When people think about seasonal cleaning, it’s usually only spring cleaning but fall is a great time to get your house ready for the months when you’ll be spending more time inside. Here are 10 things to do to get started.
1. Windows & Window Coverings
You may have done this in the spring but the summer months and having the windows open will likely have brought in more dust. This is the perfect time to wash the curtains, dust the blinds, and if the weather isn’t too cold, wash the inside and outside windows. While you’re at it, give the window sill and surround a quick wipe to get rid of any dirt that has accumulated.
2. Pantry & Cupboards.
A good pantry and cupboard cleanout is a great way to declutter. Get rid of anything you haven’t used in a while or that has expired. Dishes and unopened pantry items you won’t use can be donated to your local food bank / thrift store. If you entertain, check whether you need to replace any missing plates or wine glasses in anticipation of the holiday season. Wash the inside and the outside of the cupboards to prevent greasy buildup from getting too bad.
3. Check & Clean Fireplace.
If you have a wood burning fireplace, call a professional to get your chimney cleaned before getting cozy by the fire. You may not need to get it fully cleaned each year, but a yearly inspection is recommended. Skipping yearly checkups can leave build-up and nesting animals unnoticed. Both can lead to damage and fires, which are much more costly than a yearly inspection. If you have a gas fireplace and feel capable, you can clean it – dust and animal hair builds up in there too! If you aren’t sure how to go about it, call a technician who can do it for you.
4. Wash Vents & Change Filters.
Time to change the air filters and remove vent covers for a thorough cleaning. If it’s still warm enough outside, spray them down with your garden hose and let them dry in the sun. If not, you can throw them in your bathtub and use the shower nozzle to rinse them. Fall is also an excellent time to clean your air ducts. Air filters don’t catch every single speck of dust and debris, which is why your HVAC system needs a helping hand once in a while. Cleaner ducts also mean your system will run more efficiently, eating up less energy and saving money on your energy bill.
You probably already vacuum regularly, but now is a good time to clean behind and under large pieces of furniture like beds and dressers. Do a deep whole-house vacuum job at least once before the winter. Sucking up all that built-up debris will feel incredibly satisfying, and you’ll breathe easier once the task is complete.
People with pets might tackle this cleaning task multiple times a year. But even pet-less individuals should consider a heavy-duty couch cleaning job once in a while. You probably spend a significant chunk of time on your couch doing all manner of things, especially now. Over time, those pillows get real grimy. Call a professional or rent an upholstery cleaning machine to get all that dirt out of your couch cushions. If you have a couch with zippered covers, toss those in the washing machine—just make sure to thoroughly read the care instructions. Now is a good time to treat leather furniture if you have it as well.
7. Clean Behind Appliances.
‘Tis the season of comfort food and family meals. Start your cooking stretch fresh by giving your kitchen a deep clean. Wipe everything down, and don’t forget to get behind all your appliances. It won’t be pretty—who knows what kinds of crumbs and lost bits of food are hiding behind your microwave or coffee maker—but it will be worth it. You can settle into your baking routine without worrying about what’s lurking behind your oven. While you’re at it, you can give those appliances a deep clean too by cleaning out the crumb catcher on your toaster or descaling your coffee machine!
8. Don’t Forget the Oven!
Speaking of baking, now is the time to clean inside your oven. There will no doubt be many spills ahead, but why not start off with a clean slate? Fall is a great time to use the self-clean setting on your oven: You can open windows to ventilate the kitchen without letting in frigid outdoor air, yet the high oven temps won’t leave you sweating bullets. Avoid running the self-cleaning function if you have any avian pets in your home, though, as they’re susceptible to fumes of all kinds. Before starting the self-clean mode, remove oven racks, open your windows, and make sure that your kitchen fan is on.
9. Clean & Disinfect Garbage Cans.
Get as much use out of your hose as you can before it’s time to shut off the water supply for the winter. Bring your trash bins outside and hose them down. Fill with diluted bleach and leave to soak for a few hours. Rinse off and scrub away any remaining nasty bits. If your kitchen trash cans are kept inside a sliding cabinet, be sure to wash in there, too.
Summertime means a lot of foot traffic in and out of the home. People with pets especially will notice that this buzz of activity tends to significantly impact baseboards. The muck gravitates there and is hard to remove without a thorough scrubbing. Use a dusting cloth to wipe away surface dust and then get on your hands and knees to scrub away stubborn grime. If your baseboards are particularly stained, it may be worthwhile to spend a day painting them. Paint solves almost everything, after all!