Organizing Your Attic and Basement Zones

November is a great time to organize and clean out your attic or basement zone. It’s not too hot or too cold and you are probably already digging around looking for your holiday decorations. 

So while you are up there in the attic (or down there in the basement), look around. How do you use this zone? Develop a plan for this space. What categories do you store here?

You might store:

  • seasonal decorations
  • seasonal home items like fans or heaters
  • out of season clothes or sporting equipment
  • suitcases
  • household items you wish to keep but are not currently using
  • toys, clothing, or other items you wish to pass on to friends or family
  • archival paper

Get a feeling of how much you have in each category. By grouping the categories together you get a better idea of what you really will use and the condition of your items. How many suitcases do you really use? Have some of those seasonal decorations not left the storage area in years? Are family members really going to want the “stuff” you have been holding for them? Now is the time to purge the excess to make it easier to store and get to what you plan on keeping. 

Plan out a zone for each category. Items you access frequently like suitcases or pet carriers should be near the entrance of this area and items you do not plan to use in the next year like unused household items are best stored furthest from the entry. Leave space between each zone so you can safely retrieve or store items. 

Label all containers. Use large labels you can see from some distance. Even if a container is clear, it is hard to see what is inside if the lighting is dim. 

It helps to locate different holiday items if you use colored or themed containers to store your decorations. Still label the containers with the primary items. This keeps you from having to dig through multiple boxes to find the advent wreath or creche you want early in the season.

Take time to look through the archival papers. Are there some that can now be tossed or shredded? If you do this each year, it will make it easier to keep on top of the paperwork and easier to find what you need it the occasion arises. 

You will feel so much lighter when this sort and organization project is finished. When you tackle it again next November, it will bit be nearly so difficult.