A once-a-year massive spring clean may not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you’d rather break up the work, here are some ideas for sprucing up your space this fall. From updating your book collection to cleaning up outdoors, pick and choose from these eight to-dos to create a fall cleaning plan that works for you.
Launder slipcovers and curtains. Check the care instructions carefully, especially if you’ve never laundered these items before. Shrunken slipcovers and short curtains are a major bummer! If you’re not sure, check with the manufacturer, or just send them to the dry cleaners.
Deep-clean kids’ rooms. Get the kids in on the project by assigning jobs that seem sort of fun — like dusting the floor with dusting mitts on their feet, or spritzing surfaces with a gentle cleaning spray. Move or clean under furniture where the biggest dust bunnies hide, and tidy up toys and clothes.
Edit your book collection. The fall and winter months are prime time for curling up with a good book. Make some room on your shelves for new titles by weeding out books you didn’t love or know you won’t pick up again. While you’re at it, use a duster to sweep the shelves and spines.
Wipe down kitchen cupboards, walls and appliances. Grease from cooking can build up on kitchen surfaces over time. Using a warm, wrung-out microfiber cloth, wipe down everything top to bottom. To avoid damaging finishes, start with just water on the cloth and add gentle cleanser if needed.
Refresh cleaning tools. When was the last time you checked out the state of all of those scrub brushes and cleaning tools? Replace any with bedraggled bristles, and fill in any gaps in your cleaning arsenal. Having the right tools really does make the work easier and more pleasant.
Sort papers. Mail and other incoming paperwork can easily pile up. Make yourself a big cup of coffee or tea and sit down to go through it all. Shred documents with personal information on them before recycling and file important records. To manage paper piles in the future, consider keeping a small file box near the front door so you can quickly and easily file things away.
Clean carpets and floors. Have carpeting and area rugs professionally cleaned if needed, or spot-clean on your own. Assess the condition of wood floors, and have them recoated or refinished if it’s time.
Tidy up outdoors. A full summer of gardening and outdoor activities can leave the porch and yard littered with half-filled bags of potting soil and scattered sand toys. Use a day on a crisp fall weekend to get it all tidied up. Clean beach toys and gear before storing them for the winter, and find a sheltered area to stow gardening tools and supplies.