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How to Organize an Attic

Storing Attic Contents

You've inventoried, thrown things out and sorted your attic contents into manageable groups. At this point, you're almost finished, and most of the difficult work is done. The final step is storing your items in a practical and accessible way that maximizes your available space.

The first step to consider is whether you need to bring in more shelving. If your boxes are currently on the floor, a shelving system will help you maximize storage and keep your items at eye level, making them easier to find. A trip to the store for more shelving will likely you a lot of time and energy in the future.

The next step is to box and label everything -- trying to store loose items will lead to unnecessary clutter and broken belongings. For some things, such as holiday decorations, you can find bins that are specifically suited for your needs. Choose the container that works best with your space and that protects its contents -- plastic containers are great for protecting important things from roof leaks or other unforeseen accidents [source: Good Housekeeping]. After you've boxed up a pile of stuff, be sure to label the container if it isn't transparent.

Organize your important papers by using boxes with file folders in them. You can decide how detailed you want to be, but try to keep boxes dedicated to certain types of paperwork. For example, you may have one box marked "bills" and another marked "college application papers." Anything important, such as legal documents, should be stored in a fireproof or fire-resistant box [source: Good Housekeeping].

In addition to placing all items in labeled bins and boxes, consider labeling areas of your attic by the type of item stored in that section. You can color code your bins or even paint areas of the floor if your attic is unfinished, so you'll have an easy reminder of where everything is. When you've finished organizing and inventorying everything, it's a good idea to type up the inventory list up and keep it on file.

Now that your attic is organized, be sure to maintain it. If you need to add a few more items, don't break away from your organization system -- you'll be making more work for yourself in the future. For more tips on how to keep your attic free of clutter, see the links on the following page.