You’ve heard of spring cleaning. You’ve probably done some spring cleaning yourself. But a once-a-year purge and clean just isn’t quite enough to keep most homes really shining. So this year, why not treat your home to a little fall season TLC before the cold weather sets in and the holidays sneak up on you? Bring out the buckets, brooms, and sponges – it’s time for some Autumn Cleaning!
1. Clear out the summer stuff
Toys, clothes, sports gear, lawn chairs, etc. can be packed away. It’s a big task, but storing these items over the winter while they’re not needed means they’ll still be in good shape when it comes time to use them again next summer. Use airtight, sturdy containers whenever possible to avoid dust, insects, and mice.
2. Clean your upholstery, rugs, and carpets
Do this early in the fall and preferably on a warm day so that windows can be left open to circulate more air as things dry. Hire a service or rent or buy a machine that can do the job properly. Treat stubborn stains by hand first.
3. Start prepping your heating system
It may still be too early in the year to turn up the heat, but when that first cold morning strikes, you’ll be glad you thought ahead. Filters need to be changed and ducts may need cleaning. Start maintenance on small heating units and schedule a chimney cleaning.
4. Organize the garage
You’ll probably be storing a lot more inside the garage during the winter. Lawn mowers, bicycles, tools, and more do best when kept out of the rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. Make a space for everything and make sure you can quickly and easily reach the things you might still need to use over the winter.
5. Wash your exterior windows
Chances are they’ve been collecting cobwebs and hard water all summer. Take the time to clean them now, while temperatures are still reasonable, so that you don’t have to worry about them while trying to hang the Christmas lights in a few months!
6. Pressure wash your siding and porch
Before you give your windows a good wash, consider pressure washing (or at least spraying down) the exterior of your home to get rid of dirt, cobwebs, and insects.
7. Bring out the warm bedding
The nights are going to get cold in a hurry. Put the flannel sheets on now and fold heavier blankets at the bottom of the bed in case they are needed.
8. Consider switching out your curtains
Trading your lightweight curtains for a heavy set of drapes can help to insulate your home. You might also switch window screens for storm windows while you’re at it.
9. Check outdoor lightbulbs
You probably won’t want to be changing bulbs in freezing temperatures, so do it now! Rid your light fixtures of insects and grime at the same time.
10. Vacuum everything
We’re talking the corners of rooms, windowsills and tracks, baseboards, underneath furniture, inside the couch cushions, air vents, under the refrigerator, and more. Summer (and its bug population) can be tough on these areas of the home. And if you have pets – the odds are you’ll be cleaning up quite a bit of hair that was being shed during the warm months.
11. Clean out your pantry
The foods you enjoyed in the spring and summer will soon give way to soups and holiday goodies. Use up your summer staples and take inventory of your other basics so you have a better idea of what you’ll need to add to your stock.
12. Do a home safety check
Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, check fire extinguishers, look for mold, and do some maintenance on your plumbing. Some areas of the home may need to be better insulated to keep pipes from freezing. Make sure there are no plumbing leaks, especially outside.
13. Take care of outdoor maintenance
Which outside chores will be more challenging in cold weather? Cleaning garbage cans, clearing rain gutters, and treating grills and outdoor furniture are all things that can be a bit more pleasant if done while the weather is still mild.
14. One last purge
Even if you had the chance to clear out some clutter and hold a yard sale earlier in the year, do one last clean sweep of your home as you put away summer clothing and sort linens. Take one more load to your local donation center and store or toss whatever else you won’t need for the next few months.
15. Everything else
Clean your indoor light fixtures, flip mattresses, reorganize closets after filling them with cold-weather clothing, clean blinds, wash walls, wipe down door knobs and switchplates, and dust chandeliers and ceiling fans. These are great things to do quarterly and the start of fall is a serves as a good reminder that it’s time to take care of them again!
If you need a few more cleaning tips to get started, try these Cleaning Tips from Organization Pros.
Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.
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