With fall fast approaching, what are some of the things you like to get done every year before the cold weather hits? My biggest thing is a big fall deep clean of our house. Fall cleaning checklist & 43 things that should be done.
Do you do a serious overhaul of your house when fall comes around? Some would go as far as to say that fall cleaning is the new spring cleaning. What do you think?
Once fall hits it seems like one thing after the next with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas not far behind. Having a house that has been cleaned from top to bottom is a good way to start off the holiday season, as fall always seems to get busier and busier as the days go on.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of getting your entire house deep cleaned this fall, don’t be. I put together a fall cleaning checklist of 43 things that should be cleaned so you don’t have to worry about forgetting a thing.
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FALL CLEANING CHECKLIST – 43 THINGS THAT SHOULD BE DONE
1. VACUUM UNDER FURNITURE
I realize that your idea of a relaxing fall day probably doesn’t include vacuuming under your furniture. Mine isn’t, either.
Nonetheless, it is something that should definitely get done. It’s amazing all the dirt and dust bunnies that can collect under furniture without you ever realizing it. Spend a day moving all your big furniture to the side and vacuuming underneath it all.
2. VACUUM FURNITURE
And you thought vacuuming under the furniture was bad enough? Taking a vacuum to your couches and chairs is a good idea to help really get the dirt that has worked its way into the cloth, out.
If you’ve ever patted your cloth furniture and seen dust fly into the air it’s definitely time to take the vacuum to them.
3. CLEAN AND WASH THROW PILLOWS AND BLANKETS
All those fancy throw pillows and blankets you have, even if they’re just for decoration and never get used, should be cleaned, and if possible, washed.
Cleaning these will help freshen up your whole room. Besides, if you’re vacuuming your furniture you wouldn’t want to go ahead and put dirty throw pillows back onto your newly clean couches, would you?
4. DUST BLINDS
Grab your dusting rag and dust all your window blinds. When I first went around dusting our blinds I was shocked by how much dust collected on them. I didn’t realize that dusting the blinds was something I would have to regularly do, but it makes sense that they would collect dust especially if you have your windows open during the warm-weather months.
5. WASH CURTAINS
Just like dusting all your window blinds, you should also take down and wash all the curtains in your house. Most curtains should be fine to just throw in the washing machine – but be sure to read the label first, because some kinds will have to be hand washed.
6. LIFT AREA RUGS AND CLEAN UNDERNEATH
I love area rugs. They are simple, stylish, and you can usually find some budget-friendly ones. What I don’t love is all the dirt that collects underneath them.
To clean under your area rugs you should roll them up and place them to the side. Grab your vacuum and vacuum up all the dirt that has gotten under the rug, then grab your mop and give the area a quick mop.
You might be thinking it’s silly to mop the floor under an area rug since it doesn’t get directly walked on, but it isn’t a bad idea to mop it once or twice a year. Especially if stuff has spilled on your rug, it can easily leak through to the floor beneath it.
Be sure to let the floor dry completely before you put your area rug back in place.
7. STEAM CLEAN CARPETS AND CLOTH FURNITURE
You can either purchase a small steam cleaner (these are also great for cleaning and detailing the inside of your car), or you can rent one for a day to steam clean all your carpets and cloth furniture.
All the dirt and dust that has burrowed into your carpets and furniture over the summer can be a bit stubborn and difficult to get out, but taking the right steps (vacuuming then steam cleaning) will help you make your furniture and carpets like new again.
8. WASH ALL PILLOWS, BLANKETS, COMFORTERS, AND MATTRESS TOPPERS
Empty all your beds of their pillows, blankets and comforters and mattress toppers and give them all a good wash. Read the labels of everything before you go and throw it in your washing machine as it might require you hand wash it – or it might bleed color so you won’t want to wash it with other clothes or linens.
9. WASH SHEETS AND PILLOW CASES
Strip all your beds of their sheets and all pillows of their cases. Since you’re washing your pillows and mattress toppers, you might as well get straight to washing all the sheets and pillowcases as well.
10. CLEAN UNDER BEDS, NIGHT TABLES, AND DRESSERS
Have you ever pulled your bed, night table or dresser away from its designated spot? If you have, there’s a good chance you’ve gotten to see how much dirt, grime, and dust bunnies collect behind and underneath all that furniture.
Pull all your bedroom furniture away from their spots and drag out the vacuum and mop to give everything underneath and behind them a good clean. Don’t forget to wash the baseboard, too.
