Fall Cleaning Time!
I also have a new piece of artwork that is perfect for adding a little seasonal delight to your wall or office. (and yes, it totally did inspire this post.)
Fall cleaning isn't as talked about as spring cleaning, but it can be just as important. In fact, it's my favorite time to go on a huge cleaning binge. Here's why:
- It gets all the deep cleaning out of the way before the holidays.
- It's a great time to look for needed repairs before cold weather arrives.
- You can catch the last of the sunbeams and fresh air and hold them prisoner until spring.
Okay...that last part is exaggerated a bit. They rarely last longer than a week or so in captivity. But it feels so nice to open up the windows and air out a home that's been cooled by air conditioning for months.
My home also gets dirtier over the summer than it does over the winter. That is partly because we live in the country, on a highway with lots of truck traffic. And partly because all that summery outside playtime and gardening means lots of stuff getting tracked inside.
I definitely don't want to wait to deal with that while I'm making holiday decorations or fretting over gift lists, you know?
So here is the list I use every year to make sure all the nooks and crannies get cleaned.
Let's get clean!
Fall Cleaning Tasks for Every Room
- Sweep or vacuum ceilings (yuck, cobwebs!)
- Clean light fixtures, globes, shades, fan blades
- Change out burnt bulbs
- Shake out rugs and clean as per manufacturer's recommendations
- Clean curtains or blinds
- Clean windows
- Wash walls, doorfacings, window sills
- Dust baseboards
- Sweep, vaccuum or mop floors
- Tidy entryway tables, hall trees, coat racks, etc.
- Vacuum stairs
- Spot clean stair carpeting
- Wash, sanitize and polish hand rails
- Change out displays for seasonal items
Living Room/Den Cleaning
- Vacuum couches and chairs (deep down in those mysterious crevices too!)
- Clean glass items (mirrors, glass cabinet doors, shelves, photo frame glass, television screen, etc.)
- Dust or wash what-nots
- Dust or wash wall art accordingly
- Launder, shake or beat throw pillows and blankets
- Clean upholstery if necessary
- Empty bookshelves, and dust both shelves and books
- Change out magazines and books on display for seasonal or updated versions.
- Sanitize frequently touched items (remote controls, game controllers, light switches and pulls, knobs, coasters, etc.)
- Clean electronics thoroughly and untangle the cables
- Wipe DVDs, CDs, and game disks to remove smudges
- Tidy all the cabinets and shelves as you return items
- Wash or air out pet beds
- Dust and polish wooden furniture
- Check furnishings for any needed repairs or maintenance (oil hinges, tighten bolts, etc.)
- Treat leather furniture according to care instructions
- Clean dishes that have been stored in display cabinets (such as holiday dishes, and seldom used serving dishes)
- Dust and or clean wooden furnishings
- Clean table thoroughly, including the underside
- Clean bottoms of chairs
- Launder chair cushions or pads
- Launder linens that have been stored for a long time
- Declutter and tidy cabinets as you replace items
- Check furniture for any needed repairs or maintenance
- Empty and Clean Refrigerator and Freezer
- Empty and wash cabinets and drawers
- Replace shelf liner if needed
- Declutter and tidy cabinets while putting items back in place
- Clean flatware trays, organizers, baskets, etc.
- Bleach stained plastic goods or toss
- Toss or donate mismatched items or things with missing parts.
- Clean dishes, cookware or appliances that haven't been used in awhile
- Thoroughly scrub stove (including burners)
- Clean oven
- Clean dishwasher inside and out
- Clean drain rack
- Wash canisters
- Sanitize cutting boards
- Clean backsplashes
- Clean sink and disposal
- Clean microwave
- Clean underneath big appliances thoroughly
- Vacuum the coils and vents on your refrigerator.
- Make sure all appliances are safe before returning to their place (no missing parts, frayed cords, etc.)
- Launder dishtowels, potholders, mitts and other items that haven't been rotated in awhile
- Sanitize trivits, light switches, handles and knobs
- Sanitize or replace sponges and dishcloths
- Bleach and rinse trash can and recycling bins
- Lay out seasonal towels and potholders
- Pull out big appliances and clean underneath
- Check hoses and cords
- Clean inside of washing machine
- Thoroughly clean dryer vents
- Sanitize hampers and laundry baskets
- Clean iron and ironing board cover
- Throw away nearly empty bottles of cleaners and chemicals
- Remove food and clean shelves
- Throw away food that is expired or that will never be eaten.
- Make a list of items to stock for winter (edible and non-edible)
- Strip bed and wash all linens
- Launder bed pillows and throw pillows
- Flip and rotate mattress
- Vacuum under the bed
- Empty and wipe all drawers, cabinets and shelves
- Dust books
- Polish mirrors and photo frame glass
- Wipe furniture
- Rotate wardrobe
- Toss worn clothing, socks and mismatched items
- Clean jewelry
- Strip beds and wash linens
- Flip and rotate mattress
- Wash pillows
- Clean stuffed animals and plush toys
- Wash or sanitize hard plastic toys
- Declutter broken, mismatched or outgrown toys, crayons, books, etc.
