Summer weather tracks in dust, dirt, and maybe a little bit of grime. The kids are in and out. The dogs are in and out. Gardening is happening. Backyard inflatable pools are happening. Lots of outdoorsy life is happening. The cool fall weather is the time to start sweeping it all back outside, freshening up the inside, and in a way, closing up the house for the season.
The eye of the mess. Get the rest of your household to help…we doubt you’re creating disasters all by yourself. Assign the kiddos something that they may think is fun, and actually may complete the chore: dusting the floor and low surfaces, like under the furniture. Make sure they are getting in the habit of cleaning and organizing their own spaces, like their bedrooms, or playrooms.
Laundry labor. What’s the fabric in your home that you forget about and, in a way, take for granted? Furniture covers and curtains do their job all year long but do they ever receive any TLC? Take some time this season and clean the items appropriately: read the directions!
Think about your cold weather hobbies. As we bring most activities indoors, tidy and organize what you’re still interested in, or trash/donate what you want to be rid of, now. Perhaps start with your bookshelves, or crafting projects, like knitting. Donate the materials that you don’t want any more and it has become clutter, or what you know you won’t go back to again. Then dust what needs dusted, of course.
A general kitchen wipe down. The kitchen, especially, is a magnet for grease and grime. Damp microfiber cloths are the best for wiping down every surface. Just add water!
A gift for spring cleaning. Think about some tools that never get a second glance…replace or fix any cleaning tools that may need it, now and then you won’t have to do it in the spring.
Paper pile. Are you buried under a pile of paper? Mail, bills, paper confirmations, catalogs and on and on and on can easily get out of control. Devote a slot of time to sorting through the paper, with your favorite beverage, and throw out, shred, or file the appropriate pieces. Then establish an organizational system for all papers going forward, so you can find what you need easily.
The floors, the floors! The floors of your home get the roughest beating and, in the worst cases are tracked with mud, and in the best scenario are dusty and smudgy. Splurge a little and get your carpets cleaned professionally and then replace or refinish any hard floors, whether they are hardwood, tile, or linoleum.
Finally, move on to the outdoors. Listen, this may be the last few times this year that you have to do any outside work before the snow, ice, and frigid temperatures move in. Mow the lawn. Clean up the flower and garden beds. Rake the leaves. Paint any surfaces that got battered by summer storms. Store the summer toys. Make sure the winter tools are easily accessible.
Fall cleaning areas that we have missed? Let us know what we should have added in the comments below!