Editor's Note: Do you stuff things in the closet? Leah Friedman, a professional organizer with Raleigh Green Gables and mom of two, shares why the attic isn't a great place to store your stuff. And, really, do you need that stuff in the first place?
Most people associate fall with football, back to school and pumpkin spice lattes.
You know what a professional organizer thinks when the leaves turn? It's time to clean out your attic. October is the beginning of attic season. And it gets me so excited.
Some folks pride themselves on their attic spaces. It's got a lot of stuff, but it's organized, they always tell me.
Here is my response to that: You should have nothing in your attic. Not a darn thing.
Why should it be empty?
1. If you store books, clothes, even furniture in your attic, it will get ruined. The temperature varies too much in an attic, especially, in North Carolina. Books and clothes will grow mold, not to mention all the animal dung that gets in it. YUCK!
2. If you have an attic with a pull-down ladder, how often are really going up there to use the items? My ladder is downright treacherous. If it's been up there for years, you don't need it.
3. If you ever move, it's very kind to leave the new home owners an empty attic. Mine was not left empty, and I had to hire someone to clear it out.
When working with clients on their attics, I have made a few exceptions for things like Christmas items and furniture if the kids are leaving for college in two years or less.
Otherwise, it's time to stop using your attic as a storage unit.
Plus, cleaning it out feels so good. Even though you don't see it, you will know the space above you is empty, and it will bring you an amazing peace of mind. The air in your home will feel cleaner.
And, yes, I live what I preach. Here is my attic:
Here are some other attic transformations I have done with clients. The first was a total attic clean-out. The stuff had been in there for 20 years, and the clothes literally disintegrated in my hands. It went from this:
Here's another, where we left Christmas items and college furniture.
It went from this:
Let attic season begin!
Leah Friedman is a mom of two, professional organizer and owner of Raleigh Green Gables.