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It’s that time of the year when you know that a spring clean is long overdue. Even though it’s something that most of us dread, the beauty about undertaking this task is that it gives you the opportunity to clear the clutter taking up valuable space in your home, especially in areas like the loft which can then be used for something useful like an office or perhaps a games room etc (if the space is already converted).
Nobody enjoys looking through the clutter for lost things, even if you’re an untidy person. Sorting out clutter will pay off as it means you will save plenty of time looking for packed away items. Maybe you’ve lost a bit of weight and want to find those outfits that you can now fit into. Let’s look at a few easy steps that will show you how to clean your loft in little time.
Sort Your Stuff
Sorting the things in your loft, to establish what’s important and what you can get rid of, is probably the most important task before you start anything else. The easiest way to get started is by separating your things separate piles or areas of “what to keep”, “throw away”, “give to charity”, “sell on eBay”.
At this point, I’m usually quite ruthless i.e. if it’s not been used for several years and I don’t see myself using it within the next few months then it has no place in the loft (except my heels).
Continue this process until you’ve separated everything. If your loft area is huge or you have a tonne of things then it’s advisable to dedicate a day on the weekend to do this. If you have a lot of junk then either hire a skip beforehand or plan a few trips in your car to the local rubbish tip (this is the cheaper option but might take slightly longer).
Try and sort as many things whilst in the loft to save you moving things out and back into the loft, but if you’re limited for space then its better to bring out stuff taking up space before sorting through it. A clever way to do this is by starting with taking out as much of the stuff that you intend to get rid of.
Empty Boxes are Useful but…
Now that you’ve sorted your things you might have a surplus supply of empty boxes. Before you throw them away you should consider whether these might come into use at a later time like if you ever intend to move house or store extra things later (yes it happens).
If you might need them then you should flatten them and keep them in a dedicated area of your loft.
If you don’t need them you might want to give them to someone else to use or if the boxes have seen better days i.e. tattered or starting to mould, then you should use them to transport your junk to the tip and leave them there. But don’t get rid of good boxes- I’ve learnt this the hard way.
If you still have boxes from recent purchases, like a shiny new vacuum cleaner, you might want to keep those at least until the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, just in case you need to return it or get it repaired. As always, you should flatten these boxes so they take up less space.
Vacuum and Clean the Loft
Once your stuff is organised you need to clean the area. Use the space that you’ve created to move any items still in the loft. If the loft has no flooring I would suggest that you use a handheld vacuum cleaner and wear a dust mask. Be careful if working in a space with no or little flooring.
If the loft has flooring then it’s easier to work through the loft with most types of portable or full-sized vacuum cleaners depending on the available space.
If your machine has dusting attachments I’advisece that you use those over anything else because it will suck up dust and cobwebs as you go over the beams and ceiling meaning that less dust will go back into the surrounding air.
Once the dust has been cleaned, use a lint-free cloth and soapy warm water to clean any dirty areas or walls. Use a room diffuser or spray to neutralise any musky smells in the air and try to get as much ventilation into the loft as possible.
Check the Lighting
Chances are you’ll probably go into the loft during the day and not really think about the lighting up there. If your loft is lacking any sort of light-bulbs or lighting then it’s recommended to have it fitted (this is fairly cheap to do) or at the very least get some portable lighting. That way you can avoid the inconvenience of looking for stuff in poor lighting or using a torch. Your loft is a lot more welcoming when adequately lit unless you’re batman.
If you already have lights up there then test them to check if any need replacing. Make sure you always have a supply of spare light-bulbs (that can now be stored in your neat loft). Replacing your lights shouldn’t take long whether you have spotlights or regular light-bulbs.
Convert Your Loft
Remember when I mentioned that the loft can be used as an office or gaming room? This is one of the best changes I made to our home. Before converting it, it was an unusable space with a tiny hatch to access it. We had it insulated, opened up and added flooring, lighting, electrics and skylight windows.
Not only did the conversion add value to the property but it flooded the house with natural lighting and created an additional room for an office and a sofa bed for guests staying over.
The storage is cleverly hidden away behind some sliding doors and still big enough to store everything we need.
I enjoy visiting the loft to read or just chill out gazing at the stars at night. If you’re considering converting your loft it’s a worthwhile investment.
I hope this article has shown that your loft can be more than just an area to dump your junk. It can serve a variety of purposes all at once if it’s kept tidy and cleaned regularly. You should aim to have it organised as it will save you time and effort in the long run, like when you need to find the Christmas decorations or Halloween outfits.
You could maybe use a simple labelling system using clear plastic boxes from IKEA to create some order, even if you don’t use the loft space as a liveable space.