How to sort your loft

Oh no, it’s an old printer...!...

Don’t stack paper

or books

Paper is stupidly heavy - don’t overload your loft with piles higher than say 40cm, and keep it to the edges. Lofts are not designed for heavy storage.
The cheap pop-up type of plastic box from Tesco and Makro are cheap at around £3 but will break if stacked more than 2 high and are really not very sturdy.
A good source for large boxes like this between £2 - £5 is Family Best Buy or Wilkinson shops. Supplied with a lid, they’ve got a high capacity and are cheap, but the plastic is thin and breaks easily if bashed about or loaded with heavy items.
One of the best all round most versatile type are the translucent Contico boxes from Makro and Costco with a permanently attached two flap lid. The lid flaps fold in for a closed box that can be stacked, and fold out to stack empty boxes.
3
I don’t think you’ll be repairing that chair any time soon... It’s an inkjet! Its old! It’s not USB! Bin it!.

If life is like a box of chocolates, your loft is like a box of Lego.

You know about Economies of Scale - where the more items a company produces the cheaper they are to produce. Lofts have Diseconomies of Scale - the more stuff you have the more difficult it is to find what you’re looking for, so you end up buying another one - which is why you have four picnic baskets and three foot pumps amongst other things.... Faced with the rather daunting prospect of sorting out your loft, where do you start? The easiest method is to use our logical Legobox Sort Method that works for anything - garages, drawers, kitchens, lofts. Think about sorting out a mixed box of Lego: it’s obvious how you’d sort that out - you’d throw out the bits of fluff, torn cardboard and half eaten sweets, separate out the things that shouldn’t be there like Playmobil and Matchbox cars, and then sort the lego into different coloured blocks and useful bits like wheels and windows. The same applies to your loft only on a bigger scale:

There are three types of Loft Stuff:

Cat 3: No value to anybody: this is rubbish and can be thrown away with no regrets. Cat 2: Has value, but not to you - sell it or give it away Cat 1: Has value to you and you’d like to keep it (But really? You may want to put it into category 2 or 3 after a bit of thought.)

Category 3 sort:

Remove and throw away all rubbish that really has no value - empty boxes from things that have long gone, broken things, cassette tapes, used carpets, 10 year old computers, non-flatscreen TVs & monitors, bits of wood, anything made by Apple last year etc. Questions to ask : How long has it been in the loft? Are you really going to use/read or look at it ever again? Have you long since replaced it with a better one?

Category 2 sort:

Remove & sell /recycle things that have value but you no longer want: recycle at Oxfam or put on Freegle (eg: https://www.ilovefreegle.org ) or sell on Ebay - toys are best to sell around November for Christmas. Generally if you can find it on Ebay it probably will have some value, although be careful with the “buy it now” prices as these are not necessarily what an item will go for and is usually somebody trying their luck.

Category 1 sort:

Group like things together: all the suitcases together, all Christmas decorations together, all books together. Beware of the “Time Kept / Added Value” illusion, where you’ve kept it for 20 years and so it’s somehow worth more: you haven’t looked at it or used it for 20 years so why are you keeping it? Box up similar like stuff in same size boxes to make stacking and arranging easier: make sure boxes will fit through loft opening and are stackable. Label what's in the box - list contents on a spreadsheet if you're feeling efficient.

Do you really need to store it?

Firstly, is it really something you want to keep? Remember some things will just never come back into fashion, so its daft to store: Hi-fi Computers PCs/Monitors/printers - in fact anything technology -based! TVs - especially analogue & non-flatscreen Carpets - except for an emergency 1m 2 for NEW carpets Kitchen cupboard doors (!) Baby clothes & equipment (children rarely get smaller as they get older) Toys old toys Accounts paperwork older than 7 years - if it’s before 2013, bin it! ANYTHING broken - you won’t fix it, it’s not worth it, bin it. COAT HANGERS - these are absolutely forbidden: the world will NEVER run out of coat-hangers! If you want to keep toys that you played with for your kids, bear in mind that technology moves on. You can flog on ebay that terrible 1965 Tri- ang Hornby engine that you never liked much and never worked very well anyway, and get a recent EuroStar (also on ebay) that goes like the clappers for not much more. A 2021 representation of a 1960 steam engine will always work so much better than a 1972 representation of the same locomotive. If you want to wean them off Fortnite, the toys you hand on had better work properly.

Empty boxes

It’s ok to keep original boxes if the item is worth more on ebay with the box eg. Sylvanian families, Hornby railways etc. BUT keep all boxes together and bin them as soon as you bin the item they came in.

