Your home’s attic may be the most neglected space in the house but it needs attention from time to time too. Dusting, cleaning and organizing your attic is not at the top of anyone’s to-do list, but there are tricks to easing this chore.
Set Reasonable Goals
Having concrete goals for cleaning keeps you focused and working more efficiently. Each goal should be no longer than what you can finish in about an hour. When you finish one goal, treat yourself to an iced tea and then move to the next one. Split the work over a few days so that you do not feel overwhelmed or tired.
Stay Cool and Safe
The temperatures in most attics are stifling in summer and freezing in the winter. In summer, work before the sun hits the roof and stay hydrated. Make sure the attic vents and gable louvers are clear and clean for maximum ventilation. After that, deal with any potential electrical or physical hazards. If your attic has open insulation, use a filter mask. Consider moving keepsakes that can be damaged by temperature extremes into the house.
Help Yourself Find Things Later
It is a rule that you will forget where you put everything a month later even though it was fresh in your mind at the time. Chuck the cardboard boxes and buy several large clear storage containers with tight fitting lids. Label the containers on all four sides. This way, the box can be oriented in any position and still reveal its contents.
Sort and Re-Sort
Organizing the attic is the most tedious part of the job. Again, set bite-size goals. Sort everything into two piles: things to keep and things you do not want. Sort the latter pile into items to sell, items to donate and items marked for the landfill. Remove the landfill items right away. The pile of things to keep should start going into the clear containers. Later, sort the sale and donation items into two piles. These go into the old cardboard boxes you replaced.
Maintain a Semi-Yearly Cleaning Schedule
Now that the attic is tidy and organized, plan to visit it again every six months at a minimum. Whenever you store any new items during the year, place them according to your organization system immediately. You will find that maintaining a shipshape attic will be a snap compared to the initial effort you put in.
Article and insights provided by Hannah Whittenly.