Here at Access4Lofts, we love a tidy loft space. We would love to help the entire nation to clear and clean that forgotten space which sits above us in our homes. To help you organise your loft, we’ve created these tips for tidying your loft.
The first thing to do is to ensure you can access your loft space safely. A fixed loft ladder is the most convenient and the safest option. It is less than ideal to have to traipse out to the shed in the rain to get a step ladder and then balance in precariously to get up into your loft. Remember though, no matter what type of ladder you use it is important to use it safely. That means never going up the ladder in your slippers or flip flops and it’s always a good idea to have someone with you at the foot of the ladder for safety (and to pass you things, important things, like cups of tea).
Insulation can be horrible stuff, we know, because we work with it a lot! Always wear a mask and gloves. A head torch where there is little to no lighting will also make your life easier too.
First of all, have a quick scan of the items and remove anything you absolutely know you don’t want to keep. This will free up some space and give you room to manoeuvre. Then, once that’s done start in one corner and work systematically around. Set a time to tackle the space and then stop for a drink and a review of what you have found. Set your timer and start again.
Get the right tools for the job
If you’ve been storing items in cardboard boxes consider purchasing some clear boxes. Cardboard will deteriorate over time. Clear boxes have the added benefit of you being able to see what’s in the box and they can be stacked easily which will look neater.
Get yourself some large labels and a thick black marker pen to clearly label up your sorted boxes so you can see without moving them what the contents are. Mrs Hinch has shared some amazing ideas of how she does this, plus a whole section on loft life which you can see on her Instagram page: @mrshinchhome.
Get by with a little help from your friends
Lofts can be quite unwelcoming places, so it is always worth having some help. Why not ask a good friend to lend a hand, (having someone who isn’t emotionally attached to your possessions can help you gain perspective on whether a particular item should be kept). There are also professional organisers like Jasmine at www.changeyourspace.co.uk who can help. If you do decide to use a professional organiser, ensure that they carry public liability insurance .
Try and keep a sense of fun in the job. You probably haven’t been up in your loft for a while and you’re very likely to find things you’d forgotten about. Don’t get side-tracked too much but allow yourself some time to look through the items and reminisce!
Sometimes it’s hard to let go…
It’s the sentimental things in the loft that are tricky. However, there are some very talented people out there who can turn clothes and fabrics into beautiful keepsakes. Take a look at www.bagsfullofmemories.co.uk for example and see how they can create memory keepsakes from the fabrics of your loved ones. Mrs Hinch has some really nice content regarding creating a ‘keepsake corner’ in the loft, again you can see this by visiting her Instagram page: @mrshinchhome. For items such as photographs, why not consider having them put onto CD or other digital storage facility. Or, if you prefer to keep the hard copies, invest in some decent photo albums and make it a project for a rainy day. If you have a collection of vinyl records, you could consider converting them to CD and selling the vinyl to a specialist collector.
Where there’s muck there’s brass…
For those of you of a certain age, you may remember the episode of ‘Only Fools & Horses’ where Del and Rodney find an old watch in their shed that had been there for years. It turned out that it was worth millions! Now, we’re not saying that you’ll find treasure of that magnitude in your loft, but it’s worth checking the value of any items you’re unsure of, or even collections. Even if you’re not planning on selling what you find, it is worth investigating how they should be kept to ensure they stay in good condition. Temperatures vary in the loft and it may not be the best place for your valuables to be stored. If you are concerned about dust getting onto items, consider having a breathable membrane fitted.
X marks the spot
When you have finished, give yourself a huge pat on the back. You’ve tackled a big job that most people procrastinate about for years. Now the hard work is done, it’s a good idea to map out the layout of your loft and generally zone what is where. That way, when it comes to getting your Christmas decorations down, you’ll know exactly where they are. Keep your map in a clear plastic wallet just inside your loft hatch.