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Clean House to Clean Up Financially—How to Clean Storage Areas

A beautiful loft with a bunch of junkA woman in Iowa recently uncovered World War II relics while cleaning her house, according to a story in the Globe Gazette. An appraisal of items uncovered, including a Japanese silk flag and a rice linen tablecloth revealed a total net worth of $1,050-$1,300.

“These (items) mean a lot to me,” said Sharon Hamrick of Mason City, Iowa. “My stepdad was in World War II. I’m hoping these can be passed on from one generation to another.”

Although Hamrick doesn’t intend to sell the objects, it’s entirely possible that unknown treasures are hiding in your garage, attic or extra room. And all you need to do to find to find out if you can clean up is to clean out! Have you been avoiding storage areas in your home because you’re afraid of what lurks high above your head in the attic or deep in the recesses of your crawl space? These creepy, dusty places are easy to ignore because they are so often can full of cobwebs, dirt and grime—unless you include them in your regular cleaning rotation.

So here are a few hints for cleaning your attic, crawl space or garage. If you follow our sure-fire steps, you might even discover hidden treasure in the process.

How to Clean a Storage Space

  1. Dress the part. Don some old jeans and tennis shoes, a work shirt, a hat to keep cobwebs off of your head, and a pair of heavy-duty work gloves.
  2. Get your gear. Grab plenty of empty cardboard boxes, plastic storage bins and garbage bags. Use the storage bins for high-value items you’ll want to save. Use the cardboard boxes for items you plan to give away, and trash will, naturally, go into the trash bags. If possible, bring an empty trash can with you so you will be able to prop up the plastic bags instead of having to open them up every time you want to toss something in.
  3. Do the dirty work. Once everything has been shuffled into the appropriate section, remove giveaway boxes and trash so you can clean the entire area. After carrying away debris, giveaway items and hidden treasures, scrub the space from top to bottom until the air is clean and clear and walkways are adequate. Vacuum. Dust. Sweep and mop. Although you probably won’t have to take time using furniture polish on the unfinished carpentry or mopping the floor until it shines, this step should include eliminating all remaining dust and grime.
  4. Make it a routine. Once you’ve cleaned your storage space from stem to stern, include it in your regular rotation so you won’t ever have to face this intense of a workload again!
  5. Make way. If your attic is packed full so there is barely enough room to turn around, remove some of the bulkiest items (like box fans, pillows and heavy items) so you will have space to move around while you work.
  6. Clear the clutter. The first step is to roughly organize the space. Move like-items together and quickly vacuum and dust the cleared area, not yet pausing to deep clean between the rafters, inside vents or in deep corners. There will be plenty of time to thoroughly clean once the area has been organized. This initial cleaning will keep the dust down so you can move around without succumbing to an allergy or asthma attack. Also to reduce airborne particles, use a damp rag for caked-on dirt and rinse the rag often.
  7. Settle the dust. Once the dust has settled, you can start moving boxes in an organized fashion. If you need help staying organized while completing this task, use labels to designate areas for each category. For instance, holiday decorations should all be placed in one section while miscellaneous clothes are stowed in another.
  8. Dig the details. After roughly organizing the area, systematically go through each area, opening boxes, trunks, bags and whatever else may be stuffed into each section so you can quickly look through them to determine their worth. Dust each box as you come across it. This is the step that so often trips people up, when they get side-tracked looking through photo albums instead of completing the task at hand. Avoid the temptation to take a side-trip down memory lane. After you clean, you will have plenty of time to reminisce.
  9. When in doubt, toss it out. When you run across items that you no longer want such as clothing, pillows, stuffed animals or plastic toys, toss them into an empty box. Since your goal is to thoroughly clean, be ruthless in your assessment. If you haven’t used an item in years and/or it holds little sentimental or financial value, you can afford to part with it. On the other hand, this is the step where you might uncover hidden treasure. So pay attention to anything that could potentially be of value. If it is valuable, does it belong in the attic

If you could use some help cleaning and organizing your home, give My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency a call. We would love to help get realize your housecleaning-related resolutions. The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices.

My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.