Decluttering: the Loft

Every so often one of us mentions that we ought to clear out the loft but neither of us has had the willpower to do it.  Well, now,  I am bravely going where no man or, indeed, woman has yet ventured – the furthest corners of our loft.

Decluttering the loft

Our cluttered loft - yikes

Small steps

And I don’t just mean the loft ladder.   If your loft is as scary as mine, you will have been putting off clearing it out for months or even years.   I have finally realised that I am not going to do it if I keep trying to think of it as a huge project so have decided to clear it out one bag or box at a time.

Make it a game

I have decided to turn the whole thing into a game.  I am going to call it Loft Fishing (or maybe Attic Angling!).  Call it whatever you like, as long as it sounds a lot more fun than ‘Clearing out the loft’.  The way to play the game is to go up into your loft (duh), select a box or bag or item AT RANDOM and take it down.

Next step is to go through the contents and decide what to do with them – recycle, give away, keep, throw away.

Finally, do whatever you have decided with each item you have brought down. In other words, if you are going to Freecycle, immediately OFFER your item, go to the bin NOW and throw away anything that is beyond hope, contact friends or relatives to see if they could use the items you have in mind and only keep anything you will DEFINITELY use or that has true sentimental value.

What did I find?

I was putting away the Christmas decorations when I spotted a black bag beyond arm’s reach of the loft trapdoor which meant it had been there sometime.  I grabbed it and found I had actually labelled it – it was my 16 year old son’s barely worn cricket helmet and legguards last used when he was about 11.  Not only would they certainly not fit him now, he doesn’t even like cricket!  I must have put them up there ‘just in case’ he needed them again and then forgot about them.  I decided to Freecycle them which I duly did that evening and by Tuesday morning they were gone.  They went to a local Mum with a boy of around 10 who said she would donate them to their cricket club if they didn’t fit him.  Brilliant.

What next?

I am determined to keep decluttering my loft so I am going to go up there on another fishing expedition next week.  The rules are simple – regular small steps and finish the WHOLE process under ‘Make it a game’  BEFORE you get anything else down to process.  It keeps your house free of too much dusty stuff and is a real morale boost to get you to carry on.  If you are like me and forget things in the madness of family life, look at your diary, choose a realistic date for your next loft fishing expedition and make an appointment with yourself.  I’m off to check my diary now!

We would love to hear any loft decluttering stories – any buried treasure or strange items or anything at all!

Sally & Jane

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