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Cleaning Out the Attic and Why You Should
Published on Thursday, 20 September 2012

Cleaning out your attic, garage or basement can be a huge chore. Even if you don't consider yourself a hoarder, these areas of the house usually get very cluttered very fast. Because they are considered storage space and because you don't have to be in them very often to witness the mess, it's tempting to just throw things in there, never giving it a second thought. At some point, however, the realization comes that you're running either out of space, or out of patience to rummage through all the clutter and find the items you need. It's time to clean the attic. To make the process easier and more organized, here are some steps and ideas on how to do it.

1.    First of all, don't push yourself. Cleaning out the attic or garage will probable take something like a week or even more. Because it's such a big space and needs a complete reorganization, you will definitely need more than a day to take care of the entire thing. It's not a good idea to put in more than 2 or 3 hours of work each day, as usually the place will be cluttered, there will be little light and, as attics and the like are not usually climate controlled - it will be either too hot or too cold.

2.    Start the cleaning process by taking everything out of the attic, garage or basement. Every little thing needs to be removed, so you know what you're dealing with and you can plan out the special organization. It's best to sort out the clutter, while you're removing it, so that you can save yourself time and a few trips. A good idea for categories is: to keep - this should include only items that you've used in the last month or ones with great sentimental; to donate or resell - these should be items which you don't use, but that are in good conditions; to recycle - this includes all of the items, which aren't useable anymore. Anything that you want to resell can be displayed in a yard sale or in a car boot sail. Alternatively, you could do your good deed for the day and donate them to a charity shop.

3.    When everything is out of the storage space, comes the cleaning. You should be very thorough with this as these kinds of spaces tend to acquire a lot of grime. A simple broom or vacuum cleaning won't do, although that should certainly be the first step. Make sure to clean out any dust and cobwebs and clean the windows, if there are any. Places like the attic or the garage are often quite damp, so you may have to deal with patches of mould. These can usually be taken care of with a simple mould cleaner,  unless the problem is more serious. In case it is, you will have to find the source of the  moisture and insulate the room against it. If there are any windows, they should be left open for at least a couple of days to let the space air out. If not, try keeping the door open or using a little bit of air freshener.

4.    Now that your space is ready, it is time to put back the items you've decided to keep. These should be arranged carefully, according to their size, weight and frequency with which you use them. Heavier items should go at the bottom. Similarly, try to put the things you use most frequently near the front, where they would be easier to reach and reserve the backs of shelves and corners for things that you don't use that frequently.

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