We have all been there. You’re all set to decorate for the holidays and are excited to grab those containers full of goodies you’ve collected over the years. You finally summon up the nerve to go into your storage space only to notice the critter party that has taken place while you have been away for the year. Maybe you’ll find simple nuisances like cobwebs and dust or something worse like critter droppings and….hold on to your seats…critters….eek!
Now Is The Time To Clear Out The Scary Storage Space!
Step 1: Clear the Clutter
First, clear out the entire area where possible. A cluttered area is the perfect place for bugs and critters to populate and will make regular cleaning a challenge. As you sort through everything, organize items in to three piles: Trash, Donate, and Keep. Toss or recycle anything that no longer works. If you are keeping items that you do not love to possibly use in the future, consider donating it (or even selling it). This method forces you only keep items that are truly useful and well loved, keeping your unnecessary clutter at bay.
If you are cleaning out a crawl space, basement, attic or garage, be sure keep a eye out for mold and foul odors, the most common problem found in these areas due to high levels of moisture and leaks. If you find evidence of mold or leaks, you should call a disaster specialist to take a look and determine how you should treat, repair and prevent the mold problem before it gets out of hand.
Critters love the dark, damp space and might have set up a home as well. Look for physical signs of pest infestation like droppings, insect parts, webs and nesting materials as well as damage to walls and floors. If you find any of these signs, call an exterminator to check out the area. If you see some evidence, chances are there is plenty more you are not seeing.
To remove musty smells place bowls of vinegar or a boxes of baking soda around the area to absorb odors. Replace every few weeks.
Step 3: Time to organize!
Once you have gone through all of your decorations, holiday items and whatever else you have sorted, it’s time to take out what you need for now and set up your clean storage space, properly. Replace old, damaged boxes with new, labeled boxes or even better, use plastic tubs. Storing items in plastic tubs will keep them safe from critters and water if stored on the floor. If you have the option, store tubs on industrial shelving found in home improvement stores. If you are organizing a garage, mounting items on durable hooks and pegboards are a great way to keep items, safe, dry and organized.