With the official start to Fall just weeks away, there’s no time like the present to start planning big seasonal cleaning tasks, so you’ll have plenty of free time left over for picking apples, carving pumpkins, and all those other fun fall activities.
Defining factors of autumn are creeping darkness, colder nights, and getting cozy, so our fall cleaning checklist focuses on tasks that maximize indoor light, air quality, and comfort!
Windows. Wait! Weren’t windows on the spring-cleaning checklist? It’s sad, but true, window washing is a two-time-a-year job. Now that your windows will be closed more often, you’ll want to ensure they’re sparkling clean to allow in maximum sunlight.
Light fixtures. No matter how good your window screens are, at least a few intrepid summer bugs will have overcome these defenses, seeking light and ultimately perishing inside light-fixture covers. To brighten up fall evenings, take down all removable light-fixture parts, give them a good washing in warm soapy water — and be sure to dust the lightbulbs too!
Stovetop/oven. Fall is comfort food time! Think soups, stews, casseroles, pies, and plenty of roasted things. If you cleaned your oven last spring and have been grilling outside all summer, you might be able to skip this task. If not, give both the cooktop and oven a deep clean so you won’t be setting off smoke alarms as you crank up these appliances for fall comfort-food cooking.
Refrigerator/freezer. Like windows, deep cleaning your fridge and freezer is at least a two-time-a-year job. And, with plenty of comforting — yet bulky — foods on the menu for fall, you’ll be glad of all the freed-up storage space.
Mattresses. If you followed our prescribed spring-cleaning regimen, then fall/winter bedding, throw blankets, etc. will be clean, neatly stored, and ready to pull out and use as fall nights grow colder. Your mattress is another story. It’s time for another flip, rotation, and thorough vacuuming with an upholstery attachment. Also, if it has been at least a year or longer since you had a professional mattress deep clean, check out this post to learn why you might want to consider one.
Bathroom (deep clean). Fall typically brings closed windows (less fresh air) and less light, which are prime growing conditions for mold and mildew. Stem the tide by cleaning or swapping out shower curtains and liners, bathmats and other textiles, and taking apart and cleaning the bathroom’s exhaust fan.
Washer/dryer. Both washer and dryer have likely been working overtime coping with summer’s perspiration, oily sunscreens, pool chemicals, and so forth. Taking a few minutes to thoroughly clean and sanitize both machines is good prep for all the laundry that’s going to generated in autumn closet turnover. This is also a twice-yearly reminder to check and thoroughly clean the dryer’s lint collection and removal system, as trapped lint is a serious fire hazard.
Air filters. Finally, be sure to check and, if needed, replace spent HVAC filters to ensure the best possible indoor air quality all fall and winter long.