Your Fall Deep-Cleaning Checklist
When the warm summer days come to an end and fall approaches, you may notice you’re staying inside more and more as the weather turns colder. And now that you’re doing more in the comfort and warmth of your own home, you want to make sure you have a clean and organized space to relax in. Take a look at our tips for prepping your home for the fall (and winter) months ahead.
Freshen Up Your Bathrooms
Start your process by taking care of the rooms that could most use a good cleaning. Put the beach towels away, organize your drawers, cabinets and under the sink, and scrub your entire bathroom. To really give your bathroom a fresh start, take a look at some of the things you usually don’t pay much attention to, like your shower curtain, showerhead and toothbrush holders.
Sanitizing Your Kitchen
Between your kitchen and your bathrooms, it’s a race to see which can get the dirtiest the fastest. And when it comes to the room where you’re storing food, you’ve really got to be vigilant about keeping it clean. Plus, nobody likes cooking in a dirty kitchen — so check out these tips for keeping your kitchen looking fresh and getting rid of lurking bacteria.
Get your oven ready for the holiday season. If your oven is newer, it may be able to clean itself — that is, it’ll have a self-clean mode that’ll scorch any crumbs or remnants of old food that remain, making it super easy for you to wipe out later. But only use this option if your oven is relatively dirty. Having too much grime or crumbs at the bottom could lead to smoke and potentially fire. Make sure to remove the racks from the oven before you use the self-clean feature, too.
If your oven doesn’t have a self-clean feature, opt for an oven-specific cleaner. Wipe down the oven door, racks and floor of the oven with a wet rag before strictly following the cleaner’s instructions, using thick plastic gloves to wipe down the oven. Rinse according to instructions again, making sure to remove all the cleaner from the oven.
Toss out any expired items. Both your refrigerator and pantry are probably home to some sketchy food items — months-old moldy bread, leftovers from a restaurant you can’t even remember the name of — so when you’re clearing out those spaces before you wipe down the racks and drawers, throw out anything that even hints at spoilage. When in doubt, throw it out.
Make Your Living Room More Livable
A living room should be a place where you and your family can relax, but it’s hard to kick back when there are toys all over the floor, throw pillows in the corner and crumbs on the rug. Hop up off the sofa and use these tips to get your relaxation space back in prime condition.
Clean the cushions. Your couches and chairs probably aren’t as clean as you think. Whether it’s a small stain from a spill, crumbs from snacks or pet hair, they could use a little care. Shake and brush any crumbs off the cushion, and use a lint roller to get rid of any animal fur. To remove a stain, blot it with a wet rag, then use an appropriate upholstery cleaner to make it look like new again.
Bust the dust. With winter around the corner, you and your family are bound to spend a lot of time indoors. Your windowsills, door frames and corners of your living room can harbor a lot of unseen dust that can trigger allergies, so grab your duster and let everyone in your home breathe easy as the weather turns cold.
Clean the floors. Depending on if you have carpet or hardwood, vacuum or sweep away any loose items. For carpet, consider using a carpet shampooer to get out any long-lasting stains and unseen dirt. For hardwood, use a dust mop to remove any visible dirt or blemishes. If tougher stains and marks remain, use a liquid cleaner and rag to spot-clean and bring the floors back to life.
Create an organized space. Tired of your kids, spouse’s and guests’ shoes ending up all over the place? Create a corner near the front door where you can neatly store shoes, hats and coats right when you come inside. Make sure to have a rug where you can wipe your shoes and keep the unwanted snow and slush off of your newly-cleaned floors!
Tidy Up Your Bedrooms
You’ll feel much better falling into bed in a squeaky-clean bedroom, so finish strong and use these tips to make it a healthy and clean place to rest your head at night.
Wash your sheets. You should be washing your sheets every couple of weeks, but if you only change them once a month, you’re still in good shape. If you can’t remember the last time you changed yours, mark a specific day on the calendar each month to switch your sheets out and get rid of all the allergens and dirt that you’re leaving on your bed every night. And now that it’s going to be colder outside, store the lighter sheets away in the closest and bust out the heavier comforter and warm, flannel sheets.
Get rid of the clutter. Put the deodorant, perfume, cologne or whatever is hogging the valuable space on your dresser or bedside table back in its respective drawer. Don’t forget to wipe down and disinfectant the tops of your tables or dressers, too.
Check underneath your bed. Look for larger items under your bed like shirts, socks and shoes and put them back where they belong. Vacuum under the bed with a hose attachment to get rid of the sneeze-inducing dust.
Organize and Clean the Exterior of Your House
Now that the inside of your house is all cleaned up, make sure your lawn is prepped for the colder months. Re-organize your garage so you can fit as many of your vehicles inside as you can to protect them from the elements. And don’t forget to get your shovels and sidewalk salt out and ready for the winter weather.
Giving your house a good fall maintenance check is a good idea, too. Once you’ve set up your home to handle the change from warm to cold, get in touch with an American Family Insurance agent to make sure your home is protected from the unexpected.