Many people use their unfinished attics for storage. The attic is a relatively convenient area to use, but it can also be an unsafe place to store your belongings. Here are some ideas you can use to make it safer:
The first thing you need to address when storing items in your attic is your personal safety. An unfinished attic floor is no more than the 2 X 4’s to which the ceiling below is attached. It is very easy to put your foot though it, or to fall through this floor.
You need to install a floor that you can walk safely. To install a floor, purchase Â½ inch or thicker plywood sheets and screw them into the 2 X 4 support boards. Install the first sheep at the top of the stairs and move forward and outward sheets until the entire floor is covered. This way there will be no chance of falling through the floor as you complete your job.
The organization is another key to personal safety. It is easy enough to push boxes into the attic, but you will eventually have to retrieve your items. You do not want to be in such a dark place peering into boxes, as it is easy to trip over something and get hurt. Create a space for each item you will store in your attic. Make a Christmas area and place for other holiday decorations. In addition, create a space for short-term storage for winter clothing and other seasonal storage.
Color-code your holiday decor boxes to make them easier to spot. In the farthest area from the attic entrance, designate a place for long-term storage. You will want to build a crude shelving system out of 2 X 4’s and plywood on which to store these items. Use the smallest boxes possible to store your items. Label your storage areas and your boxes clearly. You will need to lift these items into and out of the attic, so keep in mind that it is safer to move multiple small boxes than one large box.
Damage to items: Once your personal safety is secured, you need to worry about the safety of your items. Your items are susceptible to moisture, from excess humidity or leaks, and breaking. Pests like moths can also ruin your items. You will want to do as much to prevent these things from happening. To protect your items from moisture, store your belongings in plastic containers instead of boxes and porous trunks.
These plastic containers not only prevent water from damaging your items, but they are easier to lift because they have handles. Inside of your plastic containers, store your items in plastic Ziploc type bags just in case moisture gets inside. To prevent items from breaking, wrap valuables in bubble wrap or newspaper. Do not overfill your containers.
Take the same care you would take if you were moving. Also, be careful not to stack boxes with valuables in them. Finally, to prevent pests from destroying your goods, have your attic exterminated regularly. In addition, pack items that are venerable to pests with cedar blocks and mothballs.