Hot Tips For The Attic
Climate & Critters...
- Remember, where you live plays a huge role in how to store & organize the items in your attic. In the warmer climate areas you have to
remember that bugs of all sorts live 12 months out of the year. Not only that, some areas have higher populations of rats & mice that will
definitely seek warm cozy places ...& your attic specialties make great bedding!
- Here in Hawai'i we have what is called "silver fish." It's a creepy, crawling, slithering type of bug. Yuk! Yes, it looks like a tiny fish,
wiggles like a fish & lives on land. Worse yet, it loves paper!!! These critters en mass will demolish paper & cardboard in one season. Not
to mention the damage termites can create. So don't expect all those old books you are holding onto to be intact if they aren't contained &
- Make it a point to find out about the "eating" habits of the critters in your region of the country & protect yourself with attic organizers
that will work.
- Whatever you do -- avoid storing photos, slides, film footage, VCR tapes, camcorder tapes, music tapes or any type of similar media in
the attic. It cannot withstand severe climate conditions or changes of any sort.
- A helpful tip in controlling the wildlife that may inhabit your attic space is implementing the use of moth balls on a regular basis.
- When you are done with this project you may want to mark your calendar on a quarterly basis to remind you when to toss a new box of
moth balls around up there. Be generous -- it really does help control the population!
- Now attics come in all sizes, shapes & challenges. Since living in Hawai'i, I have grown to miss the grand attics I was accustomed to
back in New England. For the most part, if we are lucky here, we have a "crawl space" in our homes. We tend to call this "challenging"
space an attic.
- Learn to treat your "challenging" attic space with respect. Because this "room" is out of sight does not necessitate it to be trashed because
it is "out of mind."
- Ask yourself this: "Would I "stuff" these things in the attic in this manner if I had to walk through this room every day?" Hmmmm,
interesting response ehhh?
- The first step in organizing your attic would be to start from total scratch! Now this may be a huge feat in & of itself, due to the fact that
most attics are only cleaned out & organized when people move.
- Keep in mind that if you want to organize the attic once & for all --the best way to proceed is emptying everything from the area. I bet
you will even find some long lost relics in the process too!
- Venture through each & every box you have stored up there. Nothing is off-limits!
- If you "stuffed" a box up there because you weren't able to make a decision at the time -- then you need to do so now.
- Do you want all the contents of the box or would you be happy with a few tokens from this for sentimental reasons?
- If it's a "sentimental" item -- do you need all of your oldest child's "first clothes" or would you be happy with "6 special pieces?"
- Decide to decide.
- Take note if you are storing your kids "stuff" too (& you say they left the nest 2 years ago?)
- Give them a time & date to come & retrieve their items to organize their own storage -- or let them know you will be making a donation
in their name come the holiday season.
Various Attic Uses...
- Most people have a tendency to keep putting "stuff" in the attic according to whatever space is available. Assign a space for the various
"categories" of storage -- & stick to it.
- Before "stuffing" something in the attic in the future, make sure you have created the necessary "time" needed to "place" the item where it
belongs -- it will save you re-organizing time in the future.
- Understand that many of the boxes you have "stuffed" in your attic contain a conglomeration of items from other living areas that were
cleaned. The first step in organizing your attic is to open each & every box & make sure you have "likes with likes."
- Are you saving various items for each of your kids? If so assign a Rubbermaid container to each child, marking the outside with a
"sharpie" marker as: "Robby: baby clothes" or "Mary: school papers" or even "my old love letters, journals" -- whatever.
- Remember it's not always necessary to fill each container initially. What is necessary is to "categorize" your storage containers so they can
handle future growth.
- Keep in mind that in order to utilize this storage space successfully you will want to retrieve what you want -- when you want it.
- Camping gear & occasional sports gear is often stored in an attic when a garage is not an option. (Garages are a commodity in Hawai'i
too!) If your climate zone is conducive to this type of storage, invest in one of the many types of "sports equipment" organizers. Racor
provides an excellent array of options to choose from for the sports person in your family.
- When utilizing a sports organizer, make sure you take into consideration those slanted ceilings in the attic -- much of your equipment
could be stored horizontally instead of vertically.
- When storing seasonal clothes in an attic -- invest in a solid cedar trunk. This will protect your clothes from varmints who may wander in
on a seasonal basis.
- Saving baby cloths? Utilize the Rubbermaid containers once again ...marking the outside of the container with your "sharpie" marker!
Boxes, Boxes & More Boxes...
- A lot of people save "every" box that comes to them. Often there are valid reasons. Yet, be aware that if they are not stored properly
they can eat up tons of valuable space!
- Break down all boxes that you deem valuable & necessary to keep.
- I personally have lots of boxes since relocating from the Mainland to Hawai'i. Good moving boxes are a commodity out here so I have
chosen to keep them until we move into our next home.
- In the meantime they are all broken down. Nothing that a little moving tape can't help when the time comes. By the way these boxes have
survived 3 full house moves already, so this method does not shorten the life span of the box.
- Stack all broken down boxes in the most remote area of the attic -- while insuring they can be retrieved easily when the time comes.
- When receiving packages & boxes that you intend to recycle for your Christmas shipping, break these down & store them all flat in a
more reachable attic zone.
- Computer & electronic equipment boxes are the only ones I leave intact, due to the special styrofoam packing for a particular item.
- In this case thoroughly examine the box sizes & start packing them inside each other. You'd be absolutely amazed at how many will fit
- Avoid saving every box an item comes in that you purchase during the year. I normally save the box for 30 days only -- in case the
product is defective. After that it goes to recycling.
- Christmas decorations are another item needing protective storage in the attic. The climate zone you live in, is the deciding factor on how
you want to store them.
- If you live in a moderate to warm temperate zone, avoid storing Christmas or Holiday decorations in boxes -- they are definitely "bait
material" for any local inhabitants of your attic. Instead utilize one of the many Rubbermaid tubs available. Preferably clear!
- Get yourself a "sharpie" marker & write directly on the tub -- what the contents include.
- If you live in a more "seasonal" climate -- you may be interested in checking out our Hotpicks section. Anderson Marshall and Christmas Ornament Storage Boxes by Santa's Drawers make great
storage boxes for the holiday season for every facet of your holiday decorating!
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