Friday, May 11, 2012

Attic Storage Questions

or maybe I should say attic crawl space because you really can't stand in it but there are areas off to the side of the cathedral ceilings that are maybe 3 or 4 foot high.

What items can I safely store in my attic if I lay some plywood down over the roof trusses (I guess that is what they are called) Papa Bear is not in here to ask.  It gets very hot up there in the summer.  I have no problems with bugs or vermin and don't want them to start.  I know it gets too hot for food but what about toilet tissue, paper towels, laundry detergent (powder form) would I have a problem with those sort of items?  Any more suggestions?...I am running out of room and need more storage area.


  1. i would not put anything up there without knowing how hot it gets up there. I would not place anything that is temp. sensitive. Clothes or paper mostly. You can get some of those bags for clothes that you can use the vacuum to suck all the air out. to seal.

    1. Rob.. I don't know the actual temperature but I know in the summer I have seen Papa Bear come out pouring sweat when he's had to go up there to run a wire. I have had Christmas candles melt in our sheds during the summer so I know that attic crawl space is hot.

  2. Paper ignites at something like farenheit 456, thus the name of the famous novel.

    I agree with Rob, paper and clothes, and ornaments.

    Make sure there is some sort of ventilation, even if you don't store anything up there that is good to check.

    1. russell... I know it is hot up there. Some of the web sites I have found suggest Rubbermaid containers with enough space between to allow air circulation but the web site didn't tell me what they stored. Only said not to store delicate items or pictures. I just want to store some extra supplies like tissue, paper towels, detergent and maybe the Attends (adult diapers) my son has to have.

  3. I asked the guru if he'd comment on thisand here's what he said: Most attics are (or should be) properly vented with ridge vents or similar, so the air should not be stagnant. Other than food supplies, almost anything can be kept in the attic. Paper items in their original wrappings should be fine for quite some time, as should laundry detergents. Items stored in closed trunks or plastic containers (clothing, paperwork, tools, shoes, etc.) store very well for the most part and sealable containers keep any bugs out. Liquids, chemicals (paint, solvents, oils, bleach, etc.), and fuels should never be stored in an attic. Just remember to allow room for air to flow freely around the containers, and do not over-fill the attic. I would avoid storing certain items in the attic, which may get overly hot in the summer — although ammo is often subjected to high temperature storage in combat zones with little if any deterioration, it might be best to keep it in more comfortable temperatures.

    1. Thank the guru for me!.... We have the vents all around the eaves of the house and one large vent in one of the gables. I read on DIY network how to install attic stairs and place the plywood. I think it said the weight could only be 10 pounds per square feet. I may be wrong on that. I doubt we would go as far as installing stairs, our step ladder works fine on the few times Papa Bear has had to go up there.

  4. i'm with Rob, Russell and Mr. Smythe. you should be fine storing summer/winter clothes, paper items, trinkets, mementos, linen, etc.

    your friend,

  5. thank you kymber.... I can always count on all of you to help me with questions I do not know the answer too. Unless we do an addition we are almost out of storage room and we don't want the expense of an addition.

    We are still working on a pole barn over my Mom's little trailer and will eventually close one end of that for more storage but that too will be to hot for food and in a barn you have to worry about critters that eventually find their way in.

  6. No matter what you put up there, I'd suggest some moth balls to discourage fuzzy little visitors.

  7. uggh DaddyBear...I did not think of moths...I don't have a problem in our closets, should I expect a problem in the attic crawl space? I just don't want moth ball scented TP or paper towels...LOL

  8. Fumes from mothballs are hazardous. And, you will have mothball scented tp. Vents need to have fine screens over them even if they do have the louvered type things. Try putting cedar shavings in cotton bags in the attic. Even tp will disintegrate up there in the heat and over time. Mice and rats will get in an attic if they have any clue there is food. Tp would make good bedding for vermin.

  9. I agree with the others on storing clothes, paper products. off season items. and am including this article I found on another blog,

    Finding Storage Space

    Always looking for somewhere to put more preps.
    All the usual space is taken up, and if you are like me,
    you can always use more space for those goodies you want to
    stock for later.

    Think you are out of space?

    You have space under the bed, on the floor of
    the closet, and on closet shelves.

    Buy a shoe bag and hang it on the inside of
    your closet door.
    Those little pockets can hold an amazing
    amount of stuff.
    Extra meds, medical supplies, baby wipes, or

    Candy, dried fruits, etc. Whatever you want
    to store that is small enough to fit and not
    so heavy as to tear the pockets.

    You can hang one on the inside of the
    bathroom door for extra supplies there too.
    Bath tissue, peroxide, q-tips, make up. And
    yes you can store extra make up.

    Under the bathroom sink is a good place for
    plastic containers with goodies. Make sure
    that if the pipe breaks it will not ruin
    whatever is under the sink.