- Remove outgrown clothing and shoes
- Empty shelves, cabinets and drawers and wipe (including the undersides!)
- Wipe hard surfaces
- Check furniture and decorations for any needed repairs or safety issues
- Make a list of seasonal clothing needs
- Sanitize frequently touched items such as knobs, dials, electronic keyboards, light switches, etc.
Bathroom Deep Cleaning
- Scrub shower and bath
- Clean shower head if clogged
- Clean sink and counter tops
- Unclog any slow drains
- Clean toilet inside and out
- Empty and wash cabinets (inside and out)
- Toss or use up nearly empty cleaners
- Toss cluttery items under the sink
- Polish mirrors, metal and glass
- Launder decorative linens
- Sanitize hamper or laundry basket
- Empty, wash and bleach trashcans
- Sort medicine cabinet and toss old, unused, or expired medications
- Replace toothbrushes
- Clean soap dispensers, dishes, and any bottles that are left in the open (cologne, nail polish, etc.) that get grimy or germy.
- Sort through cosmetics and toiletries and throw away things that are expired or nearly empty
- Make a list of things to replace
- Replace toilet bowl brush and cleaning sponges
- Tidy surfaces
- Clean electronics thoroughly
- Sort paperwork and junk mail
- File important papers
- Clean furniture
- Sanitize frequently touched items (charging cables, computer mouse, mousepad, favorite pen, etc.)
- Make list of things that are in low supply
- Check furniture and office equipment for any needed repairs or maintenance
If you are feeling super-energetic, this can also be an ideal time to clean up files on your computer, sort photos, and tackle any business organizing that needs to be done.
For more ideas, check out my post on Spring Cleaning Your Blog.
- Empty closets completely and wipe shelves
- Let closets air out if they are usually closed off
- Replace shelf liner if needed
- Sort items before returning
- Toss or donate unused items
- Toss stained, outgrown, worn, etc. items
- Launder any linens that have been stored out of rotation for awhile
- Make list of needed items
- Note trouble areas for clutter and decide how to organize
- Pull seasonal items to the front
- Place sachets or dryer sheets in closets to help maintain freshness
- Check windows and doors air leaks
- Caulk any potential leaky areas to save on heating costs
- Clean gutters
- Clean out flower beds and garden and prepare for fall/winter
- Trim low hanging branches that could be dangerous during icy weather
- Mow and trim as needed
- Clean and store lawn furniture and outside toys
- Sweep and hose off porches, steps and walkways
- Clean and winterize pools and ponds
- Store decorative items that need protection from harsh weather
- Clean and store gardening and lawn equipment
- Check for needed repairs or maintenance on things such as fences, swings, benches, etc.
Miscellaneous Fall Cleaning Tasks
If you have an attic, basement or garage (we don't), then you will want to clean and organize those as well. This is pretty much like every other room (vacuuming, sorting) except you may want to check attics for air leaks, and basements for water seepage and mildew.
Besides cleaning and maintenance tasks, fall is a good time to freshen up some items with a little paint or lubricate their moving parts. Any issues they have now will just get worse after months of wet, cold weather, so give them some extra protection (and save yourself some money in the long run) by:
- Painting your mailbox
- Repainting fences
- Oiling door hinges
- Oiling chains on swing sets or porch swings
- Caring for decks and other wooden structures appropriately
- Sealing cracks in cement or asphalt
Some big tasks could also include:
- Cleaning filters on heating and air systems
- Having gas or propane lines inspected before using
- Having your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected
- Covering or removing and storing window units
- Winterizing your vehicles
- Stocking up for bad winter weather
Bonus: What's In My Cleaning Kit?
- Rubber gloves (I get the cheapest from the dollar stores so I can throw them away after yucky jobs)
- Swiffer 360 Duster
- Baking Soda
- Magic Erasers (my favorite invention ever? Possibly!)
- Brillo pads (for stove gunk, pots and pans and other tough jobs)
- Peroxide (stain treatment)
- Alcohol (polishing chrome and stainless steel, sanitizing)
- Lysol spray
- Pledge multi-surface
- Totally Awesome Cleaner (my favorite all purpose cleaner and de-greaser)
- Paper towels
- Brushes, broom, mop
- Hoover Floormate
- Glad scented trashbags
- Case of Diet Cokes (gotta stay hydrated and caffeinated!)
- Music (David Bowie or Billy Joel is my choice, but these days, music tends to be the theme song to Dora the Explorer.)
Enjoy a Clean Home
Oh yeah. You do have to remake all those beds and put the pillows and rugs back in place. But you knew that, right?
I would love to say that all that work will last until spring, but in reality we all know it will only look super-nice for a couple of weeks, right?
Still, those two weeks will be pretty awesome. Your house will smell great, and you won't have to worry about doing all that winterization after it gets cold outside.
So now, let's be honest. What is your least favorite deep cleaning job? Mine is absolutely tackling the kitchen! I find it perpetually annoying that even though I spend about 80% of my time cleaning the kitchen all year, it still manages to get gunky and grimy in so many places!
What do you hate tackling the most?