How to Clean Your Attic
March 1, 2018
This week’s post is by guest blogger, Vicky Reddish. Vicky works as the Marketing Coordinator for Woodtex.com. As the Marketing Coordinator, she executes marketing campaigns and strategies, primarily in the digital space. She loves creating and curating content and finding fun ways to engage customers on social media – and to do it as a “job” – it just doesn’t get any better. She’s also an artist and loves taking photos. Vicky lives in the heart of Nashville with her husband, Michael.
Reclaim Your Attic to Refresh Your Entire House
Having a spacious and accessible attic in your home is truly a double-edged sword. It is highly useful and incredibly valuable but can also lead to issues in your home. The main issue with attic space is keeping it clean and organized. What good is this space if the belongings contained within cannot be accessed and, even worse, no one wants to set foot up there?
The first step in reclaiming your attic is cleaning it out. Everything up there must be removed, at least temporarily, to do a deep, full clean. This is also an excellent chance to relocate items that had previously found a home in the attic. Many of these items were likely forgotten about and never utilized. Emptying out the attic offers time to reconsider other organizational options that better serve your objectives.
As you remove items and bring them down to a temporary home out of the way, clean the items themselves. This will guarantee that anything put back upstairs will enter a clean space clean itself. Bring boxes down, dusting the tops. Open them up and wipe off things within. Dig through bags to check for moths or other infestations. Throw out items that are ruined. Loose items should be wiped or vacuumed depending on the material.
After items are removed and the attic is clear, it is time to clean the attic itself. This involves dusting and wiping down raised spaces. This should be done before cleaning the floor, as messes can fall down onto the floor from above as dirty spaces are wiped clean. Next, vacuum up all floor areas. You may also need to wipe down and scrub areas of the floor depending on what material it is made of and/or what type of belongings had been kept there.
A nice, thorough clean should be followed by an inspection of the attic area. Make sure there is no mold building up. This could happen due to improper insulation or, again, because of what type of items were kept up there. Moist or wet things would obviously breed mold quicker and easier than something like old cups and plates.
Inspect for mold, growths, and dangers that were previously hidden by the materials kept in the attic. Also, closely examine the insulation itself. Check for holes, inconsistencies, and any other areas of concern. Issues with insulation can cause a number of problems for a home. It will mean leakage of heat and air conditioning in winter and summer respectively, which means higher costs for those services. It could also lead to attic items being dangerously stored. Then, mold could develop, or possibly even worse, belongings or people could even fall through the attic by assuming areas of the floor were contained when they were actually not.
After cleaning and properly checking the attic, it is time to move back in, so to speak. If you have any consternation about either the cleaning or, more likely, the checking for issues, hire a professional. It is a small cost that could help save big money down the line.
When moving back in, the first consideration must be whether everything that had been in the attic actually should go back there. This is the optimum time for new organization. All our attic items are already cleaned, so that isn’t an issue. But some things are better served being kept elsewhere.
Heavy items should not go in the attic. Besides being hard to get up there in the first place, you are highly unlikely to take them down spur of the moment. Instead, use a shed or outside storage, or spacious closet. This keeps those items out of the way of day-to-day movements while also keeping them at hand’s reach if their need does arise. There is nothing worse than realizing a bulky, heavy machine needs to be taken down from the attic.
Once cumbersome items are removed from attic consideration, do the same with useful items. Oftentimes, things are forgotten about in the attic, even if they would be used rather regularly. People even occasionally buy new copies of things that reside in the attic since their existence has been completely glossed over.
Removing things from permanent attic storage could mean other things have to take their place. Homes don’t have endless closet space on the ground floor. If they did, attics wouldn’t need to be accessible in the first place. Consider what would be used most often. Or even, think about mixing things up. For example, bring down that giant punch bowl and use it for gatherings. Instead, put the bread maker up there.
Attics are valuable spaces for belongings that need to be kept but don’t need to be accessed. Treat them as such. Recycling items previous banished to the attic will make activities feel fresh and new. Likewise, putting rarely used items up and away will make it seem like new storage space on the ground floor has been discovered for the first time. It is a satisfying feeling indeed. Optimizing the attic refreshes each subsequent part of the house.
This isn’t a small job saved for a short weekday afternoon. Take the time required to really do a good job cleaning and organizing attic space. The time and energy used will be worth it in the long run.