The attic can be a great place for storing items you don’t use on a daily basis, but the old saying “out of sight, out of mind” can ring true. Next thing you know it’s filled to the rafters! If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the sheer amount of stuff you have hiding away, it might be time to clear it out.
Luckily there’s an attic expert on hand - Bumpy! He spends all his time up there and has some handy tips that will have your attic in tip-top shape in no time and even get the whole family involved! He’ll even keep the spider webs away, they are his favorite snack after all!
Make it a family affair
There’s nothing worse than discovering that someone got rid of a special keepsake you were holding on to without asking you first. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure so it’s best to get input from everyone in the household, including kids, to avoid miscommunication.
Getting kids involved in helping clear out the attic may be easier said than done. Some might see the attic as a dark, scary place! But with you by their side, they’ll be able to conquer their fear. First is all about how you position it. Instead of a chore, make a game out of cleaning the attic and liken it to a treasure hunt! You have to dig around everything to find the treasure worth keeping. Secondly, make sure they always feel safe and secure. A great way to do that is have them bring along their favorite friend to have by their side - Bumpy is always available! Lastly, let them know that it’s ok to be scared sometimes, even Bumpy is afraid of something (hint: it’s spiders!). Let them express themselves then reassure them that you’re right there by their side.
Sorting is key
Once everyone has mustered up their bravery it’s time to get to work! When you’re faced with a large amount of stuff, it can be hard to know where to start. To make things simple create three piles:
- Stuff to keep - this pile is dedicated to items that you use on a regular basis or hold sentimental value.
- Stuff to donate - this pile is for things you no longer use but are in good enough condition that others can still get use out of them. The benefit is twofold, you’re helping those in need and making room in your attic!
- Stuff to throw away - this pile is for anything that is broken or damaged beyond repair. If it has no more use or value, toss it! When throwing stuff away, make sure to do so responsibly and double check if items can be recycled or if there are centers around you that take e-waste to avoid adding to landfills.
Sorting is a great way to get kids involved. Ask them questions like: “when was the last time you used this?”, “does it still work?”, “do you think you’ll use it in the future?”, “is there someone who may need this more than you?”. Doing so will get them engaged in the process and help them think critically about what is worth keeping.
If you’re not sure when the last time you used something was, ask Bumpy! With all the time he spends up there, he knows the contents like the back of his hand!
Pay it forward
Once you’ve sorted the piles, it’s time to physically clear out the attic and drop off whatever you’re donating to your organization of choice. For kids, this might be a hard step. Saying goodbye is never easy! However, seeing that their old toys or clothes will make other kids happy can make the transition easier. Bring them along to the donation drop off and let them see first-hand the good they are doing!
Once you’ve donated or thrown out the items you no longer use, it’s time to organize! Set up shelves in your attic and use clear plastic storage containers to hold your possessions. That way everything is accessible and easy to find. This is Bumpy’s favorite step. That bump in the night you hear? It’s actually Bumpy looking for spider webs, but running into the mounds of boxes occupying the attic! The more space he has the easier it will be for him to roam around!