Consider the Space
Before storing anything of value in the basement, attic or garage, consider the area's size, accessibility, fire protection, temperature/humidity controls, shelving options, flood prevention, ventilation and lighting.
Once you've analyzed the space, separate items into categories, such as books, Christmas decorations, sporting goods, etc. Assign each category a location - books should be stowed in a plastic storage box placed on a high shelf in the basement (or in a corner of the attic); sporting equipment that is regularly used might be sent to a bin in the garage. Also, save time by posting an inventory map, so you can quickly find what you're looking for.
Items you should generally avoid storing in a basement, attic or garage include:
- Important documents (birth certificates, marriage license, school and medical records)
- Handmade crafts (ornaments, artwork)
- Delicate clothing (wedding gown, sentimental baby clothing)
- Food (if you decide to store dry goods in a basement or attic make sure they're kept in airtight canisters)
- Candles (avoid placing in the attic during the hot summer months as they're likely to melt)
Make More Space
If your space can accommodate it, shelves will futher the organization in your space and in the case of basements and garages. We suggest elfa Ventilated Shelving for these spaces. Exceptionally strong and infinitely adjustable, elfa can fit just about any space. Shelves will divide the vertical space and will make it easy to find items when you need them.
See What You've Stored
Label all boxes for easy identification or use clear boxes so you can see immediately what's inside. Consider color-coded labels that coordinate with the different categories you're storing for even more time-saving!