Photo Credit: Randi Hausken
It seems like only yesterday that we were sharing our Spring Cleaning Checklist, and now, here we are, sharing more tips on how to prepare for Fall Cleaning. But, indeed, it is that time again. The temperatures are starting to drop and your family’s activities are slowly moving back indoors. And, since you will be spending so much more time inside during the coming months, it makes sense to get your indoor living space clean and fresh once again.
Inside Cleaning Tips - In addition to tackling a number of the items on our Spring Cleaning Checklist, you won’t want to forget the following tasks in your home:
- Rotate and flip your mattresses. This will help prevent your mattresses from developing soft spots or lumps. While you’re at it, sprinkle baking soda over the top of your mattress. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then vacuum away. This will help freshen your bed and remove any lingering odors.
- Launder all of your bedding while you rotate your mattresses. There’s no point in putting dirty linens back on a freshly cleaned bed!
- Clean the refrigerator motor. Pull your fridge away from the wall and, using the soft brush attachment for your vacuum, clean away all of the dust and dirt that has accumulated on the coils and wires at the bottom of the fridge. Be gentle because you don’t want to damage anything! Cleaning this oft-forgot space will help your appliance run cleaner and more efficiently.
- Change your furnace and AC filters. And, while you’re at it, buy enough filters to get you through the winter. If you have them on hand, you’re more likely to change them regularly and keep your indoor air clear.
- Change your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries and test the systems. As we approach the winter months, we’re spending more time indoors and it’s that much more important to have properly functioning alarms to keep us safe.
Outdoor Cleaning Tips- Aside from all of the indoor cleaning, it’s also important to prepare the outside of your home - the part that bears the brunt of the cold, inclement winter weather - as well.
- Clean the gutters. This grimy and daunting task can save a lot of money in the long run! Dirty and stopped-up gutters are likely to create ice jams during the cold winter months, and this can result in significant - and expensive! - roof damage. Cleaning them thoroughly now can ease future headaches.
- Have a fireplace? Get the chimney cleaned and inspected. While there is nothing more comforting that a crackling fire in the midst of December, no one wants to deal with a chimney fire! Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Clean out the exterior dryer vent. While you likely clean the dryer lint trap with every load, we often forget the vent to the outside. This hidden spot is a great place for birds to build nests and for debris to accumulate. Make sure you clean it out thoroughly before the cold weather hits.
- Since you’ll be spending a lot of time gazing out the windows this winter, longing for warmer months or admiring the winter wildlife in your yard, it’s the perfect time to make sure the exteriors of your windows are clean. Use a safe and effective glass cleaner to make light work of the task.
- Drain and store the garden hose to prevent it from cracking.
- Since grilling season is almost at an end, it’s the perfect time to clean up your grill. Wash the grill plates in hot, soapy water and wipe down all of the interior and exterior surfaces with a safe and non-toxic cleanser that won’t leave a residue. You don't want your first hamburger of the summer next year to taste like chemicals!
- Wipe down and clean all of your outdoor furniture, pillows, and umbrellas. All of the dirt, pollen, and moisture from the summer takes a toll on your outdoor living spaces and making sure your furniture is clean when it’s stored is essential to it lasting for summers to come.