What is it OK to store in your attic?

An attic can be a useful place to store things, but if you’re tempted to use it to stash clutter, think again. It will always affect you in some way.


In my book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui I explain that  there is nowhere in your home you can keep clutter where it will not affect you.That’s because you are energetically connected to each area of your home and everything you own.

A cluttered basement corresponds to a cluttered subconscious mind and issues not dealt with. Clutter in your attic can limit your higher aspirations and possibilities. Even if you stash clutter in a garden shed or put it in a storage facility elsewhere, you will still be connected to it and it will still affect you. The one and only thing you can do with clutter is to take responsibility for it and clear it.

The effect of storing clutter in an attic

The attic seems to be such a convenient place to keep stuff, especially if you don’t have enough storage space in the rest of your home. It can be very tempting to use it as a place to stash sentimental items you never use or things you’re keeping “just in case” they come in useful someday. In other words, clutter.

The problem is that the stagnant energy that accumulates around clutter will create a corresponding stuckness in some aspect of your life. The experience of one of my clients illustrates this beautifully:

I booked a consultation with you because my business had plateaued out several years ago and I was hoping you could work your feng shui wonders to move it on to bigger and better things. The last thing I expected you to recommend was to clear out the attic and I must admit I wouldn’t have done it if it had been left to me. It was my wife who finally talked me into it and I just want to let you know that it has been exactly as you said – like taking the lid off my business. It has completely taken off in new and exciting ways, like a dream come true.

So is there anything that can be stored in an attic?

Happily, yes, there are a number of things you can keep in your attic without any unwanted effects.

Empty suitcases

It’s fine to store empty suitcases in your attic, providing you do sometimes take them down and use them.

Seasonal items

Season items means things such as winter clothes and bedding, or Christmas decorations that you bring down from the attic and use for a few weeks each year. However, sports equipment, camping gear and other items that never get used from one year to the next can easily become clutter. The longer you’ve had them and the more space they take up, the more stagnant energy will gather around them and the more this will affect you. Have regular clear-outs to make sure that the things you’re keeping do actually get used, ideally at least once a year.

Packaging for recently purchased items

When you buy a new item such as an electrical appliance, there’s usually a statutory period when you can return it for a refund or exchange, providing you have the original packaging it came in. It’s fine to store those types of boxes up in your attic during this time. Just don’t keep the box forever in case you move one day. It’s perfectly easy to pack equipment in standard removal boxes if and when that time comes.

Empty house moving boxes

If you’ve recently moved into your home and know you’lll be moving again within the next year or two, it makes sense to keep your moving boxes for that purpose, and it’s fine to do so.

However, this is not an invitation to hoard all kinds of boxes just in case you need them. It only works if you know you will be moving some time in the near future and are sure you will use them. And after you move to your new home, don’t store the boxes indefinitely in your new attic unless that, too, is a temporary abode.

Business use

If you work from home and use your attic as a place to store tools, equipment or stocks that you regularly use, this can be like having an extra floor in your home. For this type of usage, you’ll want to create easy access and install strong floorboards so that you can safely walk around the space. Keep the area clean and tidy, as you would any other room in your home, and do an annual check to let go of anything that’s no longer needed.

How to declutter your attic

The best way to declutter your attic is to clear any clutter you have in the rest of your home first, starting with easy areas. This will help you to build your clutter clearing “muscle”, which will make it easier to tackle the more challenging areas such attics, junk rooms and any types of sentimental clutter you have.

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd, 2022

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A beginner’s guide  to clutter clearing

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Clutter clearing help

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About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui, and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must-read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fifth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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3 Responses to What is it OK to store in your attic?

  1. The colloquial name for the compartment of residential storage space in a block of flats is called a “chicken coop”, named after the wire that the partitions are made of. It may also be located in the basement of the flat, e.g. the corridor leading to bicycle garage-storages and rear exits. Another reason there should not be much stuff in these chicken coops is that they get easily burgled.

  2. I get the feeling that this article refers to people living in detached one-family houses. Like many Europeans I live in a flat and have done so for most of my life, as did my parents. In my block of flats, there is a huge attic space divided up into smaller compartments, so that every tenant has one such compartment. This is the normal state of affairs where I live (Sweden). Would what you say about attic clutter still pertain to this communal attic space (or just to my personal compartment)?

    1. We are energetically connected to our belongings, and this applies whether they are stored in the attic of a detached house or in the designated storage space in the attic or basement of an apartment block. Clutter will affect you wherever it is stored!

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