What is it OK to store in your attic?


In my book, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, I explain that there is nowhere in your house you can keep clutter where it will not affect you.

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 take clutter out of the house and stash it in a garden shed, or put it in storage somewhere else, it is still there and still having an effect on your life. The one and only thing you can do with clutter is take responsibility for it and clear it.

The attic, in particular, seems to be such a convenient place to store stuff. But the stagnant energy that collects around clutter kept up there creates a ceiling to what you can achieve, and can affect you far more than you might think. As one client wrote to tell me:

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.’

However there are certain things you can put in your attic that won’t affect you too much. This only applies if you have easy access to the space, it has strong floor boards so you can safely walk around it, and you are willing to clean it once in a while to keep it free of dust and cobwebs.

Empty house moving boxes

If you have such a space then something you can use it for is to store empty house moving boxes for a while. This can be very helpful if you’re planning to move again in the near future and will need them. To save yourself a lot of cleaning, cover the boxes with dust sheets that can easily be shaken out.

How long is a while? If you have a large attic and stack your boxes neatly or break them down and store them flat, then anything up to 12 months will be fine. If you have a small, cramped attic, 3 to 6 months will probably be maximum. The larger the attic, the more easily energy can move around it, and the longer it will take for energies to stagnate.

Note that 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.

Empty suitcases

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

Recent purchase packaging

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

Seasonal items

This is where it gets a little tricky because for some people ‘seasonal items’ means a few lightweight Christmas decorations they take down from the attic and use every year, and this is fine. But for others it may mean heavyweight skiing or camping equipment they intend to use every year that actually remains unused and gathering dust for years at a time. The weight of the objects, the length of time they are unused, and the amount of space they take up are all factors in determining the effect they will have.

It’s always better, of course, to have nothing at all in your attic, because then there is no possibility of any stagnant energy accumulating there at all. But if it really would save you a lot of time, money and energy to store some of the items I’ve listed up there, then my personal experience is that it’s usually fine.

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd, 2011

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 fourth 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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5 Responses to What is it OK to store in your attic?

  1. I plan to store empty suitcases in the for long distance travel. I will not be using all of them frequently but will use them maybe once in 2 to 3 years. The only other place I can store them is the closet which is getting cluttered if I do that. Which is the best place for them? Thank you.

  2. Greetings. Does your advice re storing empty moving boxes deal specifically with energy/feng shui? We have a lot of good quality empty storage boxes in our attic from our move here last year and, boxes and their availability being at such a premium out here and the thought that we night not be here more than a few years, I’m inclined to leave them up there where we have room for them. Are there any negative health/sanitary reasons for not keeping them there? What effect on the house energy do you foresee by leaving them up there? Many thanks – David Miller

    1. Providing you have fully unpacked and settled into your home, and you really will be moving in a few years’ time, this sounds fine. The problems start when people keep things indefinitely because they may come in useful some day.

  3. This item is most interesting, as I am feel I am restricted in my aspirations. I have moved a few items from my loft recently, but now I will have a serious clear out.

    I am happy to store my suitcases for holidays and my Christmas decorations. There are also a number of other things that do get used, but only occasionally or seasonally. However, there are still many things in my loft that should be removed.

    Thank you for this reminder.

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