Creating an Easy-to-manage Loft
Welcome back after Easter!
At last it starts to feel like spring. I spent Easter in Scotland and The Lake District and there was still snow. It’s time to start planning to declutter those important storage zones in your home – the loft, the shed and the garage.
Over the last 7 years I have supported many clients to declutter and reorganise their lofts. Often this is prior to a client moving home or starting building work at home but also prior to children going away to university, divorce, bereavement or simply to make better use of the storage that they have.
Access to each loft also varies with each client. Some of my clients have a loft bedroom with eaves storage and others have a boarded storage space accessed via a fixed ladder from the first-floor landing.
Regardless of the size of the space the key to successful loft storage is to really think about: What you are currently storing in the loft and what you need to store in this space. A well organised and managed loft can provide valuable storage space to take pressure off other rooms in your home.
WHERE DO I START?
Lofts can feel overwhelming to tackle alone as they are often full of items that haven’t been used for a long time and many things with a strong sentimental attachment (unwanted gifts or items that we have inherited but do not use). Here are three simple things to ask yourself to help you decide if you really need each item.
Do I use it?
Would I save it in a fire?
Would I buy it now?
Before you start you may need to improve access to the loft room.
Ladder: If you are currently access your loft via a stepladder I recommend that you install a fixed pull-down ladder to ensure your safety
Never Alone: You need 2 people to move things out and back into the loft
Flooring: Never walk on the joists. If your loft is not currently fully boarded I would recommend that you have this done before the items, you want to keep are returned to the loft
Lighting: Install a light in the loft so that you can easily access the things that are stored in this space
Prepare for: dust and dead stuff (wasps, bees, spiders, mice, bats)
WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED?
Dust mask and gloves
Packaging (to wrap valuable items)
Labels and marker pen
Storage Boxes: I prefer to select the size and type of storage boxes at the end of a decluttering session
Some of the lofts that I am asked to declutter look very well organised with items stored and stacked in plastic boxes. Others are full to the brim with random boxes and bags. In both cases, my clients often don’t know everything that is stored in the loft. The first step is to identify what you have stored and start to group similar items together i.e. Christmas, travel, sports equipment, memories, DIY, camping, baby equipment etc. Depending on the loft space, you may need to bring the items out of the loft to do this. Then purge unwanted items.
Once you’ve grouped similar items together and purged unwanted items you can start to put the items you want to keep back in the loft and organise the space by theme. The items that you need to access more frequently should be stored near the access door. All boxes should be clearly labelled and don’t forget to create an electronic master list (and/or photos) of all the items that you have stored.
HELP MY LOFT NEEDS SORTING
I understand that organising a loft can feel overwhelming but the benefits of clearing out and managing this space are worth the effort. You’ll not only create more effective storage but your loft will be easier to manage.
If you need some help please contact me to book a session. I promise it’s not as scary as you think as I will be there to support you.
Top 5 Tips For Storing Items In Your Loft
1. Soft toys – can attract dust mites and mice. Store in airtight containers
2. Carpets & rugs – attractive to moths, carpet beetles and nesting birds. Clean and bag up after spraying with moth repellent
3. Old tech/photographs – susceptible to temperature changes. Store in damp proof containers away from light and heat
4. Vintage clothes – can be damaged by excessive light, dampness and moths
5. Books – to avoid silverfish store in airtight containers