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Attics exist for pretty much two reasons: ventilation and storage.

And while a lot of people don’t pay much attention to their attics, anyone who’s putting their house on the market needs every room to look its best, and that includes the attic. Follow these tips to keep your attic ready for its close-up.

Clean it. Start by clearing everything out of your attic. Then get busy sweeping, dusting and cleaning any windows if the attic has them. If it smells musty, place an air freshener in the attic.

Go through your stuff. It’s time for the tried and true method of determining what you want to keep, what you want to donate and what you want to throw away. Some of your items that have been hiding in the attic may be pretty old, so look things over and make sure they’re worth keeping or donating. Now isn’t a time to be sentimental, throw out those items you know you’ll never need.

Inspect your paperwork. If there are old bills and other papers in your attic, don’t just throw them away. Figure out which papers are important, and shred the ones you truly don’t need.

Organize your attic. Now that you know what you want to keep, place everything in protective and visually appealing containers. Label them so that you know where everything is. If you’re keeping larger items, such as lamps or chairs, in your attic, make sure they are clean and dusted. Try to avoid keeping your attic completely empty, storing some stuff there sends the message that this is a space future owners can use.

Take care of your photos. Family pictures are commonly kept in attics. They may be in photo albums or stored in shoeboxes. Go through them all and organize them. Most of us find photos precious, and this is an opportunity to organize them in a way that can be saved for generations. Consider investing in new albums or make a scrapbook of them. Another option is to transfer everything to your computer or phone.

Attics aren’t the stars of homes, but that’s no reason not to present them in their best light.

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