Are you looking for unique and helpful loft storage solutions? Then don't miss this detailed list of how to make the most of your home.
In 2021, the number of occupied UK storage units hit a new record of over 80%. It seems that more people are choosing self-storage. But, if you have a storage unit, you might be wasting thousands of pounds per year.
Some larger lofts here in the UK have 40 to 50m2 of floor area. In terms of self-storage, this would cost almost £2,000 a year. So, cancel that self-storage contract and utilise the space in your house.
All you will need are a few minor adjustments and some creative loft storage ideas. You'll get all of that and more in this helpful guide. So read on to save money and space with our best loft storage solutions.
1. Preparing Your Loft for Storage
Whether you have a traditional cut rafter and purlin roof (typically pre 1965) or a modern trussed roof construction (typically post 1965), you should have plenty of space to optimise for storage.
Credit Harvey Normal Architects
You can add different loft shelves in the open space between the eaves. A singular shelf works great for eye level. You will also still have room for a lower shelf to store large plastic boxes. For trussed roof constructions the easiest option for shelving is to use Loft Ledges. Loft Ledges are designed specifically to fit in between trusses and utilise the difficult to access space. They are easy to install and fit gaps between 539mm and 580mm.
To create a loft floor suitable for access and storage you will need Loft Legs to raise the floor above the insulation. Squashing insulation can reduce it thermal performance by over 50%.
Our kits will show you step-by-step how to secure a raised floor above the loft joists. It won't take you long to install, can be done by any competent DIYer and you'll be able to create a perfect floor for storage.
Most people will focus on flooring only the main central area in the loft. However, use the sides and corner areas for storage if you need extra space. Be careful not to block any ventilation around the edges of the loft.
Please note that the loft will get very cold in winter and very hot in summer, therefore only store items that won't be damaged by the change in temperatures. Later in the article, we'll talk about things you shouldn't keep in your loft.
Starting from the top of the roof, you can hang standard curtain rails or rods to utilise the vertical space.
Alternatively, screwing hooks into the beams is another solution. You can then hang items you may need to find fast, such as DIY tools.
2. A Storage Spring Clean
Many people have unnecessary and unwanted items stored in their home. In many cases some of this can be thrown away, sent to charity or sold.
Surprisingly, research suggests that our unwanted items could equal £2,600 per household.
We try to make as much storage space as possible. However, if you organise a big spring clean each year, you only need to worry about storing the things you actually need.
Prepare large plastic boxes and clothing bags in advance when you want to spring clean.
You should make three piles: keep, charity, or loft storage. Once you've made your decisions, the rest of this article will tell you exactly how to store each item correctly in the loft.
3. How to Store Sports Equipment
If you have seasonal sports equipment, such as cricket, skiing or football equipment the loft is the ideal space for storage. In some cases this equipment will only be required for a part of the year or a specific holiday.
Store oversized items such as skis and hockey sticks in the corners of the loft. Or, if you would rather, you can hang them from the roof so they can be easily found when needed.
Store any items containing fabric in storage boxes with lids or sealed bags to prevent deterioration.
4. How to Store Clothing
It is generally safe to store clothing in your loft. However, if you have delicate pieces such as lace or vintage, we'd recommend keeping them in a location with a more stable temperature.
To make sure that your clothes stay moth free, pack them in transparent dust covers. You can then hang bulky clothes such as duffle coats from waterfall-style hangers. Seasonal clothes are best vacuum-packed and stacked in airtight boxes.
5. How to Store Kitchenware
We always recommend swapping cardboard storage boxes to plastic ones. Bugs feed on the cardboard glue, and they are prone to mice infestations. In simplest terms, cardboard boxes are like a "welcome home" sign to unwanted creatures. For loft storage, many people stack plastic boxes with clasp lids. But in small lofts, these are difficult to move. Often the item you want is under a tower of these heavy boxes. So, place plates in these larger boxes and store them on the loft ledges you installed.
To avoid potential back injuries while lifting, buy plastic boxes with hinged lids for cutlery. They are pre-stacked, and you can lift the lid without moving the boxes at all.
6. How to Store Documents
If you have a box room in your house, it has probably become a child's bedroom or small office. Unfortunately, they're so small that you'd be lucky to fit a full size loft bed with a desk and storage inside.
So, where can you store last year's office notes or homework? The answer is your loft. They may be out of sight, but you can refer back to them when needed if stored correctly. For example, this could be during exams for a child or completing taxes as an adult.
If your loft is very dry, you can keep books on a bookshelf. But, too much moisture in the air may cause the book's pages to fade and become brittle.
As such, it is best to store loose documents in file-holders and books in boxes. If you are worried about moisture, insert some moisture packs into the container for added protection.
7. How to Store Furniture
Wipe down the furniture or have it professionally cleaned before storing. You should use warm soapy water and then wax on top for wooden items.
The wax will help to keep the furniture moisturised. It will also protect it from any potential mildew damage. Use a specialist upholstery cleaner if you're storing items, such as chairs.
Finally, metal furniture should be well polished before loft storage. If you don't, there is a possibility that oxidation will occur and the metal will look tarnished. After cleaning, it is better to dismantle the furniture and store it together in one loft area.
If it's a table, dismantle the table legs and secure them together with bubble wrap. Then, you can either lay table legs on their side or stand them upright against one of the inner beams.
Be careful to separate the screws, nuts and bolts, label them and attach them to the underside of the furniture. You don't want to lose these later on.
8. How to Store Shoes
Loft storage of shoes is easy, although you will need to invest in a few products. They are also another belonging that you will need to deep clean and protect before storing.
If your shoes are leather, purchase a quality leather protector and cover all areas. Then, buy shoe trees if you will only store them for a little while.
The shoe trees will help keep the shape of your footwear and absorb any moisture. Some shoe trees come with holes so that you can hang them on the hooks you prepared in the rafters.
If you'd rather use airtight plastic boxes, first stuff your shoes with acid-free paper for moisture control. Then store them on the loft ledges or stacked on the loft legs floor.
If you under-stuff your shoes with the paper, leather creases may cause permanent lines, cracking and fading. However, if you overstuff them, the stitching may become loose, and they will look out of shape.
9. How to Store Outdoor Gear
Heat fluctuations often happen in lofts, but outdoor equipment is designed to be hardy. As such, instead of more plastic boxes, you can pop items such as tents directly on the Loft Ledges.
Make sure that all of the items are clean and 100% dry before you store them. And for extra protection, lay a plastic sheet across the top.
10. How to Store Children's Toys
From half-eaten snacks to toys strewn across the floor, a child's bedroom is a danger field. If your child has storage in their room it's worth checking what they keep there.
Most likely, you'll find lots of unused toys. But, of course, even if your child doesn't play with the toys anymore, they may still feel sentimental towards them. So, until they have outgrown them, store some in the loft.
Unfortunately, people often store teddy bears in black bags in the loft. But, this can lead to mite infestations inside the teddies. So, instead, store them in airtight containers.
Items such as plastic toys, dolls and cars should be fine on shelving. But, sometimes, these items can also be damaged by dampness. So, if you have any doubts, store them in plastic boxes.
What Should I Not Store?
We mentioned earlier some items are unsuitable for loft storage. These are mainly things that fluctuating temperatures can damage. If you're unsure of what you can or cannot store in your loft, here's a quick list:
Pictures: may fade, crack or become brittle due to temperature changes
Perishables: attract insects and susceptible to temperature fluctuations
Musical instruments: wooden instruments affected by seasonal changes
Flammable items: may endanger flammable loft insulation, particularly in old buildings
Handmade or delicate materials: need to breathe and not suitable for vacuum or plastic bag packing
How To Clean Your Loft Storage
You need to clean your loft as you would seasonally clean your house. At the same time, you can check on your storage, make an itinerary and discard unwanted items.
Cleaning your loft can be more challenging than standard cleaning for two reasons. First, the area is tighter, and second there are lots of heard to reach areas.
Wear a mask over your nose and mouth because dust particles can cause issues.
Start dusting from the top, then move your way towards the floor before finally sweeping the loft boards.
Loft Storage Solutions to Change Your Life
Your loft shouldn't resemble a black void at the top of your house. Try these loft storage solutions to save money and stay organised.
Prepare your space with loft legs, loft ledges and bright LED lights. Then, by spring cleaning and staying on top of your belongings, you'll know what you want to keep, donate or sell.
Contact us to start planning your loft storage today.