While spring is generally the season reserved for “the big clean,” deep cleaning your house before winter is equally important. Let’s face it, with the warm weather and clear skies of the summer, you’ve likely neglected a few essential housecleaning tasks over the last few months in favor of spending time outdoors. I don’t blame you! Fresh air is good for your mind and body. However, as the weather cools down and you begin to spend more time inside, you’ll want to have a fresh, clean home to cuddle up in and pass the next few months. Here’s everything you should include in the great fall houseclean and why you shouldn’t neglect these areas.
Unless you’re really on top of your house cleaning, this is one you’re probably guilty of forgetting. Take all of the cushions off of your couch and wash the covers, if possible. Do the same with your throw pillows. Use a carpet cleaner to detail your rug and wash every curtain and blanket in your home. This step is a good one to start with since it will keep your washer and dryer running throughout the day as you tackle other areas.
Organize and eliminate clutter
Over the summer, if it seems like you have collected a bunch of “stuff” and you don’t know where it came from or why you have it, you’re not alone. Somehow clutter just accumulates and slowly starts to take over your home. Go through closets, baskets, and drawers and throw away or donate anything you don’t need. The garage is especially important as summer activities tend to leave this storage area in disarray.
Now, before the weather gets too cold, it is the best time to take on the mammoth project of cleaning the exterior and outdoor living areas of your home. Bring in any cushions from patio furniture that shouldn’t be left out to brave the winter, sweep spider webs from the corners of decks and balconies, clean gutters, make any fence repairs, and clean out your garden by removing dead plants or leaves. You want to go into the winter with your best foot forward, and having the outside of your house clean before the harsh weather sets in is even more important than having the inside clean since you can clean indoors even on the coldest day. Don’t neglect your sheds! These can quickly become scary places in the hustle and bustle of the garden season.
Cleaning televisions, laptops, and cellphones may not seem like something that should be on the list of fall cleaning, but if you’re like most people, you probably can’t remember the last time you bothered cleaning the fingerprints off your flatscreen. Using compressed air and electronic-safe cleaning materials to get dust, smudges, and grease off of your expensive electronics will help them last longer and keep them from breaking down as quickly.
Clean your appliances
Your dishwasher, washer and dryer, microwave, and fridge all need to be cleaned regularly for them to be effective. Keeping the dishwasher and washing machine clean is especially important since these are the tools you use to clean dirty objects, which means that they can get gross pretty quickly. To clean most of these appliances, vinegar is the answer. Put a bowl in the microwave for about 45 seconds to steam away dried food, run an empty load in the dishwasher with a bowl of vinegar on the top shelf, and run a hot cycle in your washing machine with vinegar in the bleach compartment. Vinegar can help remove odor buildup, eliminate hard water damage, and keep your appliances fresh and sanitary.
Deep clean kitchen and bathroom
Hopefully, you stay on top of your kitchen and bathroom cleaning and regularly wipe down countertops and other surfaces like the toilet. But when was the last time you cleaned your cabinets or wiped out the drawers? If you can’t remember, it has probably been too long. Clean the inside and outside of doors and cabinets, sort through outdated food in the pantry or expired cosmetics and throw them away, and use a scrub brush to remove any soap scum or food from the walls or floor along the baseboards.