Transforming your attic into an efficient storage space enables you to optimize the living space in your home. Storing the type of items you only ever use every now and again safely away in the attic creates additional space, making your environment more comfortable and functional.
The following tips will help you to make the most of that extra square footage above your head!
Sort through the belongings you plan to store in the loft and edit out any items that could be donated, re-homed or thrown away first.
2. UNSUITABLE ITEMS
Photographs, slides and media items including old films and tapes should never be stored in the attic as they are easily damaged by changes in the climate. Find a dry cool alternative to keep these items in good condition.
Group all items logically into different categories before placing them into your storage containers. Otherwise you will probably never find them again when you need them!
4. STURDY CONTAINERS
Use strong, sturdy Packing Boxes which will provide the best possible protection for your belongings.
Clearly label all of your boxes and containers to help you identify their contents quickly and easily later on.
You may want to color code your storage to make it even easier, with color coded containers or labels. Or If you want to be even more organized you could put together an inventory map of the attic to help you remember exactly what is stored where!
A fixed attic ladder is certainly the safest and most convenient option for access to the attic and attic ladder kits can be purchased in most DIY stores. Failing that you will need to rely on a good stepladder.
It is crucial to take great care when accessing and moving around in your attic, to avoid the risk of accidents. If the attic floor has not been boarded out, this is a job well worth doing, because a boarded floor is far safer, not to mention more practical. Low beams and the attic hatch present the most obvious hazards so keep this in mind and take care of your head and your footing at all times!
If your attic does not have a light source you should consider having one installed by a qualified electrician to make the space more practical to use at all times. Without a light source you will need to rely on a torch, or natural light in the daytime if the space benefits from a window. If you must rely on a torch, it is a good idea to purchase a head torch which will free up both of your hands, making it much safer and easier to access the attic and find the things you need.
Carefully consider the way you are going to arrange the items you are storing. Place more frequently used items in areas that are easier to access and position all shelving and storage, leaving yourself an adequate hazard free walkway.
Any attic that is being used for storage should be properly ventilated to avoid the build up of excessive heat or humidity. You will typically find vents positioned close to the eaves. These vents provide natural ventilation, as cool air enters through the vents creating warm air convection. The warm air then escapes either through the roof or out of the vents.
Another option to consider is an electrical ventilation system to regulate the temperature and humidity in your attic.
Rodents, birds and bugs of all kinds can create problems when they decide to set up home in your attic and damage or destroy your belongings in the process. The type of local inhabitants to cause problems will vary depending on the climate and conditions in the part of the world you live, but it is important to take precautions to protect your belongings. Using the right storage containers in the first place as well as carrying out checks (see no. 13) will make all the difference.
12. TAILORED STORAGE SOLUTIONS
Consider customised cupboards or shelving to make the best use of the space under the eaves, or look for modular shelving to fit the space. A gable wall will offer the largest surface area and can be used to accommodate a large quantity of shelving. You could consider hanging shelves or rails for storing lightweight items.
13. SCHEDULED CHECKS
It is wise to schedule periodic checks in your attic, so that you are able to deal with any issues that crop up and make sure your belongings stay in perfect condition.
ATTICS ARE FOR MORE THAN JUST COBWEBS & JUNK!
Using your attic as an extra space for storage is an excellent, cost effective solution to meet your storage needs, providing you keep these tips in mind and organise it properly from the start.
If you have already been using your attic for storage but it has become a bit of a dumping ground, the best way forward is to empty everything out and start from scratch. Who knows what you might find in the process! Perhaps you will find that long lost relic you feared you would never see again!