The initial step to organizing a storage space — basement, attic, or garage — is to sort into categories. Set aside at least a few hours for this project, and involve the entire household. (You didn’t accumulate this stuff by yourself, did you?)
To begin the process, designate a sorting area — such as your driveway — or clear some floor space in a corner of the basement or attic. Then, item by item, start sorting into logical categories. Some might include automotive, crafting, clothing, home improvement, lawn and garden, memorabilia, sports equipment, seasonal items, tools, and toys. Each household is unique, so your categories will mirror your lifestyle and priorities. What’s important to you? What do you love to do? Create categories based on how you live (or want to live).
Try to touch things only once while going through this quick-sort process. Next, create sub-categories. Clothing can be further divided by person, size, or season. Sports equipment divides by activity or season. You might break out tools into smaller everyday tools and larger power tools for special projects. One great thing about sorting is that you’ll easily see duplicate items.
If you see something obviously broken, stained, rusted, or mildewed, immediately place it in the trash. (Be sure to set aside any chemicals so they can be taken to your local hazardous waste facility.) Once you’ve sorted everything into categories, you’ll start decluttering. You’re on your way to a tidy, efficient storage space!
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