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Like it or not, the colder weather is coming. When the air turns cold, it’s time for specific fall cleaning tasks.
In the early morning, you can begin to fill the chill, that noticeable bite that requires you to put a sweater on to leave the house. I’m slowly transitioning from iced coffee to my warm mug of hazelnut in the mornings.
Specific fall cleaning tasks are similar to spring cleaning tasks in that you’re getting your home ready for the next season.
I recommend doing your biggest deep cleaning in the spring after your home has been closed up tight for the winter months. But the fall requires some more significant housekeeping chores too!
Since this is a once a year event, I’ve developed this handy checklist, so you don’t forget anything. I’ve listed everything you need to focus on as part of your fall cleaning.
The Fall Cleaning Checklist
It would be nice if we could do these tasks more than once a year, but if keep a clean home, doing these jobs once a year is plenty.
ALL THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE
1. Clean Windows, Screens, and Wells
Now’s the perfect time to get your windows clean before you close them up tight for the winter. If you want to clean them like a professional, you’ll want to check out the post I wrote on how to do just that.
You’ll want first to vacuum the window wells to remove any dust, bugs or other debris. Then wash them out with a mild cleaning solution.
Don’t forget to take out your screens and hose them down too. Just spray them with an all-purpose cleaner, let them sit for a minute and hose them down. Leave out in the sun to air dry.
2. Window Treatments and Blinds
If your window treatments are washable, then remove and wash. If not, take them down and have them professionally cleaned.
Some blinds can be cleaned yourself. All it takes is some bleach, mild detergent and a scrub brush to clean your blinds right in the tub, or scrub and hose them down outside. Hang to air dry.
If they are the very inexpensive blinds and is excessively dirty, consider replacing them with a new set.
Some fabric shades will need to be professionally cleaned. I had my fabric shades done two years ago, and they came out looking brand new. It was pricey to clean them, around $90 a shade, but the shade was $325 so to me it was worth the investment.
If you put up lighter curtains in the summer, now is the time to take them down and put up your fall/winter curtains.
3. Clean Light Fixtures
Remove covers and clean those pesky bugs and dust that have collected over the year. Remove light covers from ceiling fans and chandeliers, wash and replace.
Wipe down ceiling fan blades.
Vacuum fixtures paying particular attention to areas that collect dust and make sure to use the right attachments.
To wash any glass either spray and clean in place; or remove, wash and replace.
4. Handles and Doorknobs, Switch Plates
This is such a forgotten cleaning task! But if you only knew the dirt and germs that are lurking on doorknobs and switch plates you’d probably wash them daily!
Wipe down all handles and doorknobs. Either remove switch plates to clean or wash in place depending on how dirty they are. I like to spray them with Lysol after I’m done cleaning them just for good measure.
5. Wall Mirrors or Large Mirrored Area
You can use the tips I shared in my Clean Windows Like A Professional post. It will work on glass too!
6. Smoke and CO2 Detectors, Fire Extinguisher
Replace batteries, check to make sure detectors have not expired. Replace if necessary. Check extinguishers, replace if necessary.
7. Walls, Baseboards, Trim
Wash any painted walls that need washing. Touch up any chip marks, scuff or missing paint from painted surfaces.
6. Vacuum Refrigerator Coils
If you have pets, and to keep your refrigerator running smoothly, you’ll need to do this more than once a year.
7. Clean Inside of Oven
Make sure to have proper ventilation when cleaning your oven.
8. Polish Outside of Cabinets
When I polish my cabinets, I use the Rejuvenate System. It comes with everything you need to give your cabinets that boost in shine. They almost look brand new by the time you’re done!
9. Replace Shower Curtain Liner
This isn’t necessary if you use a good, high-quality shower curtain liner. Those can be easily washed with a mild detergent and bleach to remove mold and mildew. You’ll want to clean regularly, every 3-4 months.
10. Clean All Bedding, Bed Skirts, Mattress Covers, Blankets, Quilts, Comforters
Strip the beds and spend the day washing everything. Before you place everything back on take the time to vacuum thoroughly the tops and sides of your mattress. Spray with an essential oil and water mist or if you feel it necessary, spray with Lysol and let air dry before putting the sheets back on the bed.
11. Wash or Replace Pillows
Pillows are super easy to wash. All I do is wash them in hot water, Tide Free and Clear with a scoop of Oxi Clean and dry on high. Kills the germs and gets rid of dust mites too.
12. Flip Mattress
Only if you have a mattress that requires flipping – newer mattresses should not be flipped. If in doubt, check with the manufacturer.
13. Replace Summer Bedding with Winter Bedding
If you’re anything like me you have two different sleeping comforters. A light weight one for spring/summer and a heavy comforter for those cold nights. Nows the time to make sure your winter bedding is in good shape and ready to be put on the bed.
15. Store Warm Weather Clothing and Shoes and Replace with Colder Weather Clothing and Shoes
Grab your buckets and bins and go through all your winter clothes. Purge what you no longer like or wear and either sell it, donate it or toss it if it has rips or stains.
16. Clean Out Dryer Vent
I have mine professionally cleaned after I had a fire in the dryer vent that almost burned my house down. If you have vent cleaned professionally, call and schedule.
ATTIC, GARAGE, AND BASEMENT
19. Clean Gutters
20. Put Up Storm Windows, if applicable
30. Power Wash Deck and Patio, Driveway and other Exteriors
31. Clean Outdoor Furniture and Store It
31. Drain and Store Garden Hose
32. Shut off Water Valve to Outside Spigot
Don’t forget to do this or you may find your pipes frozen during the frigid months.
33. Close Your Pool, if applicable
34. Pressure Wash Exterior of Home, Touch Up Paint if necessary
Just like spring, the fall is the perfect time to get all those once a year cleaning tasks accomplished before the cold weather settles in. My fall cleaning checklist is chock full of everything you need to accomplish indoor and out to get your home ready for winter.