Don’t stack paper

Paper and books are stupidly heavy - don’t overload your loft with piles higher than say 40cm, and keep it to the edges. If you’re storing books you really have to consider WHY - are you really ever going to read them again? It’s important to remember that the loft beams are not as strong as floor beams, so don’t overdo it.

Storage bags - don’t use bin bags

Don’t use black bin bags for storage: they rip far too easily, they tend to get chucked out by mistake (see Toy Story 2) and you can’t tell what’s in them. Get the clear storage tie bags from Waitrose - they’re cheap, fairly strong and you can see what’s in them. Do not get the similar clear recycling bags from Tescos, they’re not strong enough. Put a big A4 label in them like “James’ summer clothes 2019” - so you’ll know when to chuck them out. (The clothes)

Cardboard storage boxes - sources

Banana boxes from Tescos and other supermarkets are very strong but not too deep - ideal for stacking. Costco usually have loads of boxes by their checkout areas - stock up with lots the same size for a neat arrangement.

Storage boxes - plastic

For what you get these can get a bit expensive if you need 10 or 20, but sometimes you can get good offers at Wilkinsons, Ikea, Costco or The Range. Bigger boxes are better value, but make sure you can get them through the loft opening with a ladder fitted. Larger boxes - say 60 litres - can get too heavy for the thin plastic that they are made of, so bear this in mind when packing and lifting. A Wilkinsions 60 L box full of books or paper will break on lifting - better to use the Really Useful Box type. Recommended best all round box is Ikea 45L SAMLA with lid at around £6. Not too expensive, stacks nicely, stronger thicker plastic than Wilkinsons and can be got into most lofts.

When to start

Best months are September October November, and March April May when it’s not too hot and not too cold in the loft. Start after breakfast around 9.30am till 12.30 when you’re at peak energy. Set small achievable targets , eg Today I’m spending a maximum of two hours collecting and throwing away cat 3 rubbish. Wear old clothes or overalls, Screwfix disposable paper overalls start from £3, yellow gripper gloves from Wickes work well. Get the strongest black bags you can for rubbish, Wickes black rubble bags are very strong and not too big.
Initially a bit daunting but a systematic approach can tackle it!
Serving suggestion
Just like your loft only different scale. You know what to do..
No plastic spiders were harmed in the sorting of this Lego.
Your goal…

Warning: this page contains graphic images of unsorted Lego, which some viewers may find distressing.

VHS-C? My dad told me about that…

Call us today to book a loft ladder fitting

Call/text Steve on 0788 4471 232

Rated on Google & Trustpilot

0788 44 71 232

Henley On Thames

How to sort your loft

Don’t stack paper

or books

Paper is stupidly heavy - don’t overload your loft with piles higher than say 40cm, and keep it to the edges. Lofts are not designed for heavy storage.
The cheap pop-up type of plastic box from Tesco and Makro are cheap at around £3 but will break if stacked more than 2 high and are really not very sturdy.
A good source for large boxes like this between £2 - £5 is Family Best Buy or Wilkinson shops. Supplied with a lid, they’ve got a high capacity and are cheap, but the plastic is thin and breaks easily if bashed about or loaded with heavy items.
One of the best all round most versatile type are the translucent Contico boxes from Makro and Costco with a permanently attached two flap lid. The lid flaps fold in for a closed box that can be stacked, and fold out to stack empty boxes.

If life is like a box of chocolates, your loft is like a box of Lego.

You know about Economies of Scale - where the more items a company produces the cheaper they are to produce. Lofts have Diseconomies of Scale - the more stuff you have the more difficult it is to find what you’re looking for, so you end up buying another one - which is why you have four picnic baskets and three foot pumps amongst other things.... Faced with the rather daunting prospect of sorting out your loft, where do you start? The easiest method is to use our logical Legobox Sort Method that works for anything - garages, drawers, kitchens, lofts. Think about sorting out a mixed box of Lego: it’s obvious how you’d sort that out - you’d throw out the bits of fluff, torn cardboard and half eaten sweets, separate out the things that shouldn’t be there like Playmobil and Matchbox cars, and then sort the lego into different coloured blocks and useful bits like wheels and windows. The same applies to your loft only on a bigger scale:

There are three types of Loft Stuff:

Cat 3: No value to anybody: this is rubbish and can be thrown away with no regrets. Cat 2: Has value, but not to you - sell it or give it away Cat 1: Has value to you and you’d like to keep it (But really? You may want to put it into category 2 or 3 after a bit of thought.)

Category 3 sort:

Remove and throw away all rubbish that really has no value - empty boxes from things that have long gone, broken things, cassette tapes, used carpets, 10 year old computers, non-flatscreen TVs & monitors, bits of wood, anything made by Apple older than 6 months etc. Questions to ask : How long has it been in the loft? Are you really going to use/read or look at it ever again? Have you long since replaced it with a better one?

