The Blog

What is Safe to Store in Your Crawl Space

By Chuck Henrichsen on May 20, 2015

Sometimes our homes just aren’t big enough to hold all of our stuff, and storage space can be hard to come by. In situations like these, many people turn to their crawl spaces and consider the storage possibilities. This big, dark, empty space can be ideal for storing unnecessary items that can safely remain out of sight for months on end.

Before you get carried away, however, keep in mind that only certain items can be stored safely in your crawl space. Here’s a short list of some of the items that can be safely stowed away in crawl space storage.

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What’s Safe to Store

As a general rule, when storing items in your crawl space, you want to avoid storing items that might attract pests or that might respond poorly to fluctuating moisture levels.

Out-of-Season Items

There are some items you only need once, maybe twice a year. Because of this, keeping them in readily accessible storage is not necessary and takes up space. Items like Christmas decorations, wet suits, Halloween costumes, bikes, kayaks, and much more, can all be safely stored in the crawl space. That way, they are out of the way when you don’t need them, and available when you do.

Clothing

As families and wardrobes grow, knowing where to put boxes of unnecessary clothes can be a hassle. A renovated crawl space is the ideal place to store summer and winter clothes during the months when they are not needed. This extra storage can help clear the clutter and allow you easier access to storage items you might need more often. Just remember that any clothing you store should be securely sealed in a thick plastic bin to deter any pests from nesting in it.

Food

If you’re one for buying or storing foods in bulk, you’ve probably noticed how fast your pantry seems to run out of space. If your crawl space is easily accessed, insulated, and sealed, why not keep it in the crawl space? When carefully packaged and stored, the crawl space can be a great place to store canned or dry foods. Just be sure that these items are stored in thick plastic bins or glass so that pests don’t get a free lunch.

Much More

While the size and shape of a crawl space will vary from house to house, this space can be used for a variety of stored items. Craft supplies, cooking utensils, tool bags, and hardware are all great candidates for crawl space storage.

But before you can start filling your crawl space, it is critical that you make the proper preparations. Items that are not properly stored in your crawl space can suffer serious, irreparable damage and invite pests into your home. Here is a short list of the necessary steps that must come before you can start placing items in your crawl space.

1. Clean Your Crawl Space

Crawl spaces are infamous for being musty and moldy places that contain ragged, dirty insulation, standing water, high moisture levels, and signs of previous pests. If your crawl space has any of these, you should not be storing anything down there just yet. It’s important that your crawl space be thoroughly cleaned and reinsulated first.

A thorough crawl space cleaning provided by a professional insulation service will remove old insulation, clean out the dust and dirt, reduce moisture levels, and clean up all debris. At Clean Crawls, we provide professional crawl space cleaning and insulation so that families can utilize their crawl space with the full assurance that their items are well protected. In addition to crawl space cleanouts, we provide air sealing, vapor barriers, and insulation installations.

2. Install Shelves

Now that your crawl space is clean, you can now start to consider how best to store the items. Our top recommendation is to install some shelving units in your crawl space. Not only will shelves help you to utilize the whole space and keep it organized, but it will keep your belongings off the ground. The Northwest is infamous for its damp and rainy weather, so experiencing a flooded crawl space at some point is likely.  Shelves will help to keep your valuable belongings off the ground and away from the elements.

3. Package Items Properly

To ensure your items are always well protected, we recommend storing your belongings in dry, sturdy plastic containers with strong, securable lids. Thick plastic helps to deter the gnawing teeth of rodents. These boxes will provide a strong, durable barrier against dust, moisture, and crawl space pests.

Utilizing your crawl space storage is a great way to clear the clutter and organize your living space. But without careful preparation, crawl space storage could put your family belongings in danger of moisture damage and/or pest infestation. At Clean Crawls, we offer crawl space cleanouts, restoration, insulation services so that families throughout Everett can take advantage of the incredible opportunity their crawl space can offer. For more information, give our office a call, or fill out our contact form.

Chuck Henrichsen
President and CEO of Clean Crawls, Treasurer of E3 World Wide, proud husband and father.

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