Spring cleaning the house is a given but often we forget about the areas we don't look at every day. If someone were to ask you to describe the exact contents of your loft, our guess is that you'd lose your way after christmas decorations and suitcases. However as property prices continue to increase, more and more of us are staying put and making the most out of the space we have.
The loft, therefore, is the perfect opportunity to create more room in your home. If the space is utilised correctly you can clear overcrowded areas in your everyday living spaces and before you know it your home is the minimalist palace you've always dreamed of, without the stress of getting rid of stuff you'd like to keep.
Follow our 6 steps to organise (and utilise) your loft
1. Do an inventory of what you are storing!
Go through everything you have in your loft and categorise it - keep, sell or bin. If you're storing boxes of old clothes, faulty gadgets and old furniture you're never going to use again, it goes without saying that the space is being wasted. Items that you'll never use again should be given away if they could be useful to someone else or else binned/recycled.
2. Take everything down that you don't plan on keeping
Based on your list start removing items you no longer need. If you're getting rid of old clothes or books, consider donating them to charity (provided they are in good condition). Recycle old gadgets and furniture and go through any 'memory' boxes you may have and be selective about the pieces you want to keep. For items you want to sell, take pictures and post them on local Facebook groups, Gumtree, eBay or similar websites.
3. Map out how much space you have
Now that you've cleared some space, start mapping out how much room you have. Make sure you leave ample space to move around and a clear zone around your boiler, if it's in the loft. Once you have an idea of space you'll be able to decide what goes where.
4. Be selective about what you're going to put back in the loft
Now that it's clear, don't just pile your loft with more
junk you'll need to clear in a few year's time. Storing memories for your kids, clothes you plan to hand down and occasional items you need (ski gear, camping equipment etc.) is fine, but be ruthless and only keep items that truly mean something or you make use of.
5. Use correct storage equipment
Storing clothes or memories in bin bags is a huge no-no. Not only are items more exposed to temperature changes (which vary hugely in loft spaces throughout the year) but also any critters that may be lurking. Read our handy tips on how to store clothing
and for all other items that are susceptible to damage (photographs/artwork etc.) follow the same rules. Plastic boxes with a clip on lid and silica gel pads are a life saver for long term storage
! For larger items such as furniture, consider wrapping them in pallet wrap and remember to include the gel packets to absorb any moisture.
6. Label everything
Label every box and item with a list of the contents inside to make looking for things quick and easy. You can even map out where everything is stored to make finding specific items a speedy process - this will minimise the time you need to spend in a dark loft when you need something in a hurry!
Lastly, now that your loft is tidy and well utilised, try not to let it get out of hand. It truly is a huge space saver and should be made the most of!
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