Many people have a spring cleaning routine to prepare their home for the warmer months ahead. Fewer are aware that it is just as important to conduct a fall-clean-up to prepare for the colder months when they spend more time indoors. Foot traffic increases as people stay inside, and along with it comes an increased amount of dust and debris.
The thought of deep cleaning a home at the change of seasons can be overwhelming but it doesn’t need to be. Creating a checklist of seasonal cleaning and organizing tasks and making a goal to complete a few of them each day can make a big difference in comfort and energy efficiency in the coming winter months.
Fall Clean-up Goals for the Kitchen and Bathroom
Grout is a sticky substance that typically accumulates between tiled floors, on counters, and other high-traffic areas. The substance can be especially challenging to remove when it also includes dirt and mold. However, it is essential to remove grout often to avoid the potential health complications that come with mold exposure.
When removing grout from kitchen and bathroom surfaces, spray it with warm water first to loosen it. Next, use a medium-bristle brush to remove the grout and then wipe it with a microfiber towel. If the grout already contains dirt and mold, spray it with vinegar instead of warm water. Be sure to let the vinegar stand for five minutes before loosening it with a medium-bristle brush.
Here are some other items to include on the fall cleaning checklist for the kitchen and bathroom:
- Remove food from the refrigerator, discard any expired items, and give it a good wipe-down. Don’t forget to clean the coils and underneath the unit.
- Clean the inside of the dishwasher, conventional oven, and microwave oven.
- Wipe wood surfaces with furniture polish and then use a conditioning solution.
- Polish and seal granite countertops.
- Remove trash bags and clean the inside of garbage cans from the kitchen and bathroom with soap and water. Use a disinfectant spray before placing new trash bags in each container.
- Clean the garbage disposal.
- Sweep and mop the floors in each room.
People often prefer to tackle the kitchen and bathrooms first because guests see these rooms and the family also uses them often. The same is true of the living room.
Seasonal Cleaning Tips for the Living Room
Upholstered furniture needs regular cleaning all year long, and autumn is no exception. This is a good time to vacuum leaves, dust, and debris that have come in from outside on people’s clothing and stuck to the furniture. While the vacuum is out, don’t forget to use the hose attachment to vacuum fabric curtains. Some other important goals for cleaning the living room include:
- Dust electronics, lampshades, and furniture and then polish wooden parts of the furniture.
- Remove all blankets and pillow covers from the living room and wash them by hand or in the wash machine.
- Change any seasonal décor from fall, such as Halloween or Thanksgiving decorations, to winter-themed decorations.
- Shampoo and vacuum rugs and carpets or sweep and mop an uncarpeted floor.
- If a fireplace is present, clean it and have it inspected by a professional.
Not only is sitting in a clean living room more enjoyable for the people who live there, it also makes them feel more confident about inviting guests over when they will spend all of their time indoors.
Fall Clean-up Tips for Organizing Bedrooms
Washing bedding that is not part of the regular laundry, such as comforters and pillowcases, is a good idea for seasonal cleaning. This is also the time to put away lighter summer bedding and replace it with warmer linens that have sat in storage since early spring. Here are some additional cleaning and organizing tasks to consider for each bedroom:
- Vacuum the mattress and flip it over to the reverse side.
- Put summer clothing into storage and fill closets and drawers with clothing for cooler weather.
- Vacuum carpets after sprinkling deodorizing baking soda first. Don’t forget to vacuum any fabric curtains.
- Mop wooden or tiled floors.
- Depending on the instructions on the label, put throw rugs in the wash machine or wash them by hand.
Each family member who is old enough to clean and organize without supervision should be responsible for preparing their own bedroom for the transition from fall to winter.
Don’t Forget the Rest of the Home
The kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and living room aren’t the only areas of a typical home. Those with an office, mudroom, entryway, separate dining room, and separate laundry room should also create a fall clean-up schedule for those rooms. People who own their home will want to include outdoor cleaning as well.