The attic…

In the true Halloween spirit, it is time to face the cobwebs and ghosts and clean out that attic and closets! Not only is this a great organizational exercise, but you might find some winter clothes up there that you put away last year and have already forgotten about. Prepare to get somewhat dusty, but it will be worth it in the end to have clean and organized storage spaces.

Start with your closets.

Pull everything out of the closet that touches the floor, such as shoes, bags, etc. Then vacuum the space with the appropriate type of cleaner-either a hard floor vacuum or the hose attachment of a regular vacuum for wood floors or a regular vacuum for carpeted floors. This is a good opportunity to look at your shoes and decide which ones need repair or should be delegated to the trash can. If you have a hardwood floor, follow the vacuum step with a wood floor cleaning product to give it extra protection and shine. Consider getting a shoe organizer if you don’t have one, then put your shoes back in an orderly set up.

This is also a good time to go through everything that is on hangers and see what you should box up for the winter, what you will keep in your closet for year round wear and what you should give to Goodwill. Rachael’s rule of thumb is that if she hasn’t worn something for 6 months, she probably won’t wear it, so she gives it to charity. However, if you have a classic item in your closet that is not going to go out of style in a year or two but you are just sick of looking at, put that one in the attic for next year.

Box or bag your winter clothes. Ziplock now makes these huge and durable attic storage bags that are great for bagging blankets and sweaters and they take up less space than a box would. Otherwise, you can get sturdy boxes from a workplace or the supermarket.

The attic

The attic is a place that could easily become a total disaster zone if not properly organized. Here are some suggestions:

Assuming your attic has wood, either floors and or walls, make sure you follow the same rules as for the closets above. Once a year, pull everything out of its corners and do a vacuum, or if you can’t get a vacuum up the attic stairs, do a sweep with a broom and a polish to keep everything protected and clean. You may not find a tremendous amount of dust up there but it all helps preserve the attic and the items stored in the attic.

As for organization, keep the clothing in one corner of the attic. Use boxes or clear bags to store clothes and make sure to label them clearly. If you are storing clothing that you don’t think you’ll use for a while-such as old baby clothes that you plan to give to a future child-put those clothes in the back or the bottom of the stack. If you are storing summer clothes that you will use again next year, don’t put it in a place where you will completely forget about it. Also, try to put only one person’s clothes in a single box so when you look for the items later, you know that mom’s summer clothes are all in one place.

This is a good time to go through whatever else is in the attic and decide what should stay and what should go.  It’s convenient to throw things up there to get out of your immediate way, but when you look at these things after some time passes, you may find that half of what is in the attic is useless to you.  This gives you an opportunity to sell some things on ebay, give them away to friends or to put on the street for trash pick up day.

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