How long has it been since you really took a look at what is sitting in your attic? A year? Two years? Five years? What about your garage? Do you even know what could possibly be sitting in either of those spaces? If reading this and thinking about what could possibly be aging in your garage or attic makes you curious or even a little nervous then it’s time to hold your nose and jump in. Put some music on and grab some trash bags because it is time for you to cleanse your attic and garage!
Think of all the possibilities you could do with this new found space. You could turn your attic into another bedroom or even an office. You could actually park your car in your garage so that when it’s raining you don’t have to unload your groceries in the pouring rain. Plus the freeing feeling that you will get from this will be worth it in it of itself but you get the added bonus of free space.
Clear the clutter out of your attic and garage so that you can use that space instead of having things you didn’t even realize you had taking it away from you. It may be hard in the beginning but once you start to see those areas of the floor that you haven’t seen it years you will find yourself tossing and donating things left and right just to get a few more inches of your home back!
Here are 10+ things that you should either toss or donate!
Let’s start with furniture. It is probably some of the largest items you have to get rid of which means it is taking up a lot of your valuable space. I know there may be some pieces that you want to keep or that are family heirlooms but it has been sitting in your attic or garage for how long now? It is time to either find it a forever spot somewhere in your house or it needs to go to a new home where it will be loved and valued instead of just sitting unappreciated in a cold dark room. If are going to sell an item that is an antique or could possibly be an antique, contact an antique professional before selling the item to make sure you are giving a fair price when selling it.
2. Holiday Decorations
Holiday decorations are wonderful during the holiday season but during the off season all they are doing is collecting dust. How much of your holiday decoration stash did you actually use this last holiday season? Was it even a fraction of the amount you have? If the answer is no or you don’t know because you’re not sure how many holiday decorations you own, then it’s time to get rid of some or even most of your holiday decoration stash. Set aside the decorations you just recently enjoyed but as for the rest of them, if you don’t have a specific place in mind that you will put the decoration this next holiday season then you should either toss it or donate it.
3. Baby Supplies
Are you planning on having another baby? If so then congratulations! If not then you should donate or give away the baby items you have that are just collecting dust. There are plenty of people who need baby supplies and are willing to pay you for your baby supply stash. The longer you keep baby items the more outdated they become, and it can even become a safety hazard for a future baby. There are new baby items coming out all the time and they are becoming cheaper and even safer for new babies. So it’s time to part with your baby supplies that are stealing precious room in your new found space. You will be giving the baby items a new family that will love, appreciate, and use them with their new little bundle of joy! You would be doing yourself and that family a favor.
Do you have a just-in-case box collection? Well I hate to break it to you, but those boxes very possibly have some friends living in them, if you know what I mean. You know the kind that make you scream when they run across the floor? It is time to let the boxes go. If you ever need boxes for a move, or anything really, there are a lot of ways to get them for free. All you have to do is “Google it” and lists upon lists will come up of different companies who give their boxes away for free to people who ask for them. So, get rid of the boxes that are taking up your precious space and inviting unwanted friends to stay awhile, and take your space back.
5. Outdated Technology
Technology is improving so much and so fast that you are bound to have a bit of old technology lying around somewhere. You probably haven’t touched that old technology in months or even years. It is time to toss it or donate it if it’s still in working condition. You don’t need piles of outdated DVD players, gaming systems, and VHS players especially. Everything is becoming digital and smaller with the new technology that is constantly coming out so give yourself that space back in your garage and attic and get rid of that outdated equipment.
Do you have bags or boxes of clothes in your attic? Do you know every item of clothing that you own? It is time to donate those bags of outdated clothes if they are still in good condition. Give those items a chance to be worn, loved, and used again. Is your off season clothing sitting right there in front of you on the floor of your garage? How long has it been since you actually opened up that box to swap out your seasonal clothes? If the answer is that you can’t remember or that it has been years, then it is time to go through that box, take out what you want to keep, and donate the rest. Rodents love to make homes in bags of clothes so do yourself a favor and donate your unwanted items before you have unwanted house guests.
Keeping important documents is a good habit to have, but keeping them for longer than necessary is not. Once you have made sure your bank statement and receipts match up then toss the receipts. Tax specialists say that you only need to keep you tax documents for 7 years so each year when you put away your new set of tax documents discard the 7-year-old documents so that you only keep as many as you need to. If you have a number of paper documents that you want to keep there are scanners that can scan documents to create a digital copy of them for you. Then you don’t have to keep the hard copy which means more freed up space in your house for you!
8. Outdated Music Devices
Just like there is no good reason to keep a stack of outdated DVD and VHS players and gaming systems there is no need to keep outdated music devices like cassette players. You don’t need to keep any music playing device that you haven’t touched in 6 months or longer. There are plenty of ways to listen to your favorite music without having to store all those big outdated music players in your garage. If you aren’t sure what type of music platforms will play your favorite kind of music Google will have the answer for you.
9. Childhood Memories
This one might be a little tricky if you are a sentimental person, but don’t worry you can do this. Every time you pick up and item from that box ask yourself, “Would I show this to the next person that comes over to my house?” While going through that box you can reminisce on when you or your child made that specific item. But if you ask yourself and the answer is no, then it is time to part with it. It is just a physical item, you have the memory stored in your brain forever. Clear that space in your garage or attic so that you can give it a new purpose instead of having it store all those items that you would never look at again if it weren’t for this exercise.
This may be the most difficult type of item to get rid of and that is why it is last on the list. You have the momentum from tossing and donating hundreds of items already, so you can do this. You don’t need to get rid of all your photos, but there is probably a large sum of photos that you can discard. If you can’t seem to discard any of them then it would really benefit you to scan them into your computer so that you then have a digital copy of them. Once you have a digital copy you can decide whether or not you need to keep the actual photographs. If you choose to keep the photos that is okay, just make sure to find a better place to store them so they don’t get possible heat and water damage.