A is for ATTIC…
My Favorite #KrispTip for Attics:
I recommend to clients that they give each family member their storage container in which to keep their memorabilia. When my brothers and sisters were little, my mom gave each of us a classic steamer trunk with our names painted on the outside. Nowadays, an extra-large plastic bin will work just as well (and might be preferable if it is going to be kept in a basement or garage). Parents may want to put mementos in it when the children are little (favorite artwork, a stuffed animal, pictures, report cards). But as they get older the grown child should be the one to decide what goes in it (awards, yearbooks, photo albums). The plan could be that the trunk will go with the child when he or she finally moves away from home. But it is also possible that child as an adult will finally take it away when their parents reach a downsizing age. The point is that each person has a reserved space AND a limitation to their space. The rule is to keep it to the ONE trunk per person which means that there may needs to be some sorting and purging through the years.
Attic DIY Process:
It’s almost summer and if you have not cleaned out your attic this year…you may be running out of time before it becomes too hot to go up there to do it! No matter what climate you live in, you are very fortunate if you have an attic in which to stash things! It makes excellent out-of-sight storage. But it can also easily become the place for anything that you can’t decide what will be its next purpose. It is easy to just banish it to the attic…and the decision gets put off for another day!
As you can tell from the before pic, when I started this attic project, we couldn’t even get INTO the attic because it was so packed. In the search for the Christmas nativity…. birthday wrapping paper…. last year’s sports equipment…. a favorite lamp…. kids’ books to donate…. each person who entered the attic rummaged through bins or boxes. With no rules to follow…or follow up… it was several feet deep with STUFF.
So where to start on organizing an attic? Well, organizing follows the same process for every room in the house.
- Step #1: “The Sort”. Categories were agreed upon to group items. These were then written down on notebook paper and taped to the ceiling in intervals apart. In this family the categories were “Christmas”, “Personal”, “Other Holidays”, “Household”, “Donate”. Yours may be totally different…it is what works in your space. Then the items were sorted…and moved around…and sorted…and moved around. While that was being done, the empty bins were collected. Any without lids were set aside. (If at the end, the lids do not show up…the bins are repurposed (for extra boots in the garage?) or discarded. Bins are relatively inexpensive to replace.
- Step #2: Decision Time. Someone or all of the family needs to be present to help make decisions to toss, donate or sell. Each of the family members (this household had 4 young adults ages 15-22) was individually called by the mom to come up to the attic… and decide what to do with their things. We had piles of items to toss, donate or keep. The toss and donate were immediately moved out to make room.
- Step #3: Store It. This step means putting the items you plan to keep into some kind of storage container. This could be plastic bins, cardboard boxes or any storage method that works for you. Baskets, tubs, or shelves might be other options although in an attic something with a lid is preferable.
- Step #4: Label it. This is the fun part and most creative. I will do a blog later on labeling, but the ideas are limitless. I also recommend an inventory list attached on the outside of each container. The list can be as high level (such as non-Christmas decorations) or detailed (July 4th flags, Easter baskets, Halloween lanterns.) I prefer more detail on the list as that avoids someone later dumping out bins looking for one item!
- Note: There is one more potential step… but only if needed. I recommend that “Rules of the ATTIC” be created and left pinned to the attic door or a beam as a reminder. “Put everything BACK in its place!” is the primary one. 😉
RECAP of KrispTips:
- Plan how to start the organization (categories, storage method)
- Have the family involved in decisions of disposal
- Every person should have a trunk/storage bin/shelf to keep things in/on
- Label everything when done
- Make attic rules to ensure everything stays put away
Getting Help with Attics
If it seems too overwhelming to organize your attic…. please reach out to us. If you have some questions, I am happy to help you get your DIY kicked off….at no charge! And if you still need more help, we can discuss if a Krisp Solutions project would work for you. Another option is that during Covid 19 restrictions we can do virtual consulting over Zoom or Facetime. Contact us and let’s see what help or inspiration you need!