OK guys, we just know that if your attic needs cleaning and clearing, it’s not something that’s up there on your list of exciting ways to spend a weekend.
And you likely keep putting it off, and putting it off, finding any excuse to do, well, just about anything else! Trust us, we can relate to that too. But like anything we tend to procrastinate about, once you’ve actually done it, you feel pretty good and realise it really wasn’t so bad.
Time to apply a little Mary Poppins attitude to cleaning and make it fun.
So, you’ve thought about it, mentally planned for it, bought all the necessary equipment, and you’re fresh out of excuses. Today is the day to venture into the abyss. Now, keep your eye on the prize and look forward to putting this task firmly into the past tense.
Of course, it need not be limited to your attic, apply the same strategy to your basement, garage, or storage unit.
Whatever the target of your clean-up, here’s our top 10 tips for breezing through it with ease…
1. First get up there for an assessment of the situation and make a plan. Prepare yourself to spend at least a full day, or even a full weekend up there to crack it. Work out how much time it is realistically going to take, and how many people you will need to help out.
2. Which brings us to our second point. This is not a one-person job, so make it an attic party. Enlist your whole family – even friends, if they are open to it – you might agree to return the favour. Set up a food and drink station, get some motivating tunes lined up on Spotify, organise some rewards for the kids to keep them engaged. And you can plan a fun event in the evening to make it even more festive – a barbie, or pizzas and a few drinks as a reward.
3. Prepare yourself for a lot of dust, and dress accordingly. You will need gloves and a good mask to protect yourself from dust, mould, and goodness knows what else. If you have windows you can open up there, that helps.
4. Carve up the task. If you don’t break it down into manageable chunks, you are going to get demoralised and overwhelmed. Try mentally dividing the space into quarters and work on one quarter at a time, so maybe you finish one half on Saturday and the other half on Sunday.
5. Assign tasks to your crew. It’s a good idea to get a chain going and get all the contents of your first quarter outside – or half, if you think that’s achievable. (Make a mental note, to choose a dry weekend). If you are going to be wading through dusty boxes and containers, it’s going to be much more pleasant outside.
6. If you think you have a lot of ‘stuff’ to get rid of, maybe consider hiring a skip, then you can quickly ditch the bulk of the items you don’t need. Remember to be ruthless – apply some rules up front, such as:
> Do I love this item?
> Does it make me happy?
> Is it useful?
> Have I used it in the last 2 years?
> Did I even remember I had it?
7. Invest in some crates that you can label up to make things easier to find in the future. Then place the items you want to keep in logical groups to determine how many crates you need for each. Pack them away, cleaning as you go, and add some silicone moisture absorbers into each crate to stop that musty smell. Set some boxes aside for anything you don’t want to keep but is too good to throw away, so you can make a visit to the charity shop.
8. While part of your team is in the garden sorting through your treasures, the others can get busy vacuuming, mopping and cleaning. You might need to borrow a couple of vacuums to get thought the dusty part quickly.
9. And while the space is both empty and clean, you may want to consider getting some lighting installed (if you haven’t already), to make the re-organisation of your freshly cleaned and sorted stash easier, along with any repairs that are needed. You’ll need to plan this in advance, of course to avoid any hold ups in your schedule.
10. Once everything is back in the attic, neatly organised and labelled, it’s a great time to set some rules to prevent it becoming a dumping ground again. Maybe draw up a plan and designate areas to your groups of items, so everyone knows where everything goes. You might also want to leave some empty crates as a kind of ‘holding area’ for those quicky tidy-up times, and then get up there once a month to distribute these items and pack them away in their designated zones.
And since you’ve spent the whole weekend running in and out of your attic, just how easy did you find that? If you’ve been struggling up and down step ladders, it may be time to have retractable stairs installed so you don’t put off going up there. Anything that makes access easier is going to help you keep on top of things as part of a routine.
Now it’s time to celebrate a job well done and revel in your accomplishment.
Now doesn’t that feel good?