I was interviewed for the second time by Aleena Naylor – this time we discussed storage and a recent news item about a loft collapsing on a man in Essex whilst he was sleeping! Here’s a summary of the interview, with advice on how to organise storage and use your loft effectively and safely:
Loft collapses on top of man whilst he sleeps!
A 79 year old man in Essex was trapped in his bed as his loft floor gave way.  He had been storing 50 boxes of yachting magazines for a friend, and the weight was just too much.  Luckily he was fine! But it’s time to take a look at what we should and shouldn’t store in our lofts.

What do I normally find in my client’s lofts?
Anything and everything!  They are often ‘graveyards’ for all unwanted items that will be put there to “sort later”.  Of course they never do, and the longer you live in a house, the more cluttered and unorganised the attic usually becomes.  Old computers are always ‘dumped’ in the attic ‘just in case’, as are old TV’s and video players.  Empty boxes from every piece of electrical equipment ever bought can usually be found there too. (Even though the actual equipment is long-gone.) My advice is to remove all items like this, and free-up this valuable storage space in your house.

What should you store in the loft?
  Items you need to keep for a reason, but don’t necessarily need constant access to.  For example, Christmas decorations, and items you love but don’t want out in the house for some reason.  You can essentially store anything you want to in a loft, but think about distributing weight evenly, with heavier items at the edge of the space rather than in the middle. Occasionally clients are reluctant to use the loft, as the access is difficult.  I recommend getting a joiner to quote for enlarging the entrance, or putting a new one elsewhere – don’t lose valuable storage space in your home because of this.

How should you store treasured items?
They should be protected in suitable storage, (plastic boxes for papers if there’s a possibility of damp, or wedding dresses etc in cotton storage bags so they can breathe and not turn yellow.)  They should be organised and clearly labelled.  The saddest things I find in loft spaces are beloved teddy bears and dolls that have been put there ‘out of the way’, but haven’t been protected, and are dirty, smelly, and occasionally have been nibbled by mice.  Reuniting them with their original owner is no longer a joy, as they are upset to see them in such a state.  PACK THEM PROPERLY.