Prepare for Winter with Autumn Cleaning

While it’s common to break out the deep cleaning supplies in the spring, this isn’t the only time we should give our homes a more thorough scrub. For most households, an annual deep cleaning just isn’t enough!

Spring cleaning gets all the glory, but autumn cleaning sets the tone for the new school year and a cozy winter indoors. Fall cleaning will allow you dedicated time to put away summer décor and toys, assess items like outdoor furniture and screens for repair or replacement, and ensure you’re ready for the winter season.

What Is Fall Cleaning?

Fall cleaning is spring cleaning’s counterpart. It’s best practice to deep clean your home seasonally—this takes the pressure off a single day or weekend and helps to prevent small messes from snowballing. There are no hard or fast rules for autumn cleaning, and your task list will vary based on the needs of your household. If you own your home, you might have a significant amount of outdoor fall cleaning. If you’re renting or living in a condo, your list is likely to focus on indoor tasks.

When to Start Fall Cleaning

We recommend you start tackling your fall cleaning list early in the season—late August or early September are great targets! Starting your cleaning early will allow you plenty of time before the weather changes and the winter holidays come along.

Must-Have Fall Cleaning Supplies

Before you get to work, make sure you assemble all the supplies you need, including:

  • Vacuum with attachments to clean hard-to-reach spaces
  • Cleaning sprays to break up stains, mildew, and sticky spots
  • Cleaning sponges and brushes
  • Grout-cleaning tools
  • Dust cloths or a wooly
  • Power washer and hose
  • Exterior brushes and broom
  • Storage containers
  • And more!

Autumn House Cleaning Checklist

Below, we're highlighting some of the most important – and most often forgotten – autumn cleaning tasks. (You’ll notice some cross-over between a fall and spring cleaning checklist, and for good reason. These are chores that should be completed at least bi-annually.)

  • Deep clean the shower: Summer sand and dirt are often trapped in the shower pan or bathtub (this is especially true of households with kids and pets). The seasonal shift presents a perfect opportunity to scrub the shower.
  • Organize medicine cabinets: Take time to clean out your medicine cabinet. Be sure to safely dispose of expired medicines, and give the cabinet shelves a good cleaning.
  • Vacuum under and behind appliances: Not part of your everyday cleaning routine, vacuuming behind and under appliances will help you prevent pests in the kitchen.
  • Wax and condition hardwoods: Following the best practices for the flooring (LVP, hardwood) and wood furniture, clean, condition, and moisturize these surfaces to prep them for dry winter air.
  • Clean your fridge: Watermelon juice and summertime drinks like fruit punch, soda pop, and alcoholic drinks can leave sticky spots in your fridge. Thoroughly wipe down the shelves and check expiration dates as condiments from early summer barbeques, leftovers, and more can often stay in your fridge far longer than you realize!
  • Rotate mattresses: Your mattress should be rotated and flipped every few months. Take advantage of this deep cleaning time to not only rotate your mattress but also clean your pillows.
  • Dust ceiling fan and change rotation: Ceiling fans collect large amounts of dust that often go unnoticed. Take this time to dust and clean the fan and blades, and change the direction of rotation.
  • Clean carpets and upholstery: You’ve probably been tracking dirt onto your living room floors all summer. In the cooler temperatures of fall, it’s a perfect time to clean your carpets.. Your furniture also should be refreshed, so that it’s an inviting place to relax in the next season.
  • Wash the windows: Clean the interior of the windows in your home to allow you to see out and keep the sunshine in.
  • Organize your closet: There’s a good chance you’re holding on to more clothing than you wear! As you put summer-season clothes away and pull out your favorite sweaters, consider what items should be donated or recycled. The same note applies to sporting goods and kids' toys, even books! If you can’t or don’t use it, don’t store it. Find it a new home.

Outdoor Fall Cleaning Checklist

  • Clear brush and leaves from the foundation: Preventing a buildup of debris against the home promotes ventilation and helps to prevent pests.
  • Clean the gutters: In areas with freezing winter temperatures, clearing the gutters helps to prevent house-damaging ice dams. Even homes in warmer climates should have their gutters cleaned to promote drainage away from the foundation of the house.
  • Power wash the house: Fall is the perfect time to power wash! Power washing helps to prevent the growth of algae and the collection of dirt, debris, and even spiderwebs.
  • Sweep and clean decks and patios: Like brush against the foundation, dirt and leaves left to rot on a deck or patio may stain, attract pests, and prevent moisture from quickly evaporating.
  • Store hoses and turn off exterior taps: In cold climates, hoses should be stored before the first evening of freezing temps. This includes draining the hoses and storing them for the winter. Homes with irrigation systems may need to be “blown out” for the winter.

Our Top Fall Cleaning Tips

  1. Many of these tasks (indoor and outdoor) are best left to the professionals, so don’t be afraid to ask for help!
  2. We recommend prioritizing your list by the items that will make the most impact on your household. If you must hold off on a big fall cleaning task, like exterior power washing, until spring – that’s OK! Most families will see the biggest impact by focusing on their daily living spaces.
  3. Ultimately, these are just starting points. Your autumn cleaning checklist should be customized to the needs of your household.

Let the Pros Help Conquer Your Fall Cleaning Checklist

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t! The Cleaning Authority’s local cleaning experts can help you tackle your autumn indoor cleaning tasks with a regular cleaning schedule or one-time cleaning. Request a free estimate online or call (888) 658-0659 today.