There are many companies that provide attic storage solutions. Most of what I’ve seen in these solutions look like good ideas in terms of storage and organization. Installing these solutions, and then accessing the items, may make you rethink the solution.
As with anything in life, there are pros and cons with attic storage. In my experience, there are not many pros that I could find if I decided to actually make a list.
Most of my clients that use attic storage, put items up there and then forgot about them. Many years later, when they’re in their golden years and decide to downsize and move to a smaller home, don’t even know what treasures they have squirreled away in their attics.
At this point they are up in age and the thought of climbing a ladder to get up there to see what they have, doesn’t appeal to them in any way. Then they have to find someone younger and willing to climb up there to empty the space so they can sell their home.
By now you probably realized that I’m not a fan of attic storage. There are other storage options that will protect your treasured items much better.
The reasons listed below come from my experience as a professional organizer. There may be more that I’m not thinking of. If you know of others, please share them in the comment box below.
Access to an attic usually comes by way of a 2-square foot overhead door in the top most ceiling of a home. Sometimes these access points are in a place that is difficult to get to, such as a hall closet, like in my house.
A ladder is required to climb through the access door, unless a pull-down ladder is installed. At any rate, just getting into the attic can be dangerous at best, not to mention trying to move items in and out.
Most attics are not designed as living space. They typically don’t have a floor, just floor joists, or beams. Moving around by carefully stepping on the floor joists is difficult. One wrong step and you can fall through the ceiling of the room below and injure yourself. Much older homes may have a plywood floor, but you have to walk around hunched over due to the lack of height in the space.
Temperatures in an attic can be 30 – 40 degrees hotter than the outside temperature in warm weather. Likewise, it’s really cold in the winter since there are no vents from the house below.
The extreme temperature changes make attic storage a poor solution for many items. Items like furniture, clothing and other items comprised of fabric, electronics and anything paper will not fair well in extreme temperature changes.
It’s well-known that a variety of animals have sought refuge in attics. From birds to squirrels to mice and even raccoons have been evicted from attics when the humans living there realize they have non-paying, destructive tenants.
The damage from these undesirable tenants can be costly, not only to the structure itself, but to items that may be stored in the attic. In an effort to build a nice comfy nest, they either bring materials with them, or being resourceful critters, use whatever they can find that you are storing in your attic.
Out of sight, out of mind:
One rule of organization is to store frequently used items close, and infrequently used items farther away. That makes sense but you don’t want to store items so far away that you never see them again. If you do that, you need to determine if you really want an item that you don’t use, love, or need.
Consider how often you go into your attic. Most people go up there when there is an issue that takes them up there such as hearing noises from critters overhead. Or possibly an issue from a recent storm. If that sounds like you, then ask yourself why would you store anything in your attic.