An Efficient Guide on How to Clean and Organize Your Attic
When we were children, we would oftentimes have nightmares about the monster under the bed, or a tornado ushering us to the wicked witch. As adults, our unpleasant dreams are about the homeowner’s personal boogieman—the attic. It becomes the catchall for all of our clutter, the things that we deem too important to throw away, but that we don’t utilize regularly. As time passes, we don’t want to encounter spiders under boxes or the clouds of dust that rise from hidden corners. But the time will come, eventually, when we need to buckle down and face our fears—we have to clean the attic.
So where do we start? Do we clean first, or go through our stuff? The most efficient way to get the job done is to start with a clean slate and work from there. To help, we made a guide on how to clean and organize your attic. It may take some time, but it will save you a lot of energy in the future—keep reading to learn more.
Empty Your Attic
As we’ve said, it’s best if you start with a blank slate. Turn on some music and work on bringing everything out of your attic. If you have any items that are heavy or bulky, make sure to get some help, even if it’s only to have someone spot you. Safety should be your first priority, so you’ll want to exercise caution.
As you carry stuff down, be proactive and clean items as needed. Dust any boxes and wash and vacuum any carpets or items made of soft materials. It’s important that nothing is still dirty when you return it to the attic, and this is a good time to give these items a brief once over.
Go Through Everything
Chances are, there are several items in your attic that you don’t need. We understand the need to keep sentimental objects, as well as store away seasonal items, but there’s a chance that you’ve been holding on to some items just in case. It’s time to decide what you actually need—what would you be willing to take with you if you move? What have you not touched in years?
If getting rid of things is difficult for you, start by making three piles. Have one for things you’re sure you want to keep, one for items you’re unsure about, and another with things that you’re sure you can get rid of. Go back to the second pile and revaluate how you feel about those items. If you have to break these items into two more piles and repeat, that’s fine—keep going until you’re confident with your decisions. You should also consider if you’ll ever want to bring more things into the attic—if you do, you’ll have to allow space for it. Continuously remind yourself that your goal is to only store the things that you really need.
When you’re done going through everything, gather up what you’re letting go of and take what you can to a local donation center. This way someone else will be able to use the items that no longer benefit you.
Clean the Attic
You’ll want to clean everything above the ground first— if you start with the floor, you’re only going to spread the dust, creating more work for yourself in the long run. Dust and sweep the entire area first, and then go in with any cleaning agents as needed. Be sure that you’re protecting yourself while you clean. Keep the area well-ventilated and wear a mask and gloves. Exposure to any mold or animal droppings is dangerous, so it’s best to be safe until you’ve acquainted yourself with everything in the area.
Make sure that you dry the area completely after using any type of cleaning liquids. Humidity loves to cultivate in attics, creating an opportunity for mold to grow. To prevent this, you want the area to be totally dry.
Make Sure the Area is Safe
Anyone navigating the attic should be wary of any potential hazards. Be sure that the structure is secure and that no beams or anything of the like is protruding. You may also want to have an inspector come and test the area for mold. If they find some, have the issue remediated before beginning the process of moving things back into the attic.
While you’re looking over structure and safety, also make a point to look at the insulation. If it has become damaged in any way, it may need replacement or reinforcement. Proper insulation will help conserve more energy and will keep the area at a controlled temperature.
Add in Shelves
If you don’t have any already, install or place shelves in the attic for ultimate organization. Everything you’re putting back in the attic should be in clear bins with labels that will face outwards. The goal is to be able to locate the items you need as easily as possible and create a sense of order. Establish and easy-to-navigate system for when you need to put things away.
If you want to be even more organized, create an inventory list. Create a detailed account of its contents and attach it to each shelf. Refer to these before you pull any bins out. Further, when you’re organizing things, be sure that you’re leaving enough room to comfortably move around.
Maintain the Area
Once you’ve finished, the goal is to keep the attic organized. The best way to do this is to keep up with regular maintenance. Every time you remove something from the attic, be sure to put it back in its proper place. At least every three months, go up and go over things again. This doesn’t need to be an intensive activity, just make sure that everything is as it should be. Dust things down and look to make sure that there are no rodents or any unnecessary moisture.
We’re Here to Help
You want a trusted professional to help you with the mold inspection and remediation that we mentioned above. When you get to this step, we’ll be here waiting to help. For the best attic mold removal in Traverse City, call Attic Renew today.