How to Clean Out Your Attic

If even the bats are intimidated by the clutter in your attic, it's time to tackle the mess.

You will need

  • A clipboard
  • Labels
  • A marker
  • A vacuum
  • A dust cloth
  • Batteries
  • Old cupboards

Step 1 Review Empty the contents of every box and bag in your attic. Put aside anything you can’t imagine you’ll ever again use, need, or want.

Step 2 Keep a list As you are taking inventory of what’s in the attic, have a clipboard handy so you can list what items you are storing in the attic and where they are located.

Step 3 Know your do’s and don’ts Know the do’s and don’ts of attic storage. Do store dishes, pottery, holiday decorations, clothes, and housewares. Don’t store blankets, stuffed animals, leather goods, fur, or suede, which can be damaged by extreme temperatures.

Step 4 Repack Repack boxes, making sure things are clean before you put them away. Mark each box with a label that lists the contents.

Step 5 Make a clean sweep Now that there’s room to maneuver, vacuum and dust the attic.

Step 6 Regroup When putting things back, keep like things together—such as your carton of Christmas ornaments and the box with the fake tree.

Step 7 Mark your calendar Mark your calendar so you remember to check the attic for leaks and other problems every six months. Doing it on the day of the daylight savings switch is a good way to remember.