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How do I an organize an attic?

If you have an attic you can use for storage, count your blessings! What you store in your attic might be affected by how easy it is to access it. If you have a simple staircase to the attic, great. You can store out-of-season items or anything you don’t need easy access to. If getting to your attic requires a ladder, then you’ll probably want to be more judicious about what you store there. (For example, my attic is accessible via a small trap door in ceiling of a closet. We have to use a ladder to get to that trap door. What do we store there? Nothing.)

Organizing items stored in an attic is similar to organizing items in the garage or basement. You’ll want to sort, weed, and categorize your items so that you can store them in labeled bins. I always recommend using shelving to store the those bins, rather than stacking them. That way, you don’t have to move bins in order to access those beneath them.

Typically, however, shelving is more problematic in an attic due to access issues and slanted eaves. At both the National Association of Professional Organizers and Institute for Challenging Disorganization conferences, I learned about AtticMaxx, a shelving system designed to allow you maximize your storage space in the attic. It’s pretty ingenious: These shelves fit between the trusses! They’re adjustable so you can fit the angle of the trusses in your attic (since there isn’t a standard angle for a house’s trusses). So now you can store bins along the edges of your attic, off the floor (above the insulation) and without stacking. They come in sets of two or eight shelves and are available from the AtticMaxx website.

Janine Adams is a messy professional organizer who loves helping others create order. The co-founder of Declutter Happy Hour, she believes in having as much fun as possible in the organizing process. Check out her web site at Peace of Mind Organizing!

Do you have a room or area in your home that needs organization help?

No worries – the Rubbermaid Professional Organizer Squad is here with expert advice! This group of professional organizers has seen and tackled it all. Simply enter your question, screen name and email to submit your question to them (any organizing question is welcome, no matter how simple or complicated!). We’ll answer and feature questions the squad can provide the best answers on. Don’t worry – we’ll email you if your question is selected!

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