8 Tips for Cleaning a Messy Attic


September 27, 2018 - Brian Reynolds

Do you want to prevent pests from setting up shop in your messy attic? The most effective way to do it is by cleaning out your attic to keep it free from clutter. When you take this step, you’ll give pests fewer places to hide and stop them from becoming a big problem within your home. The issue, of course, is that it can be hard to clear out a messy attic. The typical American attic contains everything from old furniture that doesn’t get used anymore and holiday decorations to boxes of baseball cards and family photographs. But if you’re willing to put in some work, you can clean your messy attic up in no time and eliminate the threat of pests. Here are 8 tips to help you do it.

picture of a messy attic

Put on a Face Mask Before Climbing Up in Your Attic

When you’re working in a messy attic space, there are bound to be airborne allergens and contaminants floating around all over the place. There could even be mold spores that have worked their way into your attic. It’s important for you to wear a face mask at all times in your attic to avoid breathing in anything that could potentially harm you. Once you’ve cleaned your attic, you can go into it without wearing a mask all the time. But assuming it’s been a while since you’ve been up there, it’s best to wear a mask when you’re cleaning it to keep yourself protected.

Take Everything Located in Your Attic and Move It Downstairs

Outside of putting on a mask, your first order of business when cleaning a messy attic should be to take everything in your attic and move it downstairs. From furniture to boxes, you should work to get everything out of your attic so that you organize it better later. This will give you an opportunity to do a more thorough cleaning job once you’ve cleared out the space. In the event that you have heavy furniture that can’t be moved downstairs in your attic, try moving it all to one corner. This will give you the room you’ll need to operate when cleaning your attic out.

Purge Items from Your Attic That You Don’t Need Anymore

Once you have everything from your attic downstairs, take some time to go through your things to see what you can throw out or donate. Chances are, you have more than a few things in your attic that are simply taking up space. Be careful when you begin rifling through boxes that have been in your attic for a long time. There is a chance there could be pests like mice and rats living in them. Look on the outside of the boxes for signs of pests. It might be hard to part ways with some of your personal belongings. But if you have things in your attic that you’re never going to use again, try your best to get rid of them. It’ll benefit your attic and your home as a whole in the end.

Dust, Sweep and Vacuum Your Attic Thoroughly

While you’re in the process of purging items from your messy attic, you should also take time to clean dust, dirt, and other debris out of your attic space. Start by dusting the wooden beams, walls, windows, and more in your attic space. Consider investing in a heavy-duty duster that has an extension arm so that you can get to hard-to-reach areas. Then, sweep the floors in your attic so that they don’t have any dust or dirt on them. Use slow sweeping strokes to avoid sending dust into the air. Finally, vacuum your attic from top to bottom to leave it looking spotless. You should be able to get rid of lots of dust, allergens, dander, and more from your messy attic with your vacuum cleaner.

Inspect Your Attic for Signs of Pests

As you’re cleaning your attic space out, look for any evidence that might suggest a pest problem.

We already mentioned checking boxes for signs of pest infestations. But you can also look for:

  • Droppings
  • Gnawed electrical wires
  • Nests located in insulation

If you have a bad pest problem, it probably won’t be too difficult to tell. Keep your eyes peeled while you’re cleaning and investigate anything that looks suspicious.

Check Your Insulation to See If You Need to Add to It

Your attic should have a layer of insulation between the attic floor and the upper level of your home. That insulation needs to be in good shape in order to keep your home well insulated. Since you’re going to be in the attic anyway, inspect the insulation to see if you need to add to it or replace it altogether. Old insulation can be very messy, so replacing it could help to make the spacer cleaner.

Bring Items Back Into Your Attic and Organize Them

At this point, your attic should be completely clean. You can begin to bring the items that you keep in your attic back into the space. Don’t put them into your attic in any old way, though. Instead, find a way to organize them so that you can find things easily. You might even want to consider investing in some heavy-duty plastic bins to keep your items rather than relying on cardboard boxes. This will protect your items in case you ever have a pest problem.

Visit Your Attic Every Few Months to See If It Needs to Be Cleaned Again

The last thing you want to do is clean your attic out and then ignore it for another 10 years. Cleaning your attic should be a part of your normal routine. Go up into your attic once every few months to see what needs to be tidied up. This will give you an opportunity to inspect the attic for pests while preventing it from getting messy again.

Clean Your Messy Attic to Keep Pests Away

If you have a messy attic on your hands right now, it could be serving as an invitation for pests. By cleaning your attic, you’ll be able to identify a pest problem before it gets out of control. You’ll also be able to prevent pests from accessing your attic and staying there in the future. Check out our blog for more tips on keeping your attic space clean.

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