Sorting / grouping items in the basement, attic and garage: organize your home series

November 5, 2012 0 By EngineerMommy

What’s in there? Sorting Through Auxiliary Spaces

Start by going through everything you have and setting aside items that need to be thrown away. This includes items that no longer work, items that are broken or missing important pieces, items that have not been used in over a year, and items that you could otherwise discard.

First remove any motor vehicles, motorcycles, lawn mowing equipment, and other large pieces of equipment and gear out of the space to leave you with more room to sort and organize. Start sorting like items with like items. As you go through your possessions, consider the following categories:

Artwork Maintenance Gear Bicycles Books
Camping Gear Cleaning Supplies Clothing Electronics
Financial Documents Furniture Hobby Supplies Lawn Gear
Office Supplies Pantry Items Photographs Sports Equipment


Once you have divided everything into categories, you need to collect your items into containers. Find containers that will fit the contents of your categories. You need to use containers that are sized according to the amount of stuff you have in a particular category. So check out your piles (or categories) and make sure you have boxes/bins/baskets that are sized correctly.

Keep in mind that you should store these containers in your garage (or attic or basement) according to how frequently you need to access these containers. If you go camping once every 2 years, you can store all your camping gear in a box on a high shelf that is out of reach most of the time. If you ride your bike every other day, make sure it is on a bike hook in an easily accessible space. Use clear containers or tubs, so that you can easily see the contents when you are searching for something particular.

Make sure you properly label all your containers. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Make sure the font is readable from a few feet away.
  • Don’t label the top of the box if the boxes will be stacked.
  • Write the box contents on an adhesive label, so you can change the label if the box contents change down the road. Don’t write directly on the box itself.
  • Label the front and back of a box so you don’t have to worry about which side of the box faces the front.
  • Label specifically and accurately. If the box contains Christmas lights, don’t label the box “Christmas stuff.” Label the box “Outdoor Christmas lights.”

To view the rest of the posts in the Home Organization Series, please click here.

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