Category 2 sort:

Remove & sell /recycle things that have value but you no longer want: recycle at Oxfam or put on Freegle (eg: https://www.ilovefreegle.org ) or sell on Ebay - toys are best to sell around November for Christmas. Generally if you can find it on Ebay it probably will have some value, although be careful with the “buy it now” prices as these are not necessarily what an item will go for and maybe somebody trying their luck.

Category 1 sort:

Group like things together: all the suitcases together, all Christmas decorations together, all books together. Beware of the “Time Kept / Added Value” illusion, where you’ve kept it for 20 years and so it’s somehow worth more: you haven’t looked at it or used it for 20 years so why are you keeping it? Box up similar like stuff in same size boxes to make stacking and arranging easier: make sure boxes will fit through loft opening and are stackable: current favorites are Wilkinson 60l boxes with folding lid @ £5 each £4 delivery, great ranges at Ikea and The Range Label what's in the box - list contents on a spreadsheet if you're feeling efficient.

Do you really need to store it?

Firstly, is it really something you want to keep? Remember some things will just never come back into fashion, so its daft to store: Hi-fi Computers PCs/Monitors/printers - in fact anything technology -based! TVs - especially analogue & non-flatscreen Carpets - except for an emergency 1m 2 for NEW carpets Kitchen cupboard doors (!) Baby clothes & equipment (children rarely get smaller as they get older) Toys old toys Accounts paperwork older than 7 years - if it’s before 2011, bin it! ANYTHING broken - you won’t fix it, it’s not worth it, bin it. COAT HANGERS - these are absolutely forbidden: the world will NEVER run out of coat- hangers! If you want to keep toys that you played with for your kids, bear in mind that technology moves on. You can flog on ebay that 1965 Tri-ang Hornby diesel that you never liked much and never worked very well anyway, and get the latest EuroStar (also on ebay) that goes like the clappers for not much more. A 2021 representation of a 1960 steam engine will always work so much better than a 1972 representation of the same locomotive. If you want to wean them off Grand Theft Auto, the toys you hand on had better work properly.

Empty boxes

It’s ok to keep original boxes if the item is worth more on ebay with the box eg. Sylvanian families, Hornby railways etc. BUT keep all boxes together and bin them as soon as you bin the item they came in.

Don’t stack paper

Paper and books are stupidly heavy - don’t overload your loft with piles higher than say 40cm, and keep it to the edges. If you’re storing books you really have to consider WHY - are you really ever going to read them again? It’s important to remember that the loft beams are not as strong as floor beams, so don’t overdo it.

Storage bags - don’t use bin bags

Don’t use black bin bags for storage: they rip far too easily, they tend to get chucked out by mistake (see Toy Story 2) and you can’t tell what’s in them. Get the clear storage tie bags from Waitrose - they’re cheap, fairly strong and you can see what’s in them. Put a big A4 label in them like “James’ summer clothes 2016” - so you’ll know when to chuck them out. The clothes, not the kids.

Cardboard storage boxes - sources

Banana boxes from Tescos and other supermarkets are very strong but not too deep - ideal for stacking. Costco usually have loads of boxes by their checkout areas - stock up with lots the same size for a neat arrangement.

Storage boxes - plastic

For what you get these are really rather expensive, but sometimes you can get good offers at Staples, Wilkinsons, Ikea, Costco or The Range. Bigger boxes are better value, but make sure you can get them through the loft opening with a ladder fitted. Larger boxes - say 60 litres - can get too heavy for the thin plastic that they are made of, so bear this in mind when packing and lifting. A Wilkinsions 60 L box full of books or paper will break on lifting - better to use the Really Useful Box type. Recommended best all round box is Ikea 45L SAMLA with lid at around £6. Not too expensive, stacks nicely, stronger thicker plastic than Wilkinsons and can be got into most lofts.

When to start

Best months are September October November, and March April May when it’s not too hot and not too cold in the loft. Start after breakfast around 9.30am till 12.30 when you’re at peak energy. Set small achievable targets , eg Today I’m spending a maximum of two hours collecting and throwing away cat 3 rubbish. Wear old clothes or overalls, Screwfix disposable paper overalls start from £3, yellow gripper gloves from Wickes work well. Get the strongest black bags you can for rubbish, Wickes black rubble bags are very strong and not too big.
Initially a bit daunting but a systematic approach can tackle it!
Serving suggestion
Just like your loft only different scale. You know what to do..
No plastic spiders were harmed in the sorting of this Lego.

Call us today to book a loft ladder fitting

Call/text Steve on 0788 4471 232

0788 44 71 232

Rated on Google & Trustpilot