I was recently reminded of why many attics stay packed for decades. After two hours of mounting two sets of stairs and hauling down volumes of old items I was panting, sweating (not perspiring!) and thinking to myself, “People have no idea what a nightmare they are creating when they dump items one by one into an attic.” The effort to put things in an attic in no way compares to the energy it takes to get everything out of it!
Here are a few tips to keep your attic from becoming a nightmare:
- Don’t use your attic as a default location for things you don’t know what to do with. Most of those things are really items you no longer love or use. That makes them good candidates for purging.
- With very few exceptions, make the attic a place to hold things you use at least once a year, like luggage, seasonal decorations, and off-season clothing. That will keep those items mobile and give you a yearly opportunity to assess whether it’s time to let them go.
- Don’t store books in the attic. Books can’t be easily accessed for reading or reference if they are in the attic. And if they are so precious that they warrant being kept, why would you expose them to the temperature extremes of an attic?
- Limit paper storage in the attic to records that must be kept for tax or legal reasons. Most other paper can be tossed with no significant consequences.
Remember, what goes up into an attic must come down! Make careful choices to avoid an attic nightmare.