How to Attack your Attic, Clear It, Clean It and Win!

by Sarah Delaney on April 25, 2022


If you’ve been putting off the big Attic clear out throughout the pandemic, it’s time to stop procrastinating. Here are some practical ways to upgrade your attic.

Rising fuel bills, inflation and the advent of new energy-saving grant schemes in Ireland have made this job one of the best things you could be doing for your comfort and your wallet. Your attic tidy up may even reveal opportunities for strengthening insulation, patching up leaks or opening up more storage and even living space.

Ready to make a start? Let’s break it down… 


Why Should You Tidy Up Your Attic?

Your attic is a part of the house that tends to take on a storage role and is rarely visited unless it is a well-functioning and busy attic conversion that happens to work as a study or studio bedroom. As a result, it may be neglected.


Protect your Attic Contents

Dust, dirt mould, pests, damp or worse may be left to accumulate in your absence under lock and key. Over time this could end up affecting the rest of your home or lead to the damage of your  possessions in storage. 


Protect your Family and Home

On a health and safety note, this makes sense. There might even be more dangerous issues. For example, wiring that needs to be checked, chased or a roof leak that should be addressed before it gets worse.

Dust emanating from your attic could end up in your home’s air ducts.  This could be distributing mould spores, and dust mites throughout your home. Rodents and pests may leave droppings and even chew through your possessions, structural supports and wiring.

Clearing out your attic will help you spot more serious infestations, such as termites or moths, that might also need a proper exterminator before it results in damage to your house contents. 

Make Way for More Storage

Clearing out items a la Marie Kondo for recycling or the charity shop  would also make way for more necessary storage space.  

Make Way for Bigger Projects

You should consider clearing out your attic and renovating it, if you find your family in need of more living space, like an extra guest bedroom or a work-from-home office. Clearing out your attic could be the first step in assessing the potential for its makeover.

Make way for Better Energy Efficiency in your Home

In the same way, we wear a hat to keep the heat in, your attic could be a source of heat loss. Cleaning out your attic is also a necessary first step to retrofitting insulation should you receive the SEAI Grant.

Check out our related blog: Ways to Win with Home Insulation and The Retrofit Scheme.

This will help you assess any structural repairs that may be necessary. Look for any roof leaks, cracks or gaps that you can clean and seal off immediately.


Simple Steps for Clearing out your Attic


Step 1. Create a Pathway Through the Attic

If your attic is filled to the brink then you need to take a few things out immediately to the next level to create a working pathway to the end of the room so you can start sorting


Step 2. Sort Through Your Attic Contents

There is a standard process worth following at this stage which is to efficiently sort your possessions in storage into the following groups:

  • Items in temporary storage for later use
  • Items of sentimental and historical value as mementos for handing down.
  • Items in need of no use or value that can be resold, or donated to a shelter or charity shop.
  • Items that are of no use, value or are damaged and cannot be repaired - to be disposed of appropriately

It would be wise to remove items you don’t wish to keep immediately into the yard or garage so you will not be tempted to keep them.


Step 3. Inspect for Structural Repairs, Replacements or Infestations

Do look for signs of obvious infestations, air leaks, or structural damage. If you see something that requires a professional, hire one to help you investigate further.

If you have existing insulation in place then check if your insulation has fallen below the floor joists and is evenly distributed. You may need to add more to supplement and fill gaps.

If you also discover the signs of rodents or rodent droppings, it is time to call in a professional cleaning service and exterminator too.


Step 4. Look for Moisture and Mould

Check for signs of dampness, mould, or mildew that will necessitate a full replacement of those materials. This is especially urgent if you have family members suffering from chronic respiratory disease or asthma and allergies.

If there is mould and mildew creeping into your flooring and joints or surfaces check out our blog on how to deal with this issue: Mould and Mildew Removal and Prevention Tips for your Home

If the problem is rampant - you may want to look for sources of damp and eradicate this. Bring in a dehumidifier and call in the professionals to do a deep clean.


Step 5. Fill Gaps and Repair Leaks in your Attic

Now assuming there are not major structural repairs, you can proceed to attack small leaks, cracks and gaps. You can invest in some sealants and polyfiller. This will be a simple yet efficient way to prevent heat loss and save on the energy bills.


Step 6. Dust and Vacuum Your Attic

Now that all the excess items are removed, you have more room to attack the corners and surfaces. You may even want to remove everything temporarily onto the next floor so that you can attack every single surface in your attic and inspect it.

Remove all the excess dust and cobwebs and start hoovering all the surfaces ideally with a fine extended nozzle where needs be. You might even want to go over it with a damp cloth for a final deep clean.

Don’t forget to clean any attic windows and check for leaks here too.


Step 7. Replace Your Belongings

Before returning your belongings, consider investing in efficient and hardy water resistant storage boxes for restoring the archived material.  

Before returning items to storage you may even want to measure up for shelving and cabinetry to help you make this space a more functional one.


Checklist For Your Attic Upgrade

We suggest you make this project a part of your annual spring cleaning and therefore do it at least once a year if not bi-annually when transitioning from winter to spring and vice versa.

Find relevant materials for supporting your attic cleanout and quick fixes by scanning our online catalogue.

Shopping list

Have you got some good advice when it comes to cleaning out your attic - tell us about your projects on Facebook and Instagram!