10 Attic Storage Ideas to Make the Most of Your Overhead Space

Empty Wooden Attic
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An attic is the room in a house or building typically located just below its roof. By providing a mass of slowly moving air, attics can help control a house’s temperature. Sometimes they’re filled with insulation and HVAC equipment, but usually attics offer some sort of space for storage.

If you have an attic in your home, you likely don’t visit often. They can be hard to reach—entering often requires pulling down a ladder attached to the ceiling of the top floor of your house. But don’t neglect your attic as a storage space. There are several things you can store in your attic, including holiday decorations, camping gear, or your kids’ old toys. Use these helpful attic storage ideas to keep your hardly used items out of the way, which will help you declutter the rest of your house.

  • 01 of 10

    Label Storage Bins

    Storage bins in a wood shelf.

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    Either purchase storage bins with slots for labels or make your own labels and mark them with what’s inside. When you head up to the attic, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for right away without searching high and low. Consider color coding your labels to make finding what you need even quicker.

  • 02 of 10

    Store Bins on Metal Shelves

    Empty metal shelving units.

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    Metal shelves are exceptionally sturdy and make great places to store your large storage bins. By using shelves to store your things, you will utilize all the vertical space in your attic instead of piling things up on the floor. Most hardware stores and big box retailers sell metal shelves of all sizes—and because your attic isn't an oft-visited space, it's OK if your storage solutions are more utilitarian than aesthetically pleasing.

  • 03 of 10

    Build Shelves Everywhere

    Boxes in an attic.

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    Utilize every space in your attic for storage. Most attics have sloping ceilings because they’re common in houses with pitched roofs. Your attic’s size and layout may be unusual, but that doesn’t mean its small spaces are unusable. Fill every nook and cranny with a shelf to take advantage of storage space for you to place storage bins.

  • 04 of 10

    Install a Drawer System

    Colorful kids drawers in a cabinet.

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    Drawer systems are great for storing items that you need easy access to, like kids' toys or kitchen tools. You can quickly pull out a drawer to grab what you need without removing every bin from a shelf to reach it.

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  • 05 of 10

    Use Clear Bins

    Empty clear plastic storage bins with blue lids.

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    Store your belongings in clear bins so that you can see the contents inside. If you’re looking for something specific but you aren’t sure where you stored it, clear bins will allow you to pinpoint it without rummaging through each bin. Many clear storage bins are made from plastic, which is an ideal storage material because it’s flexible and can resist damage, protect your belongings.

  • 06 of 10

    Hang a Pegboard

    Scissors and craft supplies hanging on a pegboard.

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    You’ve likely seen pegboards at work spaces to store things like tools, but pegboards shouldn’t be limited to the garage or craft room. You can use pegboards to organize almost anything. Install one in your attic to hold your lesser-used kitchen, cleaning, or home improvement tools. Stored on a pegboard, the tools will be fully visible and readily available so you don’t have to spend too much time searching your attic while you’re in the middle of a project.

  • 07 of 10

    Use Cubbies

    Several square shelves with kitchen items inside.

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    Store your belongings in cubbies to separate each item and give everything its own place. You can build your own shelving or purchase pre-fabricated cubby shelving at your local home goods store.

  • 08 of 10

    Store Papers in a Filing Cabinet

    A yellow file cabinet against a blue wall.

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    If you decide to keep your paperwork and documents (tax records, insurance paperwork) upstairs in the attic, consider adding a filing cabinet to keep everything tidy. A filing cabinet will allow you to organize your paperwork so that you can find whatever document you need in a pinch.

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  • 09 of 10

    Group Together Like Items

    Holiday decorations in tubs.

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    If you have five storage bins worth of holiday decorations, make sure to store them in the same place in your attic. That way, you can quickly gather everything to bring it downstairs when it’s time to decorate. Store similar things together to make the process of finding them much easier.

  • 10 of 10

    Vacuum-Seal Clothes

    A stack of vacuum-sealed clothes on a shelf.

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    If you decide to store your winter clothes in the attic, vacuum-seal them. Not only does vacuum-sealing your clothes make them as small as possible to give you more storage space, but it also protects your clothes from dust and moisture.