From Dan Harding on November 03, 2008 in Tools and Tips
If your attic is still a good old attic that hasnt been transformed into a spare room, then it is the perfect place for long-term storage. It is almost a given to use it as such, but there is a technique to doing it. The attic being where it is in the house, temperature will affect what is stored there. Do not store candles, electronics, photos or film, music, camcorder or VCR videos, delicate fabrics, or anything that would be sensitive to heat changes that will occur in the attic with each season. That being said, here are a few tips for good attic storing techniques:
- Get rid of clutter and unwanted items that really are good for nothing but collecting dust. Think of whether or not youve seen, used, or remembered an item in the last two years. Unless it is something of great sentimental value, consider letting it go. Remember to donate what can be used by someone else.
- Store items around the perimeter of the attic. This gives a clear path to access items as they are needed. Be careful not to block air vents or any exposed insulation.
- Group items together, like recreational gear, holiday decorations, clothing, arts and crafts, books, etc. What you store your items in save money and time. Cedar-lined boxes work well for clothes and such. Plastic tubs seal out moisture and vermin that like nesting in boxes. Cardboard boxes can be used for some things, but I dont really recommend them for long-term storage.
- Items that are packed in boxes or tubs can be marked with numbers. Keep a list of contents in each numbered box handy. If contents change, update the list, so that you arent doing all the writing on the boxes themselves. You are storing items for future use, so you will want to be able to access them when you need them.
- By using hooks and bars between exposed rafters, you can hang items, such as clothing, on hangers or bicycles on hooks. Place boards across rafters and you have book shelves.
- If you really want to create some more permanent storage space in your attic, consider doing a little bit of remodeling of your attic. Built-in shelving into the framing of the walls or even full cabinets will bring a real organized center for your storage needs now and in the future.
- If you are storing furniture, cover with old sheets for protection purposes.
- More than anything else, you have to take precautions against the local life that may take up housekeeping in your stored valuables. I would recommend hiring a professional for the removal of the more wild variety: rodents, raccoons, bats, etc. For the multi-legged varieties, it starts with prevention. Seal internal openings where pests might squeeze in, such as window frames, cable, and pipe entries. Use a natural biological control to keep pests away, such as products derived from plants. Cedar balls or chips are good deterrents. If pests still find their way in and make your attic their new home, call a professional.
With a little cleaning, prevention, and organization, you can turn your good old attic into a valuable storage space; its just a matter of technique.