Cleaning Out Your Attic

by Julia Woodbury
(last updated March 18, 2009)

The first step to conquering your attic is to set aside a day, maybe even a few days, to clean and organize. The second step is to keep in mind that things will appear to get worse before they get better. Don't get discouraged by the mess you will create by trying to clean up. You will need to spread out your belongings in order to sort through them and then store them again.

Depending on the amount of stuff you have up there in the attic, you will want to pull out as many boxes and piles as you can (all at once, if possible). Get some large storage bins from the store and clearly label them with broad categories like "throw away," "donate," and "give away." While you are sorting through and organizing your items, if you feel like you should toss anything into the bins, do it! A good standard to go by is if you haven't used it in two or three years, you shouldn't have to keep it.

Also, as far as sentimental items go, you may be hanging on to things that are taking up more space than you can afford. If it won't make a good heirloom, you should probably let it go. A good way to ease the parting is to take a picture of the item, that way you retain the memory while reducing the bulk.

If you can, clear out your whole attic space so you can dust and mop it out. Start by dusting the ceiling or rafters off with a broom or mop wrapped in a rag. Clear out any cobwebs that you find. It may help to also go over the wood with a damp rag. Clean off the walls with the same method and then sweep out and mop the floor. If the floor is unfinished wood, try sweeping and then vacuuming up the dust.

If you are unable to clear out the whole attic at once, or you are unable to move all the items out of the attic, clean it in portions. As you move and remove piles and boxes, clean the spaces as you clear them. Always start by dusting off the rafters before cleaning the floor, otherwise you will end up getting dirt on it after cleaning it.

Once you have cleaned your attic space, you are ready to start moving your things back into it. If your attic is not equipped with shelves, you may want to consider installing some; they will help with organization and protect your belongings by keeping them from falling on and crushing each other.

If you have a large amount of clothes to store, you can also install a rod to hand them on. For especially sentimental clothing items you can even get a cedar chest and moth balls to protect them from bugs and dust.

The last key to maintaining a clean attic is to clean it at least once a year and avoid treating it as a repository for anything and everything. Make sure an item is worth storing before tossing it in the attic.

Author Bio

Julia Woodbury

Julia Woodbury is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University. She delights in the written word and has interests in magazine writing and editing. ...

MORE FROM JULIA

Cleaning Your Grill

Just because it's not inside the house doesn't mean that your grill doesn't need to be cleaned. Like any other item used in ...

Discover More

Cleaning Tomato Sauce Stains from Plasticware

Are you one of those people who can't feel like something is entirely clean until it looks entirely clean? Well then tomato ...

Discover More

Washing Your Cat

Anyone who has chased a soapy, sopping wet feline around the house knows the risks of bathing cats. Here are some tips on how ...

Discover More

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Like New Bona's hardwood floor cleaner is the #1 choice of professionals. The no-residue formula is specially designed to be safe for floors, families, and the environment. Check out Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill today!

MORE CLEANING TIPS

Removing Stains from Draperies

Draperies can make a room look beautiful, but they also absorb sunlight, dust, dirt, smoke, and grime. Make sure to vacuum ...

Discover More

Does Oxygen Bleach Remove Creosote Stains?

If you have a fireplace and ever watched those oxygen bleach commercials, then chances are you have asked yourself a fairly ...

Discover More

Easy Sofa Cleaning

Your sofa says a lot about you. It can show your sense of style, your temperament, your favorite colors and sometimes what ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight more than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share