Thursday, July 5, 2007

Out of the Closet

We didn't have an attic when I was growing up. Our house had a flat roof, hence, no space for an attic. We also didn't have a basement. No one does in Southern California. Earthquakes, you know. So "storage space" to me has always meant "the garage." So much so that, when we bought our house eight years ago, I never even thought about using the attic for storage. In eight years, I have never once looked in the attic. I know it's there; there is a tiny trapdoor in my yarn closet that leads up there. But the trapdoor is so small, a person can barely squeeze through, and that's only if you first drag a ladder upstairs, make space in the closet, and then climb the ladder, remove the trapdoor, and wiggle through into the unfinished attic above, being very careful to step only on the joists, since there is no floor.

So maybe it's not so surprising that it never occurred to me, in my never-ending quest for storage space, that we could actually use the enormous open area above our ceiling. A few weeks ago, it occurred to me, as I was climbing over the file boxes piled in our "storage room" in the garage and clambering up the elliptical trainer to reach the suitcases, that, if we just put in an actual access door to the attic and laid some plywood, we could have a HUGE storage space without adding onto the house.

This is an enormous realization, no matter how stupid I am for not considering it for eight years. We run a law practice and have boxes and boxes of files that we are required to keep for years and years. Our office does not have storage space, so they stay at our house. It doesn't take long for these files to overrun any available space in the house or garage. We have cleared space, installed shelving, and stacked boxes in several places, several times, to accommodate these files. Lately, we concluded that we needed to move the files to a rental space, just to reclaim our garage for our own things. But that was before I remembered the attic.

Today, we got a handyman out. And in just a few hours, we went from this:

To this:

And another lightbulb went off. All together now: STASH STORAGE!


Olga said...

Your not thinking big enough!! Thats your new fiber studio!!!!!Yes! Can you say sky light and comfy couch?

sophanne said...

That is a total SCORE!- I'd keep the yarn at arms length and put the boring files up there. I wouldn't want to have to climb a ladder to the fiber studio- especially if I should happen to have needles in hand.

...Sarah said...

I love that your elliptical trainer is in the garage and used as a step ladder. Those stair accesses are much better than going head first through a tiny hole. I always feel as though something will attack—my head first—so I send my husband up to do all attic duty.

I agree with Sophane stash at hands reach.

Romi said...

Cool! Yep, growing up I never had an attic or basement either (NoCal). It's difficult to get used to! Come to think of it, there's a trap door in our walk in closet. Hmmmmm. :g:

5elementknitr said...

When we first moved to CO, and I saw the finished basement, I was happy. Then I saw the crawl space that goes the length of the rest of the house and I felt mad glee!

My husband must've seen the look on my face because he said, "You can't fill that with yarn."

I didn't say anything, but I thought, "Wanna bet?"

Anonymous said...

Yay! A pull-down stairway is ever so much better than the stepladder and hatch thing. And I agree with whoever said to keep the yarn close and put the files into deep storage. Hmmm, there appears to be some space on the right side of the hallway(?) where the new access is. Wouldn't cubbies filled with yarn look *nice* there? ;)

Karen said...

Yay for attic space! The house we are in now is our first without a basement. That took some getting used to. You would not believe all the stuff we have crammed up in our attic!

Anonymous said...

GENIUS!!! Also yarn will act as insulation, well perhaps it doesn't get that cold in winter where you are.

Carrie said...

Okay, if you put a fiber studio up there, it could work. But I wouldn't store yarn in the attic. It's an invitation for little mice to come live with you... at least in Northern Michigan, where it gets cold, and they need to seek refuge. =)