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Clearing out a loft. What's the best way?

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My loft is ram packed full and I need a new roof. There's a 6 week wait for the roof with the roofing company I've chosen so I've started clearing it out. In three hours, I've made a small but signif… Read More
squiff Avatar
9m, 2w agoPosted 9 months, 2 weeks ago
My loft is ram packed full and I need a new roof. There's a 6 week wait for the roof with the roofing company I've chosen so I've started clearing it out. In three hours, I've made a small but significant dent in the amount of stuff I have. 7 washer loads later and said clothing is now dry, folded and in charity bags. I've clearly been something of a hoarder since the mid 90's!

I have to say here that around 40% of the contents of the loft is eBay stock as I used to sell on the site, but haven't been able to this year due to health problems, Brexit, fees etc etc so I've not bothered. I don't know if I'll pick back up on it or not, but I want the stock gone (a job lot or two might or might not work). I can't afford to give over £1500 worth of stock away.

What's the best way to clear the loft out? Setting fire to my roof space is not an option (THIS WAS A JOKE!!!!!!!) and neither is hiring a skip and binning the lot. Am I doing the right thing by going through one box or bag at a time? The bins are full and I'll have to go round charity shops on Monday, offering bags of stuff and requesting more empty bags.

Please tell me there's a better way!
squiff Avatar
9m, 2w agoPosted 9 months, 2 weeks ago
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Best Answer
Well you've got my sympathy- trudy know what you are going through right now as currently doing something very similar - having to empty our loft and kitchen and an outside cupboard completely (and clear some space in son's bedroom) ready for building works oO

We've started trying to do it now as work starts September - where on earth to begin - well you've made a great start and you just have to take it but by bit.

Only you will know what you want to keep but if you can enlist anyone to help sort that would be great - get some sort of order to things - books, clothes, furniture, toys, ornaments, electricals, jewelry, photos, letters/bills etc then you can start to fairly quickly decide what's going and where.

Although you don't have a car and are hesitant to ask to borrow one for the day from a friend/relative as they may need for work - maybe you could ask for it for a couple of hours or so if you have a couple of different people you can ask then even better as this can double the hours.

Storage - honestly I have no idea where we will store some of our stuff as we having so much done at once so storage is going to be fun/challenging but I have decided to keep positive it's time we had a clear out anyway. Do you have anyone you could ask to store some things for you for a short time? Lots of people have spare rooms - if it's only for a few days or a week or so I'm sure a good friend/relative would oblige.

There are also local charities for things like furniture etc if you have that in you loft - worth calling them to ask them to collect.

Anything that is in big boxes see if it can be scaled down to smaller boxes - sometimes when we put things up in the loft it gets put in the nearest box available you'd be suprised how much difference it makes just downsizing the boxes.


One last thing I want to say is try not to do this all on your own - it's a gruelling task and can be long and labourous I really hope someone comes to help you and good luck - I'm there with you in spirit :)

All Responses

(37) Jump to unreadPost an answer
Responses/page:
#1
Do what you did in those the three hours. Make that amount of work your benchmark and do a bit everyday - you said you had 6 weeks right - it'll be done before you know it -
#2
Advertise a Garden Sale and try to shift a lot of stuff that way. People will buy anything if they think it's a bargain.
#3
there are places where you can get money for clothes by weight try them for a quote for the lot
#4
tamboss
someone, who even suggests starting a fire is not an option, even in jest, needs psychological examining.

It was rather tongue in cheek. I suggest anyone who didn't 'get' that also needs psychological examination!
#5
sowotsdis
there are places where you can get money for clothes by weight try them for a quote for the lot

£4.50 for 10kg. I'd rather give them to a charity. I've already looked into it but thank you for the tip!
#6
Car boot sale? With the nicer weather you might get a better turn out if you have one local?
#7
kester76
Advertise a Garden Sale and try to shift a lot of stuff that way. People will buy anything if they think it's a bargain.

I'm not in the right kind of area for a garden sale (honestly!) and I can't do a car boot as I don't have a car. Thank you for the ideas though!
#8
chuckiedoll
Car boot sale? With the nicer weather you might get a better turn out if you have one local?

No car :( thanks though!
#9
squiff
chuckiedoll
Car boot sale? With the nicer weather you might get a better turn out if you have one local?
No car :( thanks though!
Would a mate not help you out?
#10
Have an 'empty my attic ' party and offer free sandwiches.
#11
chuckiedoll
squiff
chuckiedoll
Car boot sale? With the nicer weather you might get a better turn out if you have one local?
No car :( thanks though!
Would a mate not help you out?

Probably, but asking to borrow somebody's car for a day is a bit of a big ask when they need it for work etc!
#12
Section it off and just keep chipping away.

If you can enroll family or offer local kids a few quid for helping you, many hands and all that.
#13
foes4you
Have an 'empty my attic ' party and offer free sandwiches.

