The attic is one of those places in your house that you probably don’t think of often. Maybe every now and then, you have something that you don’t want to get rid of, but you have no real room for it anywhere. Items like that tend to end up in your attic. Attics can be a source of stress for many people, as the thought of cleaning the ever-increasing mess begins to feel insurmountable. At GreenDrop, we get a lot of donations from people’s attics, so we know how difficult the process can be. That’s why we wanted to give you a few tips for how to clean out your attic in a way that is safe and effective.
Remove as Much as Possible
Ideally, before you really begin to clean your attic, you’re going to want to remove everything if you can. All the stuff that takes up space needs to move out of the way so that you can inspect your attic more closely. One important thing to remember as you do this is to be exceedingly careful as you take your things down multiple flights of stairs. Injuries are all too possible when you’re carrying a heavy load down staircases, so make sure nothing is in your path before you begin and take it very slowly. Once you’ve removed everything, you can take a closer look at your surroundings, but this isn’t where safety measures should end.
Be Overly Cautious While Cleaning
As we said, there is a certain danger in being up as high as you will be while you’re cleaning. Another possible hazard to be aware of will depend on how long you have gone without cleaning your attic. Even just a couple of months of neglect can cause a large amount of dust to settle on everything. This dust can fly up into the air while you’re working, leading to some unpleasant breathing issues. If there is a lot of dust, consider wearing a dust mask to protect yourself.
Attics also tend to be rather dark. While this can seem like no big deal, it can quickly become an issue if you trip on something you didn’t see in your path. Try to keep all walkways well-lit so as not to hurt yourself. Be very careful in lifting things that you are unfamiliar with, as they could have broken pieces or parts sticking out of them as well.
Clean Top To Bottom
Once you’ve moved everything out of the way and have taken every possible precaution, you can finally begin to really clean your attic. Dust is obviously going to be one of your biggest concerns, so make sure you start in the higher areas so that you can sweep or vacuum whatever falls onto the floor. You’ll always want a vacuum on hand —not just for dust but for dead insects, dust mites, and other allergens as well. This is one of the reasons we suggest moving everything out of the attic first, as this will significantly speed up the cleaning process.
Inspect the Attic for Damages
If it’s been a while since you were last up in your attic, you’ll want to take this opportunity to get a feel for the state of it. One thing to focus on is your insulation. Take a good look at your home’s insulation to check for a few things:
- Has the insulation fallen at all?
- Are there any shallow areas?
- Are there any gaps in the insulation?
- Does any part of it look damp or wet?
- Is there mold growing anywhere?
Mold is a concern for your attic, not just for the insulation. This is, again, why it’s useful to have a completely empty attic so that you can see every inch and inspect it closely for mold or mildew. Mold is a serious issue that you will probably need a professional to take care of to make sure your house is safe.
Use the Opportunity To Prevent Further Problems
Now that you’ve cleaned out everything and looked for trouble spots, you can begin to get your attic back into working shape by giving it a few preventative updates. If you’re worried about pests or vermin, now is the perfect opportunity to deal with those issues. If you notice that your insulation is uneven or falling, replace it before replacing all your items. Your HVAC unit will be able to run much more efficiently if you take care of insulation problems early on.
Another possible issue is cracks or gaps in the woodwork. You’ll want to seal up these areas as soon as possible. They can cause drafts that will make your heating and cooling bill skyrocket if you’re not careful. The more you can prevent now, when your attic is empty, the fewer headaches you’ll need to deal with later.
Determine What Needs To Go
If you have trouble determining whether something from your attic is worth keeping, try to remember that it was in your attic for a reason. You couldn’t decide then, but you need to decide before you put everything back where it was and have to start the whole process over again in a few months. Remember, you don’t need to throw everything into the garbage. You can schedule a donation pickup with GreenDrop to help you get rid of those items you no longer want. As a bonus, your old attic filler will go on to help someone in need instead of collecting more dust.
Introduce a New Organization System
When you still have things that do need to go back in the attic, you should come up with an organizational system that feels right for you. Put the items that you need more frequently near the entrance to the attic to make it easier to grab them when you need them. Maybe consider having a clear pathway through the space instead of just putting things wherever they fit. Whatever you come up with, it will be better than a haphazard approach that just leaves items lying everywhere.
We hope you can use a few of these tips for cleaning out your attic so that it becomes less of a stressor overall. GreenDrop is here to help make the process much easier. We’ll gladly take items that you no longer need and put them to good use for one of our partner charities. Give us a call after you have cleaned out that attic.