    For thirty or forty dollars from Wal-Mart or
    Kmart you can buy a shelf stand that goes
    over the toilet tank. It will have either
    open shelves or one or two with doors over
    them. This will offer you storage you can
    take with you when you leave, and also does
    nothing to alter the walls of your bathroom.

    Bookcases. you can stack cans behind books on
    bookcases. or put doors or a curtain over the
    front of the bookcase and stack food or
    supplies there.

    Do you have a suitcase or overnight case? Fill
    them with items to take with you if you have
    to leave.

    The trunk of your car holds an amazing amount
    of blankets, water, and dry foods.

    Do you have extra purses? Fill them too.
    The drawers of your dressers, Canned foods
    can go in the back of the drawers, or under

    Is the furniture yours? We found end tables
    at the thrift stores that look like a drum,
    closed on the sides, with one door that
    opens, it holds lots of food out of sight.

  10. Part 2 of finding storage

    You can slide a flat of tuna under the couch.
    Do you have an entertainment center, are
    there doors on it?
    If the doors are glass or plastic see
    through, put a covering over them and put
    food in there.

    You can buy a shower curtain with pockets on
    it to put in shampoo, soap, scrubbies, etc.
    or make one.

    A hanging shelf in your closet that is
    supposed to be for handbags and sweaters, can
    hold those and also supplies. Zip up and
    things are out of sight.

    Put extra blankets and sheets under your
    Take out the last drawer of your dresser and
    put things on the floor.
    Under your kitchen sink for plastic bags, and
    items that won't ruin if wet.

    Do you use the oven of your stove? Does it
    have a pilot light.?
    Store extra kitchen tools there,
    Buy gift boxes, fill them with whatever you
    want, slide them under the living room

    Cover a window with cardboard covered with
    material to look like a curtain from outside.
    Then put small shelves in the window, fill
    with goodies, and hang a curtain over it from
    the inside of the house.
    From outside it looks like a curtain, from
    inside it looks like a curtain.

    You can also get boxes and label them, summer
    blouses, winter blouses. Hats, scarves,
    Christmas decorations, and put them on a
    closet shelf.

  11. Part 2 finding storage
    How much company do you have visit, do they
    come for dinner, or lunch? How long do they
    stay? This is not to be nosey, it is to help
    you think of how to store things without
    bringing them to someone's attention and
    asking you questions you may not want to
    answer. Or to expose you to problems later.

    If you have the room in the kitchen, you can
    buy a small storage unit designed to hold food
    or tools. They don't take up much floor
    space, but have four or more shelves. They
    can hold lots of food.

    Wooden file cabinets two or more can also be
    used for food storage.
    They also make nice end tables to hold a

    Either buy the blocks that raise you bed up
    or make some with concrete blocks covered
    with contact paper, fabric or painted. This
    will raise your bed up a few inches and
    allow you to store more things there.

    Make some shelves for the hallway with 1x6 or
    wider pieces of wood, which can be cut to
    the length you want at the store you buy them
    You can again use concrete blocks, or glass

    I suggest you cover the sides and front of
    them. You could put books on the top shelf. I
    suggest that in an apartment you cover,
    conceal your storage.

    You have most likely a contract you signed
    when moving in the apartment that gives
    management the right to enter to make
    repairs, treat for insects, or to inspect for
    up keep on your part. Not usually a problem.

    Do you have a headboard for your bed?
    You can use bookshelves for a headboard. Fill
    the shelves with supplies, and cover the
    shelves, or turn the open side of the
    bookshelf to the wall, push the bed against
    it, and bingo, you have a headboard. And a
    place to store extra food or whatever you

    You can make a foot board for the bed this
    way too. Probably want doors on it. or use a
    short dresser for a foot board.

    If you have the room, extra dressers can be
    put in the bedroom for storage,

    If you can't lift the mattress on the bed to
    put extra blankets under, put them on the top
    of the mattress, cover them with a plastic
    mattress cover, and make the bed as usual.

    Cover the pillows with extra pillow cases and
    cover them with plastic pillow covers, then
    put one over the plastic one for sleeping.

    You can hang quilts on the wall as decoration
    until you need to use it. Sheets can be
    folded and put under couch cushions or chair
    cushions. Sometimes blankets too.

    Blankets can also be used as a throw cover
    over chairs and couches. Some people don't
    like the look, some do. It is storage in the

    Rethink how items are stacked or arranged in
    the kitchen shelves. Can you change them, re
    arrange them to get more use from the space.

    You can build a small box. wide enough to
    hold a can of veggies or fruit, however high
    you want, and the length of a wall in the
    living room. fill it with food cans, then put
    the furniture in front of the box. Oh, paint
    the box to match the wall or wall trim. Most
    people don't pay attention to little things
    like that.

    It is not always convenient to buy something
    new, especially when you are trying to build
    up storage items and supplies.
    And sometimes when you have used something
    for one purpose for a long time, it is
    difficult to envision it being used for
    another purpose.


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