Fall Cleaning Checklist

As leaves start to fly, revisit your spring cleaning list and add a few seasonal extras to prepare your house for the winter.

Inside Your House

  1. Check Wash all windows.

    Use glass cleaner, or one squirt of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle filled with water, and wipe down with a microfiber cloth. Pick a cloudy day so you can better see any streaks.

  2. Check Vacuum dusty canvas, cotton, and treated fabric blinds.

    Use a low setting with a brush attachment. Vinyl shades can be wiped down with a dampened microfiber cloth if they need a little more attention.

  3. Check Moderately dirty window treatments need a two-step approach.

    Start by dusting or vacuuming the valance and frame, then vacuum from top to bottom using the upholstery attachment for drapes, and the brush attachment for blinds. Or submerge blinds or shades in a few inches of cool water and two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid (check labels first to make sure this is safe). Take out the metal weights first; they can rust.

  4. Check If your window coverings are very dirty, check labels for cleaning instructions.

    Some cotton, polyester, rayon, and wool drapes can be machine washed on delicate. Always send lace, linen, satin, and silk drapes and shades to a professional cleaner.

  5. Check Clean the walls.

    Dust, wash, rinse, and dry painted or wood-paneled walls.

  6. Check Clean ceiling-mounted light fixtures.

  7. Check Vacuum and spot-clean upholstered furniture and cushions.

    Deep-clean if necessary.

  8. Check Wipe down the kitchen cupboards.

    Empty them, wash them down, replace liners (if you use them), declutter, and reorganize.

  9. Check Dust off the refrigerator condenser coil.

    Use your vacuum’s brush attachment and gently vacuum it.

  10. Check Do the carpets.

    Have carpets professionally cleaned if needed.

  11. Check Evaluate any wooden floors.

    Have scratched or dull wood floors professionally scuff-sanded and recoated, or completely refinished.

  12. Check Spruce up your computer.

    Dust the CPU, clean and wipe down the keyboard, and dust off the monitor with a microfiber cloth.

  13. Check Straighten the closets.

    Declutter and reorganize.

  14. Check Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

    Or install them, if you haven’t yet.

  15. Check Replace the furnace filter.

    If you haven’t changed your furnace filter within the past three months, do so now.

  16. Check Sweep the chimneys.

    Have the wood-burning fireplace and stove flues and chimneys professionally inspected and swept.

  17. Check Declutter and clean out the attic.

Outside Your House

  1. Check Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows.

    Repair or replace as needed.

  2. Check Check and clean the