When the spirit of fall awakens you from summer’s haze, it is time once again to brandish those household cleaners and rags. In a clean, refreshed environment, you and your home will be ready to embrace the cozy nights ahead. Check out this short checklist to tackle one task in each area of the house that could use a pick-me-up before the chilly season sets in. Use this to gain momentum and inspiration for other post-summer, pre-winter maintenance projects.
OUTSIDE – Clean and store outdoor furniture
As warm summer nights on the patio transition to winter evenings huddled around the fireplace, make sure your outdoor setup is ready for the change. Treat stains on any fabric pieces before they set. Wipe down metal, wood, and plastic with water and mild soaps to rid your pieces of dirt. If your furniture is wood, give it a good coat of oil so that it doesn’t dry out during the winter.
Finally, tuck in your furniture pieces for hibernation by securely and completely covering them—you can even use tarps and bungee cords if your furniture didn’t come with covers! If possible, store the furniture indoors or under a covered area.
KITCHEN - Pantry check
It’s time to reach into that deep, forgotten corner of your pantry, grab the box of stale crackers you’ve had shoved back there for months, and check the expiration date. Say goodbye to any food that’s past its prime. Even go the extra mile and take everything out so you can wipe down the shelves. And don’t forget to sift through your spices and baking ingredients, too! Toss and replenish old ones so you can be prepared to bake mountains of warm breads, cookies, and pies this fall.
BATHROOM - Scrub down the shower and bathtub
There’s nothing quite like a hot shower or bath to treat yourself on a chilly day. Wash the gunk from your summer adventures down the drain so you can relax comfortably. Wipe down shelves, walls, and shower caddies. Grab an old toothbrush and scrub those tough corners and grout. The edges of tubs can accumulate a surprising amount of lint, dust, and hair, so don’t forget to swipe all of that up. Cleaning off the goop that has built-up on your product bottles is also a great way to make your cleaning effort thorough and long lasting.
BEDROOM - Wash and swap your bedding
Fling all of your sheets, pillow covers, duvet covers, and mattress covers off the bed and send them through a deep-cleaning wash cycle. If you want an extra snuggly nest this fall and winter, swap in some cold weather linens. A heavier duvet, flannel sheets, and wool blankets are some ways to make your sanctuary even more inviting. Even go the extra mile and strip your summer linens before you put them away.
Stripping laundry purges fabrics of residual detergent, fabric softeners, oils, and mineral build-up. For an easy DIY laundry stripping method, fill a bathtub half full with very hot water and dissolve 1/4 cup washing soda, 1/4 C Borax, and 1/2 cup detergent with enzymes. Add clean laundry, and let it soak for about four hours, until the water is cool. Stir and agitate the fabric every hour. Take a moment to marvel at all the grime that has seeped from your sheets… then drain the tub, throw the bedding in the washer on the rinse cycle, and dry as normal.
LIVING ROOM - Vacuum all upholstered furniture
Yes, even down the dreaded couch cracks and under the cushions. Even the cleanest people will be surprised to see all the crumbs that have accumulated over a summer of movie marathoning and binge watching. While you’re at it, go ahead and treat any stains on the fabric cushions and wipe off any metal, wood, or leather components. If your furniture has washable covers, toss them in the washer for an extra dose of refreshing cleanliness. Now you’re ready once again for cozy nights in front of the TV.
LAUNDRY ROOM - Clean the dryer vent
Your dryer is gearing up for a lot of hard work this season. It’s recommended that you clean your dryer vent at least once a year, and fall is the perfect time to do so. Think of all the thick, fluffy blankets you’ll need to dry! Get your machine ready for the work load by vacuuming out the drier vent with a long hose to clear it of lint and dust. Don’t forget to go outside and clean the exterior vent as well! Doing so will help your drier run more efficiently, maintain your machine, and even reduce fire hazard.
GENERAL HOUSEHOLD – Dust and reset ceiling fans
After a long, sweltering summer, your ceiling fans have kicked up a lot of dust. Grab a ladder, your best duster, and go to town. Wear a face covering and even glasses to ensure that the dust doesn’t fall into your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Remember that cleaning is as enjoyable as you make it, so go ahead and unleash your inner child and draw a few doodles in the caked-on dust before you whisk it all away. Finally, reset your fan to turn in a reverse, clockwise direction. This circulates the warm air that rises to the ceiling without pushing a wind chill down during the cold months.
We want to see your before and after pictures! Show us your fall cleaning efforts and tag Walker Edison on social media to share.