I like your style!
#14
joedastudd
Section it off and just keep chipping away.

If you can enroll family or offer local kids a few quid for helping you, many hands and all that.

I can't have random kids going in my loft. They would have no idea what I want to keep/throw away/donate to charity and would be too busy playing with everything to get jobs done, lol. The ladder is broken anyway. I'd get sued.
#15
squiff
tamboss
well if you spend less time on here and more time on your clear out, it will be done quicker without the thought of incendiary devices,

I've spent three hours up there today. That's as much as my poor health can cope with for one day. Come tomorrow I might not be able to get up the ladder, or I might be able to do more than three hours. Nature of the beast. And don't quiz me please - my health is my business and i came here about the loft, not whether I should be up there instead of posting this.


Can I suggest you will get more done if you ignore the trolls. Have you not got a spare room or garage to store the stuff. Personally I would leave it up where it is, when I had my roof done they never went in the loft.
#16
tamboss
my apologies, if you are in bad health, well fair enough. i take everything back. i had a problem with a neighbor a few years back who started very random fires,,sorry


Seems like you are the one that needs psychological examining after all.
#17
drtongue
squiff
tamboss
well if you spend less time on here and more time on your clear out, it will be done quicker without the thought of incendiary devices,
I've spent three hours up there today. That's as much as my poor health can cope with for one day. Come tomorrow I might not be able to get up the ladder, or I might be able to do more than three hours. Nature of the beast. And don't quiz me please - my health is my business and i came here about the loft, not whether I should be up there instead of posting this.
Can I suggest you will get more done if you ignore the trolls. Have you not got a spare room or garage to store the stuff. Personally I would leave it up where it is, when I had my roof done they never went in the loft.

No, I don't have a spare room or garage. Or shed! The roofing company have said they've got to take all the tiles off so the contents of the loft will be exposed to the whole street as there's nothing underneath the tiles - no insulation etc. Thanks though, I will double check with them on Monday.
#18
squiff
drtongue
squiff
tamboss
well if you spend less time on here and more time on your clear out, it will be done quicker without the thought of incendiary devices,
I've spent three hours up there today. That's as much as my poor health can cope with for one day. Come tomorrow I might not be able to get up the ladder, or I might be able to do more than three hours. Nature of the beast. And don't quiz me please - my health is my business and i came here about the loft, not whether I should be up there instead of posting this.
Can I suggest you will get more done if you ignore the trolls. Have you not got a spare room or garage to store the stuff. Personally I would leave it up where it is, when I had my roof done they never went in the loft.

No, I don't have a spare room or garage. Or shed! The roofing company have said they've got to take all the tiles off so the contents of the loft will be exposed to the whole street as there's nothing underneath the tiles - no insulation etc. Thanks though, I will double check with them on Monday.


Yes good point it does depend on the weather but it would not be open for long and if it rained they normally cover up the roof and sod off home. I think they are just covering themselves.
#19
drtongue

Yes good point it does depend on the weather but it would not be open for long and if it rained they normally cover up the roof and sod off home. I think they are just covering themselves.

Even so, I want it to be as empty as physically possible. It won't be completely empty as I have nowhere to put the stuff I definitely DO want to (or have to) keep, but I appreciate your thoughts on the matter :)

Edited By: squiff on Aug 06, 2016 22:18
#20
If you could get some help maybe ask if a friend or relative could store some things or help you pack it up to keep at a storage unit for a few weeks maybe? Or you could try selling larger groups of items on gumtree etc. Good luck and i hope you find some way to sort it soon, stress/anxiety also can't be good for your health.
#21
How has "Brexit" effected your ability to offload your stuff? I was willing to offer advice but fear I'd be wasting my time.
#22
If they remove roof and do not cover up contents your lounge bedrooms and any other room will be soaked.
#23
shauneco
How has "Brexit" effected your ability to offload your stuff? I was willing to offer advice but fear I'd be wasting my time.


+1
#24
As previously said ,have you not got a part of a room or a spare room where you could pile it up? Get friends to help bring it all down if necessary . It will be an inconvenience and eyesore for a while but seeing it every day will concentrate the mind on what is worth keeping and what needs binning.

That's the trouble with lofts -handy to store stuff out of sight and out of mind - but have to be cleared eventually !.

All I put in mine now ( one skip later) are the Christmas tree and decorations


Edited By: rogparki on Aug 06, 2016 22:54
#25
squiff
shauneco
How has "Brexit" effected your ability to offload your stuff? I was willing to offer advice but fear I'd be wasting my time.
Do some reading. The Guardian can explain it far better than I can but basically people aren't wanting to part with their had-earned cash as much now as say, two years ago when the economy was stronger. Soz, but I don't have the time, energy or inclination to deal with trolls :)

Brexit is only a recent event and you've been hoarding since the 90's, I'm sure their will probably be more people drawn to secondhand goods due to the potential savings they could make.

Could you buy a shed and store in there?.
#26
Just take your time and do as much as you can each day. I had so many things in bin liners almost every free space was soon full. Couldn't even see the carpet in my bedroom, that many bin liners. I have a shed and that was full as well.
Started with 1 bin liner and in a month (few hours a day), 5+years of things were sorted. Just be organised so you are not saving all the items again and repeating the process. Decide what you want to do with your stock. List them or move them elsewhere while you deal with the rest of things. Good luck but it all starts with baby steps and you have made a great start today. Just keep going.
#27
shauneco

Brexit is only a recent event and you've been hoarding since the 90's, I'm sure their will probably be more people drawn to secondhand goods due to the potential savings they could make.
Could you buy a shed and store in there?.

Yes it is very recently, but I haven't been selling on eBay due to health reasons mostly. Brexit didn't help small traders. I have nowhere to put a shed, and I haven't been hoarding eBay stock (all of which is brand new - I haven't been selling my own personal possessions on eBay) since the mid-90s.


Edited By: squiff on Aug 06, 2016 23:04
#28
shabbird
Just take your time and do as much as you can each day. I had so many things in bin liners almost every free space was soon full. Couldn't even see the carpet in my bedroom, that many bin liners. I have a shed and that was full as well.
Started with 1 bin liner and in a month (few hours a day), 5+years of things were sorted. Just be organised so you are not saving all the items again and repeating the process. Decide what you want to do with your stock. List them or move them elsewhere while you deal with the rest of things. Good luck but it all starts with baby steps and you have made a great start today. Just keep going.

Thank you so much for your sensible and structured reply. Much appreciated!
#29
squiff
shabbird
Just take your time and do as much as you can each day. I had so many things in bin liners almost every free space was soon full. Couldn't even see the carpet in my bedroom, that many bin liners. I have a shed and that was full as well.
Started with 1 bin liner and in a month (few hours a day), 5+years of things were sorted. Just be organised so you are not saving all the items again and repeating the process. Decide what you want to do with your stock. List them or move them elsewhere while you deal with the rest of things. Good luck but it all starts with baby steps and you have made a great start today. Just keep going.
Thank you so much for your sensible and structured reply. Much appreciated!
You are welcome. Been there and how overwhelming it can get at first. Most of the things was paperwork from banks and other things, that I would "store" and deal with another time but would just end up having more bin liners. :(
#30
The amount of time you have been posting and replying to your thread you could have done it all, fitted new tiles yourself and put it all back. If its that full it will be a fire hazard.

Good luck with the clearing, you could sound like it will continue to be a mammoth task.
#31
Have you been told you must clear out the loft? Shouldn't need to if roof is just being re-tiled.
#32
Phone the charity shop and ask them to collect the bags you've set out for them. That will save time and effort.
#33
Well you've got my sympathy- trudy know what you are going through right now as currently doing something very similar - having to empty our loft and kitchen and an outside cupboard completely (and clear some space in son's bedroom) ready for building works oO

We've started trying to do it now as work starts September - where on earth to begin - well you've made a great start and you just have to take it but by bit.

Only you will know what you want to keep but if you can enlist anyone to help sort that would be great - get some sort of order to things - books, clothes, furniture, toys, ornaments, electricals, jewelry, photos, letters/bills etc then you can start to fairly quickly decide what's going and where.

Although you don't have a car and are hesitant to ask to borrow one for the day from a friend/relative as they may need for work - maybe you could ask for it for a couple of hours or so if you have a couple of different people you can ask then even better as this can double the hours.

Storage - honestly I have no idea where we will store some of our stuff as we having so much done at once so storage is going to be fun/challenging but I have decided to keep positive it's time we had a clear out anyway. Do you have anyone you could ask to store some things for you for a short time? Lots of people have spare rooms - if it's only for a few days or a week or so I'm sure a good friend/relative would oblige.

There are also local charities for things like furniture etc if you have that in you loft - worth calling them to ask them to collect.

Anything that is in big boxes see if it can be scaled down to smaller boxes - sometimes when we put things up in the loft it gets put in the nearest box available you'd be suprised how much difference it makes just downsizing the boxes.


One last thing I want to say is try not to do this all on your own - it's a gruelling task and can be long and labourous I really hope someone comes to help you and good luck - I'm there with you in spirit :)
#34
Do a garage or garden sale or see if someone will buy the lot for a reasonable price, who can then sell it on at a carboot sale.
#35
Sometimes there is no shortcut.

You say you cannot throw it out, so just keep doing what you have been doing.
#36
i have started selling on an app called schpock, it works you do get get idiots offering you silly amounts but that is life
#37
What a horrible job, but the feeling once you've finished will be amazing!

You could find a local shop who might be interested in your stock (depending on what it is), or could sell as a job-lot on eBay and make less than selling individually but it gets rid quickly.

Asking friends to help store things for a little while is a good back-up if you find yourself exhausted and health deteriorating because of the physical demands of clearing out.

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