As the leaves and temperatures of fall descend, it’s time to give your home the thorough cleaning it’s likely not had since spring. This is the deep cleaning your home needs as you prepare for the holiday season, especially as it can reduce the pressure leading up to impending family functions and spirited parties.
1) Clean and Reverse Fans
Your ceiling fans have been hard at work all summer keeping you cool, and as they’ve done so, they’ve gathered more dust than you may realize. Turn your fans off, and climb a ladder and clean the sides, tops, and bottoms of the blades.
While you’re up there, reverse the fan’s direction, which can save you energy. Reversing the fans direction pushes hot air down, which you want in the cooler months.
2) Pair Down Your Coat and Sweater Collection
It’s time to pull out your coats and sweaters to achieve that great layered look (and to keep warm). Before you hang them up, we recommend finding a few to give away. Schools and non-profit organizations host coat drives this time of year, so clear some clutter from your closet, by giving sweaters, boots, hats, gloves, and other warm items to those less fortunate.
3) Chimney Sweep
Before you purchase your first load of wood for the year, make sure you clean the chimney for efficient burning and safety. Call your local chimney sweep, and set up an appointment before the first hard cold snap hits.
You also want to make sure there are no branches within five feet (1.524 meters) of the chimney top. When branches are growing over it and a fire is burning below, it can be a major fire hazard.
4) Clean Your Window Treatments
Use a cordless hand-held vacuum to remove dust from hanging window treatments. If you have hanging curtains, take them down for a gentle launder. While they’re down, clean your windows and sills thoroughly.
5) Vacuum and Clean Furniture
When your kids were home every day over the summer, the furniture probably became a little dirtier than usual. Vacuum your upholstered furniture, and spot-clean the big stains as needed. Always test an inconspicuous area of your couch before applying any cleaning agent to a main area.
6) Seal the Air Leaks
Check your windows and doors for damaged weatherstripping and cracked caulking, and make repairs as needed. Since even small leaks in windows and doors will let cold air in, seal your home as best you can for energy efficiency and warmth.
What ideas do you have for a comprehensive fall cleaning list? Share your projects with us in the comments! For additional tips for your home, check out our Fall Home Maintenance Series!