Fall cleaning your home is just as vital for health and comfort as the traditional spring cleaning. In fact, it makes good sense to take care of some of the cleaning tasks in the fall before homes are closed up tight for the winter. Getting some of these home cleaning jobs out of the way can also make for less stress when preparing your home for holiday gatherings. Big cleaning jobs that are done once or twice a year are now out of the way.
Fall Cleaning Checklist
- Heating System: call your heating company and schedule a yearly maintenance appointment before the winter season rush.
- Windows and Window Treatments: wash windows, screens, and storm panes.
- Clean drapes and curtains according to manufacturer’s recommendations, or simply vacuum with an upholstery attachment. To freshen drapes add 5 drops of fragrance oil to 8 oz warm water in a spray bottle and spray on drapes or curtains. Dust or wipe blinds using a damp microfiber cloth. Wipe down woodwork around windows.
- Carpeting: clean carpeting or have carpeting professionally cleaned. Vacuum the front and back of area rugs to remove dust and dirt.
- Appliances: clean oven using self-cleaning directions or spray with oven cleaner, leave overnight, and wipe clean the next day. Open the windows on a mild weather day to avoid fumes or odors. Cleaning and defrosting the refrigerator and freezer are big jobs that need to be done a couple times a year, so include in both fall and spring cleaning lists. Don’t forget to dust under appliance and remove and clean the drip pan. Dishwashers also need to be cleaned twice a year. Pour a cup of vinegar on the bottom of the dishwasher and run an empty load to clean and eliminate odors.
- Walls and woodwork: should be wiped from top-to-bottom and from left-to-right. Make your own all-purpose natural cleaner in a spray bottle by mixing 2 tablespoons of baking soda to 16 ounces of warm water.
- Attic/Storage Area: vacuum and dust attic to get it ready for storing off-season storage.
- Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors; test to make sure they are working change the batteries if needed.
- Miscellaneous: dust fans and cover before putting in storage to keep them clean and dust free. Use old pillow cases or sheets for covers. Take out humidifiers and clean if needed. Test to see if humidifiers work properly. Dust and wipe ceiling-mounted light fixtures. Organize and dust computer area. Untangle cords and wipe monitor, tower, and keyboard.
- Outside the home: drain garden hoses and put in storage. Clean patio and outdoor furniture and store it away. Check weather stripping around doors and windows. Repair or replace to keep the cold out. Clean gutters to remove leaves and dirt, and check that downspouts are draining properly. Protect shrubs and plants for surviving the winter months.