It is possible to clean your chimney yourself, assuming you have the right tools and access to your roof. Though a messy job and not too pleasant, cleaning your chimney regularly will prevent a chimney fire. Fireplace stores and major home improvement chains usually carry the more usual supplies needed for successful cleaning.
Cover all furniture near the fireplace and the floor near the hearth to protect it from the soot loosened during cleaning.
Hang this over the fireplace opening before attempting to clean your chimney; this will help catch debris, soot and ash, as well as stop it from drifting into the room.
Climbing onto the roof and reaching the chimney top is vital, as the chimney brush must be pushed down the chimney from the top and pulled back up multiple times.
The chimney brush must be wide enough for your chimney. Also, if a rope is not connected to the brush, you may have to connect one yourself to help pull the brush up as you clean.
Use this to suck up soot and ash around the fireplace after taking down the damp blanket when the major cleaning from the chimney top is completed and again after all other supplies have been put away.
This is useful to scrub the walls of the chimney from the fireplace opening as you lie on your back.