As a professional organizer, I rarely hear clients complain that they have too much storage space. However, in my experience, if you have it, you will fill it! Having storage space and making the most of it do not always go hand in hand. Below is part one in a three part series that includes clever tips for maximizing storage so you can store what you need, find what you want, and enjoy stress-free storage that meets the needs of your whole family.
Determine what function the attic is going to serve. What will you keep there? How long will you store it? How frequently will you access it? Set limits on what can go up—e.g. off season clothes are okay, clothes that you haven’t worn in 3 years but just can’t part with, not okay.
Heat is always a factor in an attic. Consider the temperature and how your items will hold up. Keep electronics, photographs, vinyl albums, fragile fabrics, and any other heat (or cold!) sensitive items elsewhere. Attics can be 40+ degrees hotter than the rest of the home in the summer and quite chilly in the winter. If the stuff you’re storing is truly a treasure, you don’t want to risk ruining it.
Always consider access in your attic. Use the eaves and sides of the attic so that you maintain a clear path down the middle. Get creative with your truss system by using Attic Maxx shelving to maximize your vertical space and avoid chaotic towers of boxes and bins.
Think in “zones” so you know what’s up there. Something is only worth saving if you can get your hands on it again…otherwise it’s just taking up space. Keep holiday décor in one spot (color coordinated totes make this so easy…black & orange, red & green, pink & yellow), off season clothing in another, luggage together and easily accessible, memorabilia you’re storing for children or loved ones in yet another. Consider keeping an inventory of what is stored where in the attic so it’s easy for you, and everyone else in the household, to find what they’re looking for.
Using your home’s storage space well can certainly help minimize clutter in your living space. And while tackling a big job such as the attic may seem overwhelming, the benefits are huge! Less stress, easier access to important items, and the peace of mind that you will use what you have and can find what you need. Annual maintenance is also an important part of getting the job done and keeping it that way. Happy organizing!