Skip to content
My Account

We’ve all got one room in the house we can’t quite get under control, and for those of us with an attic, it winds up being that one more often than not. It makes sense – you’re not up there too much, it’s probably being used for storage, and it’s probably either really cold or really hot depending on how your house is heated and insulated.

But even the poor neglected attic can get organized and tidied up for those rare occasions you do have to go up there. It’ll make it easier to find anything you have in the attic (holiday decorations, photo albums, etc) and prevent anything (or anyone) from getting lost or damaged in the meantime!

Here’s a few of our suggestions for organizing an unfinished attic:

Make It Easier To Get To: First things first, a great way to keep your attic organized is to make it easier to get into. If you give yourself more reason to get into the attic (or at least fewer excuses not to) you’ll have an easier time keeping the whole thing clean and accessible. Clean out the area around the stairs or ladder leading to the attic (both in the attic and in the room where the stairs are) and replace the ladder with some more durable stairs if you feel like your only way up there is getting a little…ratty.

Lean On The Walls: One of the most underused spaces in an unfinished attic is the areas between the trusses and the walls; most of us pile up our “attic stuff” in the middle on the floor, when the sidewalls offer a lot of space to store smaller items. Put up some wire shelving (to resist rust & corrosion) in the space between the roof and the trusses (those support columns holding your ceiling up) to hold onto smaller stuff like boxes of knick knacks and bags of clothes your kids have outgrown, and keep the floor open for the real big stuff like that Christmas tree you might never get rid of.

Make Sure Everything Is Labeled: Speaking of, we know most of the stuff you keep in your attic is going to be smaller items, all kept in plastic storage bins and spread out everywhere. Even if everything is already put away into boxes, labels are never a bad idea – get some stick on labels (or even just masking tape and a marker) to tag each box with its contents to make it easier to find what you’re looking for later. (Make sure to stick with plastic for your storage – cardboard boxes might not be able to handle the conditions up there.)

Hang Out (With Your Clothes): Climate and design permitting, some attics are a good place to store leftover clothing like your dress clothes, or jackets you don’t need year-round. Set up some closet shelving with a hanger rod, or take a hanger rod and mount it directly to the wall to give you more convenient access to the clothes you store up there.

Stock From Back To Front: Finally, once you’ve gotten everything put away and ready to go, take stock of what you’re keeping up there and arrange it in order of most-frequently-needed to least. Things like paperwork, holiday decorations, and big stuff you rarely need should go towards the back, whereas clothes, toys, and things accessed more often should be kept towards the front so you don’t have to fight through everything up there to access them.

Got any other tips to get an unruly attic under control? Leave a tip below in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Back to top