It’s a good idea to make cleaning behind your bedroom furniture a regular thing – I find if I wait too long between vacuuming under our bed I often wake up in the night with a very stuffy nose from the dust that has collected under there.
While you have all your blankets, pillows and sheets off of your bed being washed and cleaned, it’s a good idea to stand your mattress up on its side for the day to let it get some fresh air through it.
12. FLIP YOUR MATTRESS AROUND FOR EVEN WEAR AND TEAR
Flipping your mattress around from end to end every time you change bedsheets, or even just every couple of months is a helpful way to promote even wear and tear on your mattress, rather than wearing it down in certain spots from always sleeping in the same spot.
Flip it over so the bottom is up, or flip it around so the head of the mattress is at your feet.
13. DEEP CLEAN ALL YOUR BATHROOMS
Deep clean your bathrooms working your way from top to bottom to ensure any hidden areas get cleaned. While you’re cleaning if your bathroom has a window open it up to let some fresh air into the room.
Before you start cleaning take a couple minutes to take everything off of the countertops, out of the shower, and out from underneath the sink. Removing all this stuff before you start deep cleaning your bathroom will make the entire process a lot quicker.
14. WASH SHOWER CURTAIN
Remove your shower curtains and, depending on the material, either throw them in the washing machine or wash them by hand. If you have plastic shower curtains when washing by hand make sure you get the bottoms really good as they tend to get slimy with soap grime.
15. CLEAN OUT UNDER THE BATHROOM SINK
Remove everything from under the bathroom sink and give the cupboard a really good scrub down. Since you have everything out from there it’s the perfect time to sort through and get rid of stuff that you don’t need anymore.
The space under the bathroom sink tends to be a really good area to dump things and forget about them. Take time to get rid of everything you don’t need and the stuff that you do keep give a quick wipe down before placing neatly back under the sink.
When putting things back under the sink be sure you organize it neatly so everything is easy to get at. Remember – if you don’t have room for it, get rid of it.
16. SCRUB THE SHOWER AND TUB
With the shower curtain and everything from inside the shower removed, grab some hardy cleaning clothes and brushes and some good cleaner and start scrubbing.
Soap scum can be one of the hardest things to get rid of, but some homemade cleaners such as a mixture of baking soda and water or (my favorite) vinegar, water and a dash of dishwashing detergent.
17. WIPE DOWN THE EXTERIOR OF THE WASHER AND DRYER
Moving on to the laundry room, take a clean cloth with some good cleaner and start wiping down the exterior of your washer and dryer. Pull them away from the wall if possible so you can wipe down the backs of them, as well (and clean behind and underneath them while you’re at it).
18. CLEAN INSIDE WASHER RING
Moving inside your washing machine, take time to really clean the inside ring. This ring tends to collect a lot of grime and can start to mold over time. Your washer ring will require regular cleanings and is something that shouldn’t be neglected.
You will also want to wipe down the inside of the washer door to get rid of any soap scum and dirt that may have collected there.
19. CLEAN INSIDE DRYER VENT
The dryer vent is something that you should be cleaning off every time you do a load of laundry. Even if you are very thorough with cleaning your dryer vent, it still won’t hurt to get yourself an affordable dryer vent cleaning brush to safely clean the inside of your dryer vent.
These dryer vent brushes allow you to get the lint that has accumulated and fallen down below where you are able to reach with your hands.
20. DUST AND WASH BEHIND WASHER AND DRYER
While you have your washing machine and dryer pulled away from the wall to clean it, take this time to vacuum, mop, and wipe down the walls and baseboard that is behind and beneath where your washer and dryer normally sit.
Just like with the furniture in your bedroom, there will likely be a lot of dirt and dust behind your washer and dryer as well.
21. WASH AND PUT AWAY SUMMER BEDDING
With summer at an end, it’s the perfect time to wash and put away all your summer bedding. Bring out the warm flannel sheets and pack away the cool, light summer sheets. Pack up all your light summer blankets and bring out the thick winter blankets.
Washing your summer bedding before putting it away to storage allows you to have nice clean bedding when next summer comes around and you’re ready to use it again.
22. DEEP CLEAN THE OVEN
Moving on with our fall cleaning checklist to the kitchen, it’s time to deep clean your oven.
Deep cleaning an oven doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. Many ovens these days come with the “self-clean” option which makes deep cleaning them easy as pie. Before you set the self-clean option on your oven it’s a good idea to read the manual so you know how to properly work it and the steps to take.
