Can You Store Clothes In The Attic?

Instead of living with cramped closets or struggling to find places to keep your clothes, consider the attic. We researched various solutions to keep clothing safe from moisture, insects, and heat when in the attic so that you can feel secure. Read on to learn how to properly protect vintage suits and cherished accessories in an attic space.

The attic is a suitable place to store clothing that you can't bear giving away or selling. Be aware of the types of clothing you can and cannot safely stow in an attic. Moths, extreme temperatures, and other factors can damage improperly stored clothing, so it is a good idea to place items in an organized system using transparent durable boxes, bags, or hangers and to check up on your belongings routinely.

Storing clothes in an attic is a better choice than a basement where there is a risk of flooding and mold. Make the most of an attic as the ultimate storage space for clothing by reading this article.

A pile of clothes about to be stored on an attic, Can You Store Clothes In The Attic?

What Is The Best Way To Store Clothes In The Attic?

Believe it or not, the attic can become incredibly hot or cold depending on the season. If you wish to store clothing, scrapbooks, or vintage furniture in the attic, you will want to ensure it is adequately ventilated. Additionally, be aware that there is a risk of keeping certain articles in an attic. Protect the performance and longevity of these clothing materials, in particular, by avoiding storing in an attic:

  • Leather
  • Fur
  • Expensive luxury apparel
  • Off-season items

The attic should be a place for keeping clothing and possessions that you treasure, like an old wedding dress or vintage baby clothing. Ideally, articles of clothing stored in an attic should be individually wrapped with plastic to keep out moisture. Clothing and other sensitive items need to be protected against the following threats:

  • Dust
  • Insects
  • Rodents
  • Heat
  • Moisture

How To Store Items Safely In The Attic

Knowing how to store items in your attic, so they are kept safe to prevent developing mold, mildew, cracking, or peeling is essential. When stowing away clothing, furniture, shoes, and miscellaneous knick-knacks, choose non-biodegradable containers. You can keep many types of items safe from moisture, pests, and dust using glass, plastic, or metal containers. Make sure to cover everything you store in the attic to protect it from potential damage. Place a protective tarp over hard-to-store items like an artificial tree or a dress form.

Click here to see this tree storage bag (and others) on Amazon.

Mice can chew their way into an attic, birds can fly in and make a nest, and insects will burrow and feed on what they can find. Hot temperatures can melt plastic items, cause book pages to be yellow, and break down old newspapers. Occasionally review what you are keeping around your attic and give it away, sell it, or discard it if it leads to clutter.

Check out this versatile portable closet on Amazon.

Most attics do not have a proper floor, and an excess of heavy items can lead to holes in your home. The changes between extreme temperatures over time can cause wood, leather, and other items to buckle, crack, become brittle, or discolored.

Ideally, keep difficult to place items in the attic under tarps. Take clothing, shoes, or small items and wrap them in layers of plastic, or use boxes with snug-fitting lids to keep unwanted elements out.

Check out this portable storage solution on Amazon.

Regularly check for signs of water damage, weakened infrastructure, rot, must, or infestations of insects or rodents. Keep your attic clean, organized, and control the temperature.

Is The Attic Too Hot For Storage?

If you are considering storing beloved items in the attic, consider your geographical location and fire safety. Some places are more prone to extreme heat or weather patterns that could trigger a house fire. Make sure not to clutter your attic with an array of items stored in cardboard boxes, as synthetic fibers, paper, and wood can easily catch on fire. In the event of a lightning strike, wildfire, or instantaneous combustion, your precious possessions could succumb to flames or smoke damage.

Take preventative measures and install a thermometer to keep tabs on your attic's temperature and humidity levels. It is smart to be aware of any excessive heat buildup in an attic, as this can create undesirable conditions for your home and belongings. Ensure that any items stored in an attic are packaged to reduce heat-related damage and install ventilation fans to control the environment.

Check out this thermometer and humidity monitor on Amazon.

Check out this ventilator for an attic on Amazon.

What Shouldn't You Store In The Attic?

Attics can become hot and stuffy or plunge into freezing temperatures, so you need to be cautious about what you store in this space. It is advisable to avoid storing anything flammable, easily damaged by moisture, or susceptible to warping. Protect your belongings by placing them in a portable closet, boxes, or bags. The following items should not be placed in an attic for safekeeping.

  • Artwork
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Cleaning supplies and paint
  • Cosmetics and medication
  • Electronics and batteries
  • Leather clothing or furniture
  • Musical instruments
  • Paper items
  • Wool clothing
  • Wood furniture

Scorching temperatures and poor ventilation can cause items to melt and electronics to malfunction. Paintings and wood furniture can warp, and cosmetics and medication may develop mold or lose their effectiveness. Insects like moths and carpet beetles may devour wool clothing. Pests like mice may gnaw on cardboard boxes and artwork. Unless you have a finished attic with excellent temperature control and air circulation, please avoid storing cherished things that can suffer stains, warping, and irreversible damage.

Why Do Stored Clothes Smell?

An attic is typically devoid of natural light and can be hot and humid. It is easy for mold, mildew, and musty odors to develop on or in clothing in a dank, dark environment. When clothes are not stored in airtight containers, moisture can sneak in and begin destroying fibers. Regularly check on stored clothing and rotate them to reduce foul odors. Place cedarwood, mothballs, or other natural deodorizers to keep clothes smelling fresh and pests away around.

Check out these natural cedar pieces to protect clothes on Amazon.

Over time, nearly all clothes will develop that 'storage smell,' but controlling exposure to humidity and moisture can reduce mildew, mold, and musty odors. Clothing gets exposed to frequent washing, body odors, skin cells, and wear and tear. When clothes are stored for a long time, they may need a deep cleaning to refresh and restore them to their former glory. Remember, mold and mildew are not only harmful to your clothes but can destroy wooden elements of your home's infrastructure.

Check out this moth trap on Amazon.

Is It Safe To Store Cardboard Boxes In The Attic?

Cardboard boxes seem like ideal storage solutions for clothes, but the material and glue attract hungry mice. Clothing should be placed in airtight resealable boxes or bags to prevent exposure to mold, mildew, and pests. Extreme temperatures and light exposure can cause bleaching and deterioration of clothing and create a fire hazard.

Instead of using cardboard boxes, opt for resealable air-tight vacuum bags, portable closets, or clear storage boxes to store items. You should also label boxes and maintain an organization system, so you don't have to hunt for your beloved vintage suit, holiday decorations, or shoes later.

Check out these handy vacuum-sealable bags on Amazon.

Check out these stackable clear boxes on Amazon.

Is It Better To Store Clothes In The Attic Or Basement?

The basement might seem like a good alternative to store items, rather than an attic. However, basements are likely to allow mold, mildew, and pests to develop. Plus, there is always the risk of flooding in a basement, so the attic is a better choice. Because the attic is at the highest point of the house, there is less risk of your cherished items incurring water damage. When in doubt, choose to finish your attic or basement before storing items and use quality storage solutions to keep air and moisture out.


Many people choose the attic as a storage place for things in their life that they wish to hold onto but don't need currently. If you can finish your attic and control the temperature, humidity, and pests, it can prove a safe place to store valuables. Do keep in mind that certain items can warp or become unusable if kept in an attic for long periods. When storing items in the attic, you should keep everything neatly organized, labeled and allow for easy access.

You should control and monitor your attic's environment to reduce inhospitable conditions for storing items via a thermometer and ventilation. Ensure the longevity of your possessions for generations by using airtight storage solutions. Additionally, install natural products like cedarwood to control odors and keep insects at bay. Check up on your stored items in your attic on occasion and keep clutter to a minimum.

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