Many people have treasures in the attic, but the process of organizing the attic and safely storing those items can be overwhelming. Usually, once all other closets are full, the attic is the place where everything else lands. From holiday decorations to baby clothes, to college papers, to photographs, I’ve come across various items while organizing clients’ attics.
Unfortunately, the most common thing I’ve come across is dust, cobwebs, insect or rodent droppings, moldy or damp books, papers and other items, and many cardboard boxes that have become damaged over time. The attic is often not a climate controlled area, so when storing items, you must consider how you’d like to preserve these items.
My first suggestion is to not store anything in the attic. If you can make better use of your climate controlled closets, please do that.
If you MUST store items in an attic, please do not use cardboard boxes; these leave your items open to damage. Plastic lidded containers or bins work best in this area. Think about the size of these bins, and don’t use anything too big, especially if you must climb a ladder to access your attic. Label all bins so you know what you’ve stored in each one.
When considering items to store in an attic, consider items that would store well in a garage such as camping gear or extra luggage, wrap these in large plastic bags for further protection. Only store items that can handle extreme temperature changes in the attic.
Do not store papers or books in an attic, these will become damp or moldy over time. Do not store clothing in an attic since mildew, insects and rodents can damage clothes. Do not store musical records in an attic. I’ve found a few melted record collections, and it is quite a shame!
If you do use your attic for storage, take safety precautions. If the floor rafters are unsteady, have the flooring repaired. If it is too dark, store a flashlight near the entryway, or use battery operated lights if you don’t have an outlet for a light nearby. By following these tips, you will have a safe, well-lit and organized storage space in your attic.