With our oven, you can choose the amount of time that it takes to self-clean, then you have to let it sit for at least an hour after the cleaning is done to give it significant time to cool down – then once you’re able to, you go in with a cloth and wipe off all the grime.
The self-cleaning option simply heats the oven up to a very hot temperature to burn off and loosen any spills and messes in the oven, then you simply wipe it off after the self-cleaning option is complete. It really is easy.
23. DEEP CLEAN THE STOVE TOP
Deep cleaning your stove top, whether you have a glass stove top, coil cooktop or anything else, it’s important to clean them every once in a while.
Each different type of cooktop will require different steps to clean them, so look at what kind of stove top you have and then look up how to clean that particular type.
24. EMPTY AND DEEP CLEAN INSIDE THE FRIDGE
Completely emptying your fridge so you can deep clean the inside is also a great opportunity to get rid of food that has gone bad.
Most refrigerator shelves remove for easy cleaning. Once you take all the shelves out, wipe down the walls, back and inside door of the fridge. Then you can take all the shelves you removed and wash them in the sink with some good soapy water to remove any food or drinks that have spilled onto them.
Once the inside of the fridge is wiped and all the shelves and drawers have been washed and wiped down, place them back in the fridge.
Now you can go through all the food that was in your fridge, toss anything that has gone bad, combine anything that you can combine (if you have several open mustards that have a “best before” date of around the same time you can easily combine them in one mustard container to save space).
If you find food that is getting to the end of its life but still has a couple days left, move that food to the front of the shelves so you remember to use it up before it goes bad.
25. EMPTY PANTRY AND WIPE DOWN SHELVES
This will likely be a pretty big job, but it’s an important one on the fall cleaning checklist. Emptying your pantry doesn’t only allow you to wipe down the floor, walls, and shelves of it, it also allows you to take inventory of all the food you have.
Again, throw out any food that has gone bad and neatly organize the rest of your food back onto the shelves. Organize the food so it’s easy to get at and so you can see all the food you have. This way the next time you go shopping you will know what you already have and won’t buy duplicates.
26. CLEAN REFRIGERATOR COILS
The refrigerator coils are something that are often forgotten about when it comes to deep cleaning a house. It’s just something people don’t think about, but they are something that should be cleaned and that’s why they’re on the fall cleaning checklist.
To clean the refrigerator coils you will want to unplug your refrigerator and move it away from the wall, then wipe down the coils (you may be extremely surprised by the amount of dirt and dust that collects on them).
While the fridge is pulled away from the wall it is a good time to quickly wipe down the baseboard, wall, and floor behind the fridge, too.
Once you are don’t don’t forget to sweep or vacuum up all the grime that fell onto the floor from the coils, then move your fridge back into place and plug it back in.
27. DUST TOP OF FRIDGE AND ALL CUPBOARDS
Grab a sturdy step stool and dust the top of your refrigerator (it’s mildly terrifying how much dust can collect up there) and the tops of all your cupboards. Those cupboards that are way up high and no one will ever see the top of still need to be dusted, too.
If you have knick-knacks on the top of your cupboards or refrigerator, you will want to remove them all before you start dusting to speed up the process.
28. WASH KITCHEN CHAIRS
Take all your kitchen chairs and stools and give them a good wash. If your chairs don’t have cushions on them they will be extremely easy to wash and should just require a good wipe down all over.
If the chairs and stools do have cushions, you can take your handy-dandy steam cleaner and quickly steam clean the cushions on the chairs.
29. WASH ALL WINDOWS
Moving on to the miscellaneous section of the fall cleaning checklist, it’s time to wash your windows.
With all the dust from summer, your windows are likely due for a good cleaning. You might find dust, grass clippings, spider webs, and other little things on and around your windows.
Cleaning your windows inside and out is something you will want to get done before the cold weather sets in. You definitely won’t want to be standing outside with a bucket of water in freezing temperatures.
30. SPOT WASH WALLS
If you’re feeling super ambitious, you could go ahead and wash all your walls from top to bottom, but I realize that is quite the job, and most of the time you can get away with looking them over and spot washing them.
One area that gets particularly bad for us is our entryway. As we come in the door with dirty hands to take off our shoes, it’s easy to not think about what we’re doing and lean up against the walls, or place our hands on the walls for balance. This ends up in some very dirty, grimy walls in our entryway, so washing the entryway walls is something I definitely try to do more than once or twice a year.
31. DUST LIGHT FIXTURES
All the light fixtures in your house should get a good dusting at least twice a year, and during your fall cleaning is a perfect time to get one of the yearly cleanings in.
Grab a ladder or step-stool and your favorite dusting rags and get busy dusting all the light fixtures in your house. Depending on how bad they are, you might even have to go around first with a vacuum to suck some of the dust and grime out of or off of them.
32. DEEP CLEAN KIDS PLAY AREA
Oh, the dreaded play area. Getting your kids to pick up after themselves can be just as much of a chore for you as it is for them, never mind the thought of actually deep cleaning their play area.
Deep cleaning your kids’ play area doesn’t have to be overwhelming and can be done in little time. Start by going through all their toys and getting rid of the ones that no longer get used, then move the toys, furniture, and other stuff out of the room so you can clean beneath, behind, and all around the furniture and toys.
33. DUST BOOKSHELVES
Take all your books off of the bookshelves then vacuum and wipe down all the shelves. This is also a good time to go through your books and donate any of the ones that won’t get used or read again.
34. PUT AWAY SUMMER DECOR AND CLEAN SURFACES BEFORE BRINGING OUT FALL DECOR
The time to pack up all your fun summer decor has come, and now you get to haul out those beautiful autumn decorations.
Before you bring out all your fall decorations, take time to go around and dust and vacuum every surface that you had your summer decorations on, then go ahead and decorate your house for autumn.
35. PUT UP A FALL-SCENTED AIR FRESHENER
This isn’t exactly a cleaning tip, but once you have completed the fall cleaning checklist and have cleaned your house, you will want to put some kind of fall-scented stuff out to help keep your house smelling cozy and fresh.
36. GET RID OF DUST BUNNIES AND COBWEBS
Since you moved all the furniture and cleaned behind and beneath it earlier on the fall cleaning checklist, there shouldn’t be too much left for dust bunnies and cobwebs in your house, but it’s a good idea to check around your whole house with a vacuum and rag in hand to get rid of any that may have hidden themselves.
If you have an older basement there’s a good chance that you have some cobwebs hiding down there, so head down there and get rid of them.
37. DUST THE WHOLE HOUSE
You’ve almost completed your entire fall cleaning checklist, there are just a couple simple things left. Since you’ve already dusted surfaces where you had your summer decor, you’ve dusted your bookshelves, you’ve deep cleaned bathrooms and kids playrooms, you’ve wiped the top of the fridge and cupboards, you’ve dusted all the light fixtures in your house, you’ve wiped down the pantry, you’ve dusted the laundry room and you’ve dusted the blinds, dusting the rest of your house should be quick and easy.
Find any surfaces that were missed and give them a quick dusting to ensure you’ve gotten rid of all (or most of) the dust in your house.
38. TEST SMOKE DETECTORS
Now is the perfect time to test and make sure all the smoke detectors in your house are working. If they’re not working, it might be as simple of a fix as replacing the batteries. If that still doesn’t fix your problem it might be a bit more complicated, and it is something you should look into getting fixed right away.
39. DUST BASEBOARDS
This has got to be one of my least favorite cleaning tasks as it can be hard on the back and knees and pretty time-consuming. Thankfully, there have been inventions to make this job a whole lot easier. Check this out to save your back and knees and clean your baseboard in record time.
40. DUST LAMPS
Lamps are something often forgotten about when cleaning a house, so it’s a good idea to remember them on your fall cleaning checklist this year.
Dusting lamps won’t take much time, simply dust the stand and the lampshade.
41. EMPTY AND WIPE OUT CUPBOARDS AND DRAWERS
Again, we’re on the tail-end of this fall cleaning checklist and wiping out any remaining cupboards and drawers shouldn’t take up too much time at all. Simply move from one cupboard and drawer to the next, removing all of its contents, wiping or vacuuming it out, then putting everything back in, then move to the next.
42. CLEAN AND SANITIZE SINKS
Go around to all your sinks with a sanitizer and take time to give them all a quick wipe-down. Get all the dirt and grime out and wipe out any stains in the sink.
43. CLEAN AND SANITIZE TRASH CANS
Trash cans can get pretty gross without you even realizing it. Now is a good time to take all garbage bags out of the trash cans, wash all the cans out then spray them with a sanitizer to get rid of any bad smells and/or mold that may have started.
That is the end of your full fall cleaning checklist – your house is sure to be spotless and smell amazing after completing everything on the checklist.
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