Top 5 Considerations When Cleaning an Attic

Nobody likes cleaning up and throwing out excess items that we have lying around the house. Instead, it is more common to chuck the unwanted thing into a nearby closet and shut the door on the mess. After all, out of mind out of sight.  Right? Wrong, just because it is not out in the open doesn’t mean that the issue has been resolved. This article will briefly touch on five key considerations to make when cleaning out an attic to ensure that the coast is really clear.


1) Scale

The first thing that must be considered is the size of the project. In theory, there are two types of cleanup projects; full-clean and semi-clean. A full cleaning involves both removing household junk from the attic as well as scrubbing down the empty room. The more common option is a ‘semi-clean’ which entails either scrubbing around the stuff or reorganizing items and seldom means more than a garbage bag full of junk is removed from the house. Before doing anything else, it is vital to understand the scale of the project. This allows you to know how best to allocate your time and plan for removals.


2) What to Keep

For those of you who are interested in cleaning up some extra junk lying around the attic, the next thing to consider is what items to keep. This can be a challenging or a straightforward task depending on whether or not you’re a minimalist or a hoarder. There is no definitive way to know what to keep and what to toss other than comparing the usage rate for each item. While this would be the most effective solution, it does not factor in sentimental value, i.e., that hand-me-down couch that grandma gave you.  As a rule of thumb, anything that is buried deep in the attic or completely covered in dust should be the first to get tossed. With that being said, make sure to at least keep a few odds and ends for your Christmas and Halloween dress-up parties that you host. If possible, put what you want to keep in piles outside the attic space so that you can proceed with cleaning.


3) Cleaning

The best way to tackle cleaning an attic is by taking everything off the floors. The reason that the floor needs to be empty is so that you can access the bare bones of the room; is there moisture or mold on the ground? Is that mound of ants an infestation or from leftover food not getting thrown out?  Start with a dust rag wiped across the windows sills and any trim work. The dust settles to the floor for the next step. The best way to get a spotless floor is to sweep and then damp mop the floor. Allow the floor to thoroughly dry by opening any windows and running fans to circulate some air. Only once all of that is done should you wipe down the shelves, tables, and furniture in the attic. Now that the place is clean and empty (remember all of the stuff was moved out of the room to do the cleaning), you can assess the layout of the room. The majority of you probably don’t want to alter the current design and just wanted to clean it up a little. However, with the place being empty, it enables you to have the ability to adjust the layout to maximize airflow and access.


4) Purchasing Behavior

While cleaning up can be a tedious and sometimes downright annoying thing to do, it is directly correlated with how and what you purchase over time.  After all, the room doesn’t fill itself. In addition to removing that household junk or cleaning the attic, take some time to consider how you spend your money. Regardless of if you buy too many things or hold onto the stuff for too long, the result can be the same cramped attic. To combat this problem, we recommend that you make a mental note of (or write down) how much stuff is already laying around on the floor and shoved into the closets. 


5) What to Do With Unwanted & Unused Stuff


There are a few options to consider when wanting to haul away trash and unwanted items from the attic cleanup. The first is to order a dumpster and fill it up with the broken couches, nerf guns and any consistently unused items. Dumpsters are great for handling large items, i.e., tables and chairs, and they are convenient and can come at an affordable cost. The next option is to try and offload anything deemed undesirable or outgrown to neighbors or cousins. This allows you to clear up some free space while having the option to visit your memories stored in another person’s home. Lastly, there is always the option to host a yard sale in hopes that you can relieve yourself from the junk and make a buck or two along the way.


Every home is slightly different, and there is no one right way to declutter a room or cleanup an attic. Since each attic cleaning is up to the discretion of the homeowner, it is essential to assess the situation and your desired outcome before diving into it. It does not matter if you only dust a few bugs from under the table or thoroughly decluttered the whole attic; either way, your home is that much cleaner.

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