What to Know About Attic Storage
If you have an attic in your home, it can be a great place to store a multitude of items, allowing you to keep things organized and stored away when not in use. This space can be beneficial if your home is without a basement or garage! You might also need the space if your basement is prone to taking on water or has had water damage in the past.
“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin.
Whether it be to ensure the space is safe to adequately controlling the climate to keep your stuff safe, we’ve put together some helpful tips to make the most of your attic:
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of storage and organization, it’s important to make sure your attic is safe.
- First and foremost, it’s important to make sure the floor can withstand the weight of the things you plan to store. Check-in with a professional who can take a look at your attic. They can recommend the necessary steps to take to make sure your floor is secure.
- When an attic is not finished, support beams and insulation are typically exposed. If the professional deems the attic safe, lay down some plywood as makeshift flooring so you, and your things, don’t fall through the floor!
- Attics are usually small, and the ceiling can sometimes be lower, making maneuvering the space tough. Installing even just a few inexpensive light fixtures can illuminate the whole space so you can see what you’re working with. Don’t want to go through the installation process? Purchasing a headlamp will provide some light wherever you look.
- If your ceiling is very low or you need to get into any tight nooks and crannies, you may find yourself crawling around instead of being able to stand straight up. Investing in some knee pads can help protect you from any rogue nails or staples that may be lingering in the space and relieve additional stress on your knees.
- Finding your space extra dusty? Wear a mask to keep from breathing in the dust particles and put on some protective glasses, so nothing gets in your eyes.
It’s important to make the most of your attic space so you can store a multitude of different things without feeling overwhelmed.
- Plastic bins can be a great way to organize your things, protect you from potential water damage, and keep dust out. You can label the bins with masking tape and a permanent marker, so you always know what’s inside. Add the date to the labels, so you know when you began storing the items as well.
- Do you have multiple bins holding the same type of items? Purchasing colored bins and associating those items with that color can help identify your things, even if you can’t see the labels. Orange can be for Halloween, red or green for Christmas, your son’s favorite color for his clothes, etc. Keeping bins of the same type together can also help access things more easily, so you always know where everything is.
- Shelving keeps things off the floor and walkways clear from bins and other objects. Home improvement stores or department stores typically offer various sizes, styles, and colors that fit many different needs.
- Large or oddly sized items don’t always fit in a bin or on a shelf. To keep these items protected, tie up the items in trash bags or lawn & leaf bags to keep them dust free and label them so you can easily find them as needed.
- Do you have some items that can’t sit on the floor? Install some hooks or rods to keep these things off the ground.
What to Store
The attic is a great place to keep items that you only use a few times a year. Your closets and basement will also be free of additional clutter and will allow space for items you use much more often.
- Keep off-season clothes in plastic bins or clothing bags. When the season’s change and it’s time to make the switch, go through the clothes and decide if you should donate things or throw them out before putting them away.
- The attic allows for plenty of space to store holiday decorations and other items you only use once a year. From Christmas lights to Halloween lawn ornaments to easter baskets, it all has a place.
- The number of toys in your home can get overwhelming if they’re not properly organized! By rotating out toys and games and storing them in your attic when not in use, donating things kids don’t play with anymore, or throwing away broken items, your space will be much more organized in the long run. Try going through the toys at least twice a year to keep the toy clutter at bay.
Climate Control and Other Issues
While storing your stuff in the attic is a great space-saver, keeping it climate controlled is key to keeping your stuff in mint condition.
- Insulation in the flooring and walls will help to regulate the temperature. It’s recommended that 16-20 inches thick of insulation be installed to control the climate better.
- Do a sweep of the walls – notice any sunlight peeking in? These spots are the perfect place for heat to escape. Close any gaps to ensure the temperature can be as regulated as much as possible. If it gets too hot while it’s too cold outside and the space isn’t properly vented, it’s the perfect place for moisture to collect, which can damage your items to no return.
- You may be a candidate for Energy Savings through your electric company. In Massachusetts, many residents can take advantage of the Mass Save program and get rebates on energy-saving items, so check to see if you are a candidate before you rework your attic space.
- Keep an eye out for any water damage. If you notice something that seems off, contact a professional who can come and evaluate the issue, and provide recommendations to getting things adequately fixed. In New England, it is not uncommon to have ice dams if your attic is not properly insulated.
No matter the size of your attic, it is an excellent spot to store your “need to keep” items organized and out of the way. If you keep safety top of mind, utilize bins and shelving, and ensure your space is adequately temperature-controlled, your attic will be the most organized one in your neighborhood!
Hopefully, you have found these attic storage tips and tricks to be helpful.
About the author: The above article on attic storage tips and tricks was written by Anthony Lamacchia. Anthony is the broker-owner and CEO of Lamacchia Realty a well-known real estate firm in Massachusetts.
Currently, Anthony spends his time managing the companies, training agents, and his national coaching customers, and strategically planning for the future. Anthony is considered an industry expert, having done hundreds of television appearances on the local news and many speaking engagements at national industry conferences, including the National Association of Realtors Annual Conference, Zillow Conferences, Inman News Summits, RIS Media, and more.