Fall Cleaning Checklist
As leaves start to fly, revisit your spring cleaning list and add a few seasonal extras to prepare your house for the winter.
Inside Your House
Wash all windows.
Use glass cleaner, or one squirt of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle filled with water, and wipe down with a microfiber cloth. Pick a cloudy day so you can better see any streaks.
Vacuum dusty canvas, cotton, and treated fabric blinds.
Use a low setting with a brush attachment. Vinyl shades can be wiped down with a dampened microfiber cloth if they need a little more attention.
Moderately dirty window treatments need a two-step approach.
Start by dusting or vacuuming the valance and frame, then vacuum from top to bottom using the upholstery attachment for drapes, and the brush attachment for blinds. Or submerge blinds or shades in a few inches of cool water and two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid (check labels first to make sure this is safe). Take out the metal weights first; they can rust.
If your window coverings are very dirty, check labels for cleaning instructions.
Some cotton, polyester, rayon, and wool drapes can be machine washed on delicate. Always send lace, linen, satin, and silk drapes and shades to a professional cleaner.
Clean the walls.
Dust, wash, rinse, and dry painted or wood-paneled walls.
Clean ceiling-mounted light fixtures.
Vacuum and spot-clean upholstered furniture and cushions.
Deep-clean if necessary.
Wipe down the kitchen cupboards.
Empty them, wash them down, replace liners (if you use them), declutter, and reorganize.
Dust off the refrigerator condenser coil.
Use your vacuum’s brush attachment and gently vacuum it.
Do the carpets.
Have carpets professionally cleaned if needed.
Evaluate any wooden floors.
Have scratched or dull wood floors professionally scuff-sanded and recoated, or completely refinished.
Spruce up your computer.
Dust the CPU, clean and wipe down the keyboard, and dust off the monitor with a microfiber cloth.
Straighten the closets.
Declutter and reorganize.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Or install them, if you haven’t yet.
Replace the furnace filter.
If you haven’t changed your furnace filter within the past three months, do so now.
Sweep the chimneys.
Have the wood-burning fireplace and stove flues and chimneys professionally inspected and swept.
Declutter and clean out the attic.
Outside Your House
Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows.
Repair or replace as needed.
Check and clean the gutters.
Do the downspouts, too.
Clean the patio furniture.
Then store away.
Drain and store garden hoses.
Check the exterior paint.
Touch up as needed.
Drain the pool, if applicable.
Close it up for the year.