While I am a huge fan of hot summer days, I absolutely love fall. The way the light changes, the freshness of the air, the brilliant colors of the changing leaves. Then of course there are cozy sweaters, bowls of hot soup, and snuggly blankets. What’s not to like about fall?
Back in the spring, I wrote a post about why spring cleaning is not an outdated chore. I feel the same way about fall cleaning. You might be thinking, but I JUST cleaned my entire house five months ago (or four, or six, or however many it’s been. We don’t judge here at JPB). You’re right, and so did I, and I’m going to do it again. Here’s why.
As soon as the weather warmed up enough, I flung open all the windows in my house. After eight months of being closed tight, the fresh air was a welcome replacement of the dry, dusty air of fall/winter/spring. Having windows and screen doors open during the late spring and summer generates its own kind of problems however.
First, there is tree and flower pollen that is generated as the earth comes back to life. This continues on through the summer and even into the fall. Next, there is dust that is generated from lawn mowing and dry, windy days. Also, if your house is next a road like mine is (and mine is on a corner, they get me on two sides), there is dust and dirt that is generated from traffic traveling past your house.
All of that comes in through your windows and settles into the nooks and crannies of your house. It attaches to your walls and adheres to your nicknacks and furniture. So even if you’ve been keeping up with your regular cleaning routine during the summer months, you’re going to want to give your house a good top-to-bottom cleaning now that the summer is over. I like to get it done in the fall so that my house is nice and clean before the holidays.
I follow the same cleaning schedule I used in the spring, with a few modifications.
I only wash my windows once a year, and that goes done in the spring.We seal our windows each fall (they are old, single paned windows that are sash hung, you probably don’t need to do this), and so when my husband unseals them after the heat gets shut off, they get cleaned inside and out. Likewise, I only wash my curtains once a year, and that goes done in the fall. For curtains that can’t go in the wash (yes, I made that mistake with one room too, I won’t judge) I run the soft brush of my vacuum cleaner over them.
I only pull out my appliances and wash behind and under them once a year, and that gets done in the fall. This is because after windows, this is the second most time consuming cleaning chore, and so I split them apart. The fall is also when I thaw and clean my chest freezer. Doing it in the fall serves two purposes. First, the cooler weather helps keep any food I have to move into coolers frozen for the time it takes. More importantly, I can organize and purge the freezer and get it ready for fall cooking and baking.
In the fall we also change the filters in our heating units and schedule an appointment for our boiler to be serviced. You don’t want to wait until your heating unit develops an issue to have this done, because experience has taught me that it will be a bitter cold winter weekend day, and they will change you an extra fee to come out and fix it.
Finally, if you have wood floors in your house, it’s a good idea not to wash them very regularly. I like to sweep and dry Swiffer mine each week, and then mop them with Murphy’s Oil Soap twice a year. My floors have been sealed with linseed oil, not varnish, so your floor maintenance may vary. I only move the big pieces of furniture in my house when I spring and fall clean, so this is also a chance to get rid of any dust bunnies and accumulating cat toys that have got stuck in tight places my broom can’t reach.
Finally, I start my fall cleaning at the end of August. I do this for a few reasons. The main reason is that my house is big and has a lot of rooms and I don’t have a lot of spare time to devote to cleaning it during this season of my life. I break out my cleaning by room and plan to be done the week before Thanksgiving. Starting at the end of August also allows me to clean all the spaces of my house that aren’t heated before the cold sets in (I do those rooms first), such as the porch, my pantry, and the storage areas.
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