I wish my attic was a charming little hideaway, with rustic beams, exposed brick, and a cozy nook for snuggling up with a good book; or a space I could set up my easel and wile away the hours on creative endeavors; or a trove of hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered. But it’s not. The truth is that my attic is a dark, low-ceilinged, cold-in-the-winter/hot-in-the summer box slash borderline deathtrap. Like seriously, don’t try to stand up straight or walk upright if you’re over five feet tall because you will probably be impaled by the nails coming through from the roof. Not that you could really walk anyway, upright or otherwise, because there is no floor and even if there was, the rafters are in your way. Ugh.
I’m not being dramatic when I say it’s the single worst space in my house. And the would-be largest storage area I have at my disposal. The previous owners added raised platforms for additional storage, but accessing them requires taking your life into your hands. It has some potential. And I have a vision. But truth be told, I don’t even know what the reveal will look like. Or if I will even share it. I have this annoying little habit of remembering the space differently than what it actually is. I give it more credit than it deserves. And then I go up there and realize it’s a disaster. And that makes me lose any faith I have that I can do what I’m envisioning. I don’t have an expansive budget for this space, so it’s gonna be a “make it work” kind of situation.
My vision for the attic is for it to be a bright, easily-accessible storage space to hold seasonal overflow and other items I want to keep but that I don’t need to have around full time. The reality is that it’s drop dead dreadful. But enough complaining, here are some pictures so you can see exactly what I’m talking about.
Going up the rickety pull down staircase… into the black abyss.
This is the view at the top of the stairs, looking straight ahead. The “floor” is littered with billowing piles of insulation (that makes me itchy just looking at this picture), balled up sheets of plastic, random pieces of detached duct work and scraps of seemingly unnecessary MDF. Plus old doors I’ve added to the mix, and sheets of plywood I put up there, pretending to be a floor.
Turning around 180 degrees, this is the view behind you when you’re at the top of the stairs. This is the highest point (the peak of the roof) and where you might actually be able to stand if there weren’t platforms there… Ideally the stairs would be turned around and there would be a landing at that highest point so that you could stand and survey the land.
And can you see all those nails poking through? Eek!
In case you needed, or wanted, a closer look ::: insert wide-eyed emoji here:::
The platform extends on either side of the staircase opening as well. But to access the items stored there from the safety (ha) of the staircase, I’d have to be an acrobat and straddle the opening. That’s something I’m not willing to do.
A few IKEA storage cases sitting atop panel doors that are tucked below the platforms, for easier access from the stairs.
Pretty scary, right? It needs some major help.
My proposed “floor” plan:
This does not take into account the challenges the rafters pose, but it is the ideal solution for making what’s currently there work within the confines of what’s feasible.
Here’s my plan of attack:
- Clear out the extraneous materials like plastic and conduit that’s just in the way and completely unnecessary.
- Secure small sheets of plywood to create flat, sturdy surfaces for “walking” and maneuvering.
- Position the old closet doors from the bedroom along back wall (beyond the staircase) for stacking bins and boxes.
- Add work lights (of the clamp-able or hang-able variety) that can plug in for additional lighting.
- Add a step of sorts on each side to easily get from the “walkway” up to the storage platforms, and then back down.
Some of my solution sources…
I had every intention of tackling this project earlier in the spring when the temperatures were still cool and it was manageable up in the attic. But then life happened, as it does. And right now it’s quite hot up there, so I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to tackle at this time. I had hoped for an end of June reveal post, but it’s gotten far too hot, far too fast… so we’ll see what I can do. Stay tuned!