1) Improve attic venting. Consider passive ridge vents and/or the addition
of a power fan with a thermostatic control. Pick a quality, quiet fan. Make
certain that the items that you are storing don't interfer with air flow. For
example, if you have soffet vents then don't block their intended air flow
with the items that you are storing. Etc.
2) Consider purchasing one or more low cost digital thermometers. Place
them on stored items in the attic and periodically check the thermometers.
They should have a memory which records the highest and lowest temps
since the last time you reset the thermometer. This will let you know if
you have adequately improved attic venting. These thermometers are
quite inexpensive and very useful for many applications.
3) Don't waste your effort on adding insulation anywhere in the attic for
the purpose of protecting items stored up there. The dollars are better
spent improving the attic venting.
4) Remember that an unfinished attic such as yours in not engineered for
storage. Of course, almost everybody uses such an attic for storage.
Distribute heavy objects somewhat uniformly in the attic. Obviously your
attic is a bit over-engineered and you are not going to cause problems with
some modest amount of attic storage. Still, avoid too many heavy objects
such as boxes of books, paint cans, etc.
5) Protect against rodents. You don't want them chewing on your stored
blankets and such. Also, you don't want mouse droppings in half of the
cardboard boxes in the attic. I keep 2 baited rat traps and 2 baited mouse
traps in my attic. They are located in a central part of the attic, but in a
spot where I'm not likely to set them off. I glue several large sunflower
seeds on the bait areas and I periodically check the traps to see if they
have been set off or if the bait has been gnawed. FYI - the smell of the
glue does not stop rodents from going for the bait. My favorite is super
6) You will still have to be selective in what you store up there. Don't put
the good holiday candles up there! Also, remember that plastic bags
will break down over time. For our seasonal items, we remove the bags
from the items as we are removing them from the attic and replace with
new bags when the items go back into the attic. I use the super large
recycling bags whenever possible - these are clear and that aides in
identifying stored items. For items which are in "long term storage",
I check the plastic bags every year to make certain that the plastic isn't
7) Start off organized. Put scrap boarding down for walkways so that
you can move around safely and avoid stepping through the ceiling below.
You'll be surprised how much planking your neighbors will put out with
their trash over the course of a single summer. It's free.
Label all boxes on several sides with very large lettering. Plan ahead
and store like items in certain parts of the attic, with frequently needed
items closes to the access hole.