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Attic Attack: How to Tackle a
Messy Attic that Hasn't
Been Touched in Years

home equity articles and tips


Many homeowners haven’t been in their attic for years, or perhaps they quickly toss items up there without looking so that they don’t have to see how dusty or cluttered it is. If you are dreading cleaning out the attic, know this: the longer you wait the more dusty and creepy the place is going to get and you won’t be able to find something when you really need it. By creating a smart organization system today, you will set yourself up for clean and clear attic bliss in future years. Read on for some ideas of how you can achieve a perfectly prim and proper attic that you can be proud of (not afraid of.)

Safety First

Plan to attack your attic clutter during the most mild temperatures of the year and day. If you begin going through the attic on a hot and steamy afternoon, you may find yourself toiling in unsafe and sweltering conditions. No matter how badly you want to begin the attic cleaning project, your well-being comes first. Also, when you first enter the attic, if you notice signs of animal droppings or scratches, it is best to remove the wild critters instead of sorting through attic items along with them. You may need to contact an exterminator to remove wild creatures, and then also assess any damage that they may have caused while residing in the attic.

Make It Manageable

The attic clutter did not all accumulate there in one swoop. It has most likely been building up for many years. Do not defeat yourself by thinking that you will do it all in one day. Break the task up into a manageable schedule. Mark it on the calendar so that you can't procrastinate. When you get the attic under control, set up a periodic maintenance schedule so that it never again reaches the clutter and mess proportions that it did when your project began.

The Three Pile Approach

Make a keep, undecided, and give away pile. At the end of each cleaning time, sort anything from the undecided pile into either the keep or the give-away piles. Also immediately discard any items that are damaged beyond repair, or stained. Sorting through attic items may even give you inspiration to be more intentional about what you hold onto or even bring into the regular living space of your home.

Use A Durable Organization System

Do not store belongings in cardboard boxes or simply in piles on your attic floor. If you are making the effort to hold on to certain items, then at least give them the respect of storing them in durable labeled containers. As you place items in bins or containers, group like items together, and place most often used items closest to your attic entrance. Also consider attic temperature extremes and move anything out of the attic that you plan to keep but don't want to be damaged by temperature elements. This may include items such as photographs, instruments, and compact discs.

We tend to avoid the attic since it can be not only creepy but dirty, dusty, messy, and tough to get around. All it takes is one good cleaning and day of organizing to get the attic in shape. Then, every time you use it after that, there will be a place for everything so you can easily find and store items that belong in the attic. So create a plan of attack, and get ready to take back the attic!

AUTHOR BIO: This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write about business, finance, women’s interests, and the home niches. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Dixie got her advice for this article from the professionals of Reitzel Insulation, who specialize in insulation in Toronto. They suggest that you check your attic insulation every few months to see if it has been worn down and needs to be replaced in order to save money on energy bills.