Getting Ready for Cooler Weather: Your Fall Cleaning Checklist

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We’ve all heard of spring cleaning, but getting things organized and ready for cooler weather is important as well. Just as squirrels store nuts away for the winter, we too have some preparation to do before we once again close windows and create a warm, welcoming space for the next season.

Indoor Cleaning Checklist

Will you be entertaining? If so, focus on the shared areas where guests will likely be first. If you tend to hibernate, then choose to start with chores that will create more comfort. Don’t try to tackle everything at once, but rather set aside some time at regular increments and do what you can. Know when you need help, and ask, whether from friends or family, or by hiring a cleaning service who can help on an ongoing  basis or a deep clean – whichever is needed (or a combination of both).

Preparing for Guests

Entryway: Is there a place for guests to take off their wet and/or muddy shoes? Do you need a new doormat or any other protective covering in the entryway? Sweep and mop or vacuum the area. Wipe baseboards, door knobs, and door jams of dirt and fingerprints.

Family Room/Living Room: Are there areas to sit comfortably? Add a throw blanket to increase comfort. Consider having the furniture cleaned. Remove cushions and vacuum under them. Sweep and mop or vacuum any carpet and rugs.

Starting from the top to the bottom, dust away cobwebs and dust from any corners and flat surfaces. Remember to dust shelves, plants, art, and picture frames. You will want all the dust to be gone before you close up windows and doors for the season.

Vacuum or dust drapes and clean window sills. Check for any damage that would allow in cold or moisture. Measure windows for plastic covering if you will be using that to keep out drafts and/or consider changing drapes to keep the cold out and the warm in.

Other: If you have a guest room, clean it as you would any other bedroom, as well as the guest bath. If you will be hosting friends or family in a dining area, treat it the same as a living room. 

Move furniture to vacuum and mop under it as well.

In the kitchen, wipe down cabinets and remove any appliances that aren’t needed for holiday meal prep to create more space.

Staying Put

Whether or not you plan on hosting guests, make your space as comfortable as you can for yourself (and your family) as well.

Bedroom: Turn and flip your mattress for even wear. While you likely have washed sheets more regularly, now may be a good time to wash the pillows, mattress pad/cover, and even take the comforter or duvet to the cleaners. Some people swap out comforters for the season, so make sure to have fresh, clean linens on the bed.

Kitchen: Take time to do an inventory of what you have and what you need for the winter. Is your pantry stocked for a few days if you needed to stay in? Do you have emergency supplies accessible? What needs to be thrown out? What needs to be cleaned?

Wipe down cabinet fronts, and even the inside of cabinets if needed. Clean insides of appliances such as your refrigerator, freezer, and oven. Vacuum the dust and debris from the refrigerator condenser coils by pulling it away from the wall.

Bathrooms: Starting from the top and going down, check for dust and cobwebs and brush them away. Clean and sanitize the toilet, including the base and behind it. Clean the sink and bath, paying extra attention to handles and fixtures. Wipe the cabinet fronts and shelves. Throw away any expired medication or toiletries.

Other: Consider having a plumbing and heating inspection to ensure proper function of all systems before freezing weather hits. Also consider having ducts cleaned, including checking your dryer duct for accumulation of lint.