving, and grooving up there.
It’s best to get some extra sets of muscles to help out so you don’t get fatigued or hurt. Plus it’s a lot more fun finding treasures (and scary things) with someone else.
This post on planning a garage cleanout day will help you get ideas for recruiting helpers.
2. Schedule Services Early
If you know you’ll need some kind of service to help you finish the job, get yourself on their calendar as much in advance as you can.
Whether you need a truck for hauling away donations, a roll-off dumpster, or your local donation center to pick up large pieces of furniture, get on their books now before they fill up.
3. Don’t Expect To Get It All Done In One Day
Plan on working in manageable chunks so you aren’t left with a giant mess that takes over your living space of your house.
If you drag literally EVERYTHING out of the attic, you better believe you’ll be eating your takeout that night surrounded by dusty totes and holiday decorations. Ew.
4. Take A Reality Check
Heads up, you’re about to get hit with a LOT of decisions to make. Be honest with yourself about what you REALLY need to keep and what you’re just only holding onto out of assumed obligation or “just in case”.
It’s ok to let go. This post goes more into detail on saying goodbye to sentimental items you don’t really want to keep.
5. Upgrade Storage Containers And Shelving
Get yourself some weatherproof bins and sturdy all-weather shelving that won’t be damaged by the elements. Remember that even though it’s technically still “inside” your house, it’s in a place that isn’t heated, cooled, insulated, or protected from pests.
If you need help, head to your local hardware store and ask someone to assist you. There’s probably a dude with a big beard that can tell you which containers are best for attics.
6. Create Zones
Just like you would in your garage, or even your craft room, it’s important to set up zones in your attic. Store all your holiday decor in one place, family heirlooms in another, and seasonal outdoor equipment in another.
Specific zones make finding things easier and will prevent you from making a new mess later. Because no one wants to clean out the attic twice in one year.
7. Give Your Attic R-E-S-P-E-C-T
This extra bonus space is a precious storage area! If you didn’t have it you’d be lugging all this stuff to a storage facility and paying $50+ a month just to let it squat there.
Don’t treat your attic as a catch-all or hiding space. Treat it like the ROOM that it is, and you’ll be more likely to keep it neat and tidy.
8. Schedule A Quarterly Date
Yep, every three months you should be wining and dining your attic. Kidding, but you should be taking some time once a season to straighten up and do maintenance checks. Make sure there are no pests, leaks, hobos, whatever.
Need A Home Maintenance Planner?
My Organized-ish Binder Kit collection has got you (and your attic) covered. Inside the Home Info Kit is a yearly calendar where you can plug in all your monthly and quarterly home maintenance chores. And the Decluttering Planner has some great checklists to help you get rid of stuff you don’t need. Hop over here to get lifetime access to these planners, plus tons of others.