Image: shelves and boxes in the attic, cover image for Don’t Forget to Check Your Furnace When Decluttering and Organizing Your Attic.

Everyone seems to have the declutter bug. Driven by tidy-the-house TV shows and inspired by social media posts, people are hotly debating what stays and what goes.

If you have an attic, you have the perfect storage space. These tips will help you with quickly organizing your attic and efficiently while still leaving room for your furnace.

Start by Figuring out Where Everything Will Go

If you’re looking to declutter your attic, there are a few things you need to consider before getting started.

Where will everything go? How much floor space is there? How will you access the boxes? And most importantly, can a technician reach your furnace to carry out furnace maintenance easily.

A little planning can go a long way in helping you get started on your attic decluttering project. First, look through your boxes and list everything you want to keep and store. Then figure out the best storage method – boxes, shelving, or bags.

Remove Everything from the Attic and Clean the Space

If you haven’t cleaned and organized your attic, the boxes you place up there can become a health hazard.

Image: a tweet about decluttering.

Your attic is a great place for critters like mice and bugs to hide from the elements. Taking everything out will let you see if you have any mice in your home. The telltale signs are chew marks on boxes or small black droppings. You may also be able to smell their urine.

Image: blue totes that are commonly used for storage.

Find a pest controller to get rid of any critters before storing more boxes. You don’t want them to damage or contaminate your belongings.

Declutter and Sort

Transparent storage bins are a great way to keep your attic organized. With a clear plastic storage container, you can easily see what’s inside without having to open or lift the lid. This makes it easy to quickly find what you need without rummaging through everything.

Image: transparent bins used for storage.

See-through bins are also durable. Made from sturdy materials, they can be stacked on top of each other without bending or breaking.

Image: cardboard boxes used for decluttering.

Label bins so that they’re easy to locate at a glance. A label maker can make this easier, or you can use stickers and a marker pen. Use labels to identify fragile items like glassware so they don’t accidentally get thrown about.

When Organizing Your Attic, Add Some Shelving

Attic shelves are one way to help keep things organized and off the floor of your attic. They’re a great way to make the most out of your available space.

A top tip – make sure that you use sturdy shelving. You don’t want them to collapse under the strain of holding heavy items.

You also need to ensure that there aren’t any pipes or cables running along the wall where you want to put up shelves. These can get damaged by nails or screws, so always check for them before starting work.

What Not to Store in the Attic or Furnace Room

An attic is a great place to store items you’re not currently using. However, there are some things that you should never keep in your attic.

  • Electronics can get damaged by water or heat damage. Dust can also get into electronics, causing them to malfunction.
  • Perishable food items attract insects and rodents – you don’t want an infestation of these critters in your home. If you must store food, ensure it’s in air-tight containers and protected from hungry creatures.
  • Explosives or flammable materials should NEVER be kept in an attic or furnace room. Paints, cleaning fluids, or combustibles should be kept outside the home where possible.
  • Clothing is at risk of being damaged by moths and insects. Delicate fabrics can get damaged by dust and temperature changes.
  • Important paper documents and photographs – you don’t want your essential documents ruined by dust or damp. Equally, they’re a fire hazard if kept near a furnace.

Mind Your Furnace

If your furnace is kept in your attic, there are a few safety precautions you’ll need to think about, especially when storing boxes near the unit.

Image: a furnace in an attic.

Furnaces need adequate space to operate properly. Keep everything at least 30 inches away from your furnace, including furniture and boxes. Too much clutter can restrict airflow. Furnaces need to be able to push heat through the ducts to heat your home effectively. Too many boxes can get in the way of this process and prevent air from moving freely through the ducts.

Never store combustibles near a furnace. If you have any flammable items, keep them well away from the unit.

Image: a stack of newspapers.

Finally, you need adequate space around your furnace to make it easier to access for furnace maintenance. Your technician needs to be able to get to the furnace and work safely.

Want reassurance that your furnace is in good working order? Speak to the experts at ASI about scheduling a furnace tune-up.