To Store or Not to Store… In the Attic

Our attics can be quite helpful with housing the overflow from our main living spaces. Children grow up and keepsakes need to be stored. Where do we put these treasures? Often times there is not enough room in our daily living spaces. Last week, we talked about “What to Avoid Storing in the Garage,” but what about your attic? 

Normal attics are not climate controlled and will damage your special items. Attics go through extreme temperature changes throughout the year. Also, attics do not protect from moisture. The attic houses CRITTERS too! Here is a list of items that may or may not be safe for the attic. I hope you enjoy Cathy’s Tuesday Tip! ~Cathy

What Not to Store

Delicate Fabrics

Moths not only love wool but pretty much any plant-based cloth. Mice and rats find them to be a comfy nest. Mold can also form from humid conditions. Professionally clean wedding dresses and baby clothes. Then package them for long-term preservation. These are never to be stored in the attic. They deserve closet space.

Leather and Fur

Leather and fur are both especially sensitive to extreme temperatures. These need to be stored in cooler areas of the house. This will preserve them for a lifetime.

Furniture made of natural materials

Wooden or upholstered furniture needs to be stored in a climate controlled area. Wood will mold and is quite difficult to refurbish after this type of damage. Rugs, mattresses, and plush toys will mildew if stored in the attic.

Paper

The conditions of the attic can cause damage to paper. Artwork, photos, and books can become discolored, ultimately leaving them illegible and worthless. Store important documents in the house. Keep these for reference. Mold and mildew is the enemy to paper.

Electronics

Most electronics cannot withstand the extreme temperatures of the attic. Film and VHS tapes will become wavy or melt.

Candles

Candles, especially the tapered type, are sure to melt during the warmer months.

Flammable Goods

Due to the heat that can build in the attic during summertime, nothing flammable should be stored there. Paints, turpentine, cleaning products, gasoline, propane, kerosene, or other hazardous chemicals should never be housed near anything that generates heat.

Improperly Stored Food

If the attic is used for long-term food storage, the food must be canned in airtight containers. Food will spoil in the fluctuating temperatures or the attic could become infested with pests.

What to Store

Holiday Decorations

Most holiday decor may be stored in the attic unless there is fear for the items melting.

Kitchen Supplies

Items from the kitchen that are used less often, such as unique pots and pans, serving dishes, and plates can be safely stored in the attic.

Suitcases

For those who do not travel for work, storing suitcases and duffle bags in the attic may save storage space in the house for other items.

Patio Furniture

Metal or plastic furniture that is only used seasonally can be stored in the attic.

The bonus space of the attic is a must-have for many homeowners. Use this space wisely. Our prized processions should not be tucked away up there. Instead, designate closet space for these belongings. Keeping in mind what is and isn’t safe to store in the attic could prevent disappointment in the future. During a move or while organizing, it is tempting to stash boxes out of the way. But if you want your stuff to survive, you need to be careful about what you place in the attic.

I hope you enjoyed Cathy’s Tuesday Tip this week. To view more of Cathy’s Tuesday Tips, visit our blog.