Organizing Your Attic or Basement Storage Areas

The attic or basement is the perfect zone to work on in November. It’s not too hot or too cold and very likely your seasonal decorations are stored in this zone.

While you are up in the attic (or down in the basement), look around before you start. Make a list of all the categories you store in this zone. You might store:

  • Seasonal decorations
  • Seasonal house items like fans/heaters
  • Extra furniture and household accessories
  • Off season clothing
  • Suitcases
  • Archival papers
  • Sports Equipment
  • Toys to pass on to grandchildren.

Group all related items together and then designate zones for each category. Items that you do not plan to use in the next year or so should be stored the farthest from the entry. This might include the extra furniture, toys, and archival papers.

Leave space between each zone so that you can safely maneuver and get to items.

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

While sorting, if you come across broken or unloved items that have been languishing in this area for years, now is the time to let them go. You will feel so much lighter when this is accomplished and next year, when this zone rolls around again, it will be a much easier task.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Organizing the Attic or Basement Zone

If you work on a zone plan in cleaning and decluttering your home, this month is the perfect month to work in your attic or basement. It is not too hot or too cold and you are probably already in that area looking for seasonal decorations.

So while you are up there (or down there), look around. Besides the seasonal decorations, what else do you store in this area?

Make a list of all the categories you have in the storage space.

You might store:

  • out of season clothes
  • suitcases
  • archival papers
  • seasonal house items like fans/heaters
  • sports equipment
  • toys to pass on to grandchildren
  • extra furniture and household accessories

Group all related items and then designate zones for that category. Items that you will not use in the next year should be stored the farthest from the entry. This might include the extra furniture, archival papers, or toys.

Label containers. It helps to locate the holiday items if you use colored or themed boxes to store your decorations, but still label the boxes with the primary items. If you containers are well labeled, you will not have to dig through every box to find that advent wreath or crèche that you want early in the season.

While sorting, if you come across broken or unloved items that have been languishing in this area for years, get rid of them now. You will feel so much lighter when this is accomplished and next year, when this zone rolls around again, it will not be nearly so difficult.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Storage Zone

If you are using the zone plan for organizing, November is a good time to tackle the storage zone. Since this zone might be in your attic, basement, or garage, it often is not heated or air conditioned. The weather in November is not usually really hot or really cold and so this is the best time for this job.
When you are organizing your storage space, make a list of the type of items you plan to store here. Divide your storage area into zones ( archival paper, holiday decorations, decorative items, etc.). As you place items into each zone, take time to purge. Do I have some papers stored that can now be trashed or shredded? Am I really going to use that lamp again? Are my holiday decorations still fresh and reflective of my style? Have a plan for each area and make it accessible. This is not to be just a dumping area.
When storing holiday items, it is helpful to store the items in plastic tubs or containers. Color coordination is helpful. A yellow or orange tub could hold the Halloween decorations. A brown or orange tub could be Thanksgiving. Red or green for Christmas or blue for Hanukkah. Each box should be labeled. Boxes can be labeled by what is in them- ex. tree lights, creche, advent wreath- or by room-dining room, entry way, kitchen.
If your boxes are well labeled you will only need to bring out the ones you want and not have to dig through everything to find the advent wreath the first week of advent.
If your boxes are labeled by rooms, you can bring the boxes down and put them directly into the appropriate room for unpacking.
Some homes and condos have no real storage space. In that case, the best way to store the holiday items is to find an area in each room where the items are used. Christmas towels and candles can go in a back shelf of the linen closet. Entryway decorations can go in a marked box in the hall closet. Bedroom decorations might be stored in a box under the bed. Having your decorations spread throughout your home is less convenience than having them in one place, but may be necessary with limited storage space. It might be a good idea to put together a master list of what you have and where it is stored and drop it into a file labeled “holiday decorations.”

Please share the storage hints that have worked well for you.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Just Trash It

Every now and then you have an organizing or clean up job that has a lot of clutter that needs to be hauled off. Old storage areas, barns, basements filled with many years of “stuff” come to mind. Sometimes it is material that has been left in an area that has become damp or too dry and the items are no longer useful.
This is where my friends at Just Trash It come into play. I have used this company more than once and the gentleman who come out to do the job are respectful, professional, fast, efficient, and strong. It is absolutely amazing to me the amount of material they can get into that truck and in such a short amount of time. I also like the fact that they can schedule fairly quickly.
It is also nice to know that when possible they will recycle material so that not all of it is going into the landfill. They will also drop off items to Goodwill or other charities.
If you find yourself in a position that their services might be helpful, call 770-399-5116.
Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer