While attic storage can be convenient, there are a host of reasons why you may not have pulled down the access ladder in quite some time.
Expert organizers breakdown attic storage options and provide simple solutions. These attic storage solutions will help you take advantage of your underused space in your home in no time!
If you’re looking for attic storage solutions, read on for tips on how to make the most of this lofty storage area right in your own home.
Is it Safe to Use My Attic for Storage?
Chances are, your attic space may be a bit neglected. To make it an optimal storage space, you’ll want to check your attic for any structural issues that might make it risky for heavier items—and for you to walk around up there.
You don’t need to make your attic Instagram-worthy, but a space with solid flooring, adequate lighting, and no dangerous or sharp materials sticking out is key to ensure that you, and your belongings, stay safe. Call in a professional to help you install a supportive floor.
Take some time to do a proper survey of your attic space and determine if it needs additional insulation to help mitigate extreme temperatures.
You’ll also want to look for any holes that need patching to avoid potential infestations. Don’t forget to check for possible roof leaks. Varmints and water are both hazardous for anything you may store in your attic space.
Inspect your access ladder to be sure it is safe and sound for more frequent use.
If your attic can use a little TLC before you start moving items in, check out our blog for everything you need to know about attic conversion.
What Should Not be Stored in An Attic?
Depending on where you live, your attic may be vulnerable to temperature extremes from hot summers to below-freezing winters.
Since your attic is likely less protected than the rest of your house, it’s important to keep the weather in mind when it comes to attic storage.
Note that there are plenty of things you can do to mitigate those temperature swings.
Andrea Krohn, owner of LA Move Consultants says that “if it gets really hot where you live, it may be good to keep fans in the attic that are on timers. A fan circulating for a couple of hours can help circulate the air and keep your items fresh. I also like to use linen or another kind of natural fiber to wrap items in, so that they can breathe a little bit.”
Avoid storing these sensitive items in your attic no matter your home climate: perishables, such as wine; photos and documents; expensive electronics; or musical instruments.
When it comes to storing clothing, bulky items like ski jackets should be fine, but keep delicate or vintage clothing elsewhere.
If you’re worried about clothes or fabrics getting musty, vacuum seal them before heading up the ladder.
What Should I Store in My Attic?
While it may be tempting to simply shove all those extra items in the attic and be done with it, attic storage isn’t necessarily where you want all your stuff to be.
“Being intentional about what you store in the attic helps work against that ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality, where you stash things away and then forget about them for years,” says Elizabeth Goodsell of That’s Neat! Organizing.
To avoid climbing up and down a ladder more than necessary, prioritize seasonal storage, such as holiday decorations. If a Christmas tree is part of your festivities, check out tips for how to store your holiday centerpiece on our blog.
An attic is also a great place to store off-season sports equipment, specialty cookware, camping gear or extra tools. Installing a pegboard is always a great way to store and organize your tools.
If space allows, install shelving to optimize storage capacity (see main image).
How Should I Store Stuff in The Attic?
How you’re storing your things can be just as important as what you’re storing. When it comes to attic storage, the old classic cardboard box is probably not your friend, as they are more likely to break down—and provide a more welcoming home for creepy-crawlies.
Air-tight plastic containers are a much better bet. Krohn specifically recommends clear plastic containers so you have an easy way to visualize what you need to grab.
She also notes that color coding your containers can be a big help, such as storing holiday decor in red and green or blue containers.
Even if you use the see-through bins, do yourself a favor and label everything. Chances are you won’t be going up into your attic all that often, and it’s easy to forget where things are stashed.
When Should I Check in on My Attic Storage?
With proper storage techniques, your stuff should be fairly protected, but it’s still a good idea to check in periodically to make sure there aren’t any leaks, worn down areas or issues from temperature fluctuations.
For Goodsell, who lives in New England, the changing of the seasons serves as a good reminder to check in with her attic storage.
“I find that March and September are good times to check in and see what’s going on up there,” she says. “It can be a good reminder of what I have up there and how long it’s been in storage, and gives me a chance to decide whether it’s time to pass some things on.”
Or, if you don’t reside where there are four distinct seasons, take a peek whenever the clocks spring forward or fall back.
If this has inspired to organize other areas of your home, then read on for these handy tips to help you declutter.