So you know it’s time to clear out the attic, or get some headway into that pile of documents that you’ve been meaning to start filing. Maybe you’ve got some ideas for what to do with the study but there’re just TOO MANY things in there!

Well, get cracking we say! The first step is admitting that you have a problem, and the next is getting to it! Here are some helpful pointers that are sure to help you solving that storage problem and getting your rooms back into a tip-top and clean state.

The easiest way to start packing and sorting is to create stacks, or rather boxes for your stacks. You can start off with small boxes, just somewhere where you can place your items, and which are clearly labeled to help you make a decision with what to do with them. You can categorize your stacks differently, but what works for us were these:

  • IN USE or can be repurposed immediately – These are the things which you definitely don’t want to throw, and are still in good, working condition, things that you foresee yourself using in the next 3 months or less. We generally suggest wires, cables and tools as well as recent documents which you might need in the coming tax season.
  • FOR STORAGE – These items you want to keep, but don’t have immediate need for. A good gauge would be things that you’ve used in the last 6 months, but only once or twice. Items like seasonal sports equipment, furniture, thick winter wear…
  • TO GIVE AWAY – This is a tricky stack. It’s important to think long and hard whether an item can really be given away. Even the homeless have some standards. Things that you genuinely don’t need like the extra mugs and stuffed toys that your children have outgrown, items which you’ve bought or received that you haven’t looked at since you’ve got them and things which are old and forgotten but still in their original packaging should go in this pile.
  • TO TRASH – This goes without saying. Don’t feel too sentimentally about that favourite shirt with holes and that set of cushion covers that are threadbare from use. Only when you throw out the old can you bring in the new!

Further to the different stacks you should have, you should definitely include a “perishables” stack; especially when you are cleaning out your pantry. If you’re anything like my family, there are things in the freezer and in the back of the cupboard that nobody has any recollection about. And if they were home-made or leftovers, chances are, they weren’t labeled properly with expiry dates. Stuff like this needs to be done away with as soon as possible, so don’t keep these in a pile once they are out of their original storage area.

Now that you’ve got your stacks sorted out, think about calling a friend or two over to help you with sorting things out – they can help you make the difficult call of which stack things should be going into! Get started with sorting today and you’ll be that one step closer to a cleaner storage area and you’ll have packed boxes ready to move out to the self storage facility in no time!