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Attic storage tips that make it less creepy to go upstairs

Attics are rarely the most pleasant room in the house. They’re dark, cold, dusty, and, appropriately, the setting of many frightening horror movie moments. Home to dated old furniture, Halloween decorations, and piles of damaged and stained cardboard boxes, attics can be downright creepy. While it might not ever become a place you want to spend the day relaxing in, your attic doesn’t have to be so uninviting. With some of our attic storage tips, you can turn the dusty old overflow space into one that’s clean, organized, and useful.

Empty attic with wood floor and small window
Valentin Agapov/Shutterstock

Purge and declutter

Many attics give off that creepy vibe simply because they are packed to the brim, making an already dark room even more difficult to navigate. For a more functional space, go through all of the items in this storage space and begin to toss things out. Discard any items that are dated, damaged, or no longer useful to you. If you have larger items to discard, formulate a plan to transport them to a donation center or local dump.

Clean it up

Once you’ve removed unwanted items, it’s time to give that drab attic a deep clean. Start by dusting and wiping off stored items and containers to clear them of dust and debris. Then, sweep the floor and rid the ceiling and corners of cobwebs. While you’re cleaning, be sure to check for issues like insect and rodent infestations as well as mold. If you discover any of these issues, call a professional to address the problem.

Organize items into sections

Now that your attic is purged and cleaned, it’s time to separate all of your remaining items into appropriate categories. For example, keep boxes or totes of Christmas decorations together, and make sure off-season clothing and equipment, such as winter coats, boots, skis, and sleds, also have a dedicated place. If you’re holding on to any kids’ clothes that they’ve outgrown, store them in sequential size order, just in case you need to find any keepsakes or share size-specific items with a friend. Last, do your best to stack unused furniture as compactly as possible to save floor space.

antique suitcases and boxes on wood attic floor

Attic storage tips

Once you’ve organized your formerly cluttered attic, the next big step is maintenance. The attic is often a catch-all space for discarded items, so clutter tends to accumulate quickly. With the following storage tips, your items will be clean, accessible, and out of the way.

Buy or make storage shelves

Set shelves and racks against the wall to promote vertical storage, effectively freeing up even more floor space. You can purchase storage racks at any home improvement or department store, or you can fashion your own out of wood and metal if you’re a particularly gifted DIYer.

Use clear plastic totes

Instead of storing your items in opaque storage totes, use the clear plastic variety. Since these totes are transparent, you can easily see their contents and quickly access what you need, when you need it.

Label everything clearly

Like using transparent bins, labeling everything ensures you can quickly locate items you need and reduce time spent rifling through boxes. Invest in a label maker and create large-printed labels for your plastic totes and boxes. Place labels on the front of the bins so that you can see them when they’re stacked up.

Set up clothing racks

If you are storing a large amount of off-season or ill-fitting clothing, set up clothing racks against the walls of your attic. This method not only keeps clothing organized and out of the way, but it also protects your clothes from wrinkling and mustiness since they’re unfolded and outside of a box. Be sure to hang the clothing in garment bags to protect them from dust, moths, and moisture.

Cover furniture

If you’re storing furniture in your attic, particularly furniture with fabric upholstery, cover it with plastic or old bedsheets to protect it from dust and moisture. This will also preserve the color of the fabric, so it will look as good as new when it’s time to make a reappearance.

Install extra lighting

Attics are creepy places, particularly when they are too dark. If you don’t want to look over your shoulder for monsters every time you grab an item out of storage, simply increase the amount of light in the room. Whether you install mounted light fixtures, set up lamps, or even string lights around the whole room,  bringing light into your attic will greatly reduce the creepiness factor.

When your attic is difficult, and frankly unsettling, to navigate, it quickly becomes overrun with junk, dust, and even pests. Up your storage game with these key tips and make your next trip to the attic a little brighter and much less scary.

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