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Never Store These 7 Objects in Your Attic

Wipe and Organize presents you: Things You Should Never Store in the Attic

Having attic space definitely comes with its advantages. It lets you stash away stuff you don’t want cluttering up your living areas. However, storing certain things upstairs can lead to a bunch of problems.

For starters, you may forget what’s actually in the attic and end up rebuying something you already own. Secondly, objects can easily be ruined in a space that tends to get overly humid and hot. Not only do you have head, mildew, and mold to worry about, but pests are also a common issue in this lofted space.

Now, if your attic is climate-controlled, you have a bit more flexibility in what can be kept there. While most people are aware of some obvious no-gos, such as not keeping food upstairs, some of these things you should never store in the attic may surprise you. In addition to explaining why it’s better to not keep them there, you’ll get ideas for alternative storage solutions.

Let’s get started!

things you should never store in the attic
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1. Fabric

One of the things you should never store in the attic is anything that has fabrics on it. As a rule of thumb, all fabrics should not be kept upstairs. But pay special attention to anything compromised of silk, linen, and wool.

Common attic critters, such as mice, carpet beetles, and moths are highly attracted to these materials. The fabrics mentioned above, plus a slew of others including suede and cotton, are prone to mildewing if moisture is present.

Also, leather furniture and clothing can start to crack and take on a musty smell so include them too to the list of things you should never store in the attic. Along the same line, avoid using the upstairs area to stash excess bedding and rugs.

As tempting as it is throw future hand-me-downs or off-season wardrobe pieces in the attic, you’re better of finding a hiding place on the main levels of the house. Slide a rug in the space under your bed or stack labeled bins or boxes of clothes in a closer under the stairs. Use storage benches or baskets to house blankets and temporarily store a matress in a place that’s climate controlled.

2. Books

Books are also among the things you should never store in the attic. Whether they’re old textbooks from school, books you no longer need, or your children’s books, these should be excluded from attic storage.

High moisture levels can cause mildew and mold to quickly grow on the covers and pages in between. If this doesn’t convince you to not stash a box of books upstairs, this just might: Silverfish thrive best in humid conditions and are known to feast on both paper and the glue used in bindings. You wouldn’t want to discover an infestation when you go to grab an old book.

So, what you should do instead is declutter the books you know you’ll never read again and put the keepers away on shelves in your home office or the living room.

3. Holiday and home decor

It’s pretty self-explanatory why so many people choose to think of the attic as a good place to store holiday decorations once the season is over. After all, you won’t use them again until next year so they can go upstairs and stay hidden away until then. Right?

Well, holiday and home decor items are actually among those things you should never store in the attic. Considering that many of them consists of materials like paper and fabric, it’s best to pick another place.

The same thing is true for home accessories, particularly wood furnishings that will warp in high temperatures and paintings that can fade or become a meal for pests.

Consider keeping decoration organized by holiday in labeled totes and storing them in the basement or on garage shelves. Find places in the house to display home decor items you love and donate things that no longer suit your style.

If you’re not yet ready to part with these things you should never store in the attic, renting a climate-controlled storage unit can be a more fitting solution.

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4. Instruments

If you’ve put a musical hobby aside for the time being and you plan to pick it up again sometimes in the future, you should know that instruments are also among the things you should never store in the attic.

Mildew and mold can actually sneak their way inside them. And it’s not just the fact that this can ruin them; when it comes to wind instruments, it can put your health at risk. When it comes to those made of wood, they will warp in high heat. Moreover, their cases, especially instruments with fabric interiors, are susceptible to mildew, mold, and insects.

The best thing you can do is store them in another place of the house that’s temperature controlled with low humidity. Better yet, if you’re fortunate enough to have a bonus space, think about turning it into a music room. Another option would be to store those instruments in their cases in an underused closet.

Keep reading to discover other things you should never store in the attic!

5. Flammable or toxic substances

This kind of stuff should be kept to a minimum in your house, but attics can be an especially dangerous location to store them. The reason for that is because the fumes from chemicals emit gases into the air, which may easily seep into HVAC ducts and eventually blow into the living spaces below.

Furthermore, fires are known to spread quickly in the attics as flames can sweep up to the rafters and then down the walls of the entire place.

While paint may seem somewhat harmless, some kinds such as aerosol or oil-based, can combust if their get too hot. A less dangerous effect but nevertheless undesirable is that the paint’s consistency and color may become ruined or the paint will likely dry out over time if it’s kept under the unstable attic conditions.

This being said, these things you should never store in the attic are better kept outside the house, such as in the garage or a shed, preferably a detached one.

Photo by VLADIMIR DUDKIN from Shutterstock

6. Candles and crayons

While it’s unlikely you’ll stash away these two items together, they fall under the same category of things you should never store in the attic. The wax that makes up both crayons and candles can melt in high heat and turn into a mess to clean up.

What you should do instead is organize unused candles inside a closet or cabinet in a climate controlled room of the house. Truth be told, if you know you’ll never use them, it’s better if you donate or throw them away.

When it comes to crayons, collect and contain them into bins and store them somewhere in the house or the garage if you think you’re going to use them. By the way, here are plenty of storage bins to choose from, if you’re interested in buying some new ones.

7. Fire extinguishers

Now that you’ve made sure any fire hazards are no longer upstairs, there’s one more item you should add to the list of things you should never store in the attic: fire extinguishers. Since you’ve ensured that there are no objects that can catch fire in the space, there’s no reason to stow an extinguisher there.

Even if you still feel the need to do so, you may want to think twice. Most companies that produce these essential pieces of safety equipment warn that they aren’t designed to withstand temperatures higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, fire extinguishers are also among the things you should never store in the attic.

According to experts, it’s possible for some attics to reach these temperatures during peak summer months. The worst-case scenario, albeit a very rare occurrence, is that the fire extinguisher can explode. But in the best-case scenario, the heat will reduce its lifespan.

You should have at least one extinguisher in your house, and the kitchen is the best place to keep it, since that’s where most fires originate. It’s also smart to have one on the second story and another in the laundry room in the case of a fire caused by a clogged dryer vent.

If you liked our article on things you should never store in the attic, you may also want to read 6 Things You Should NEVER Pour Down the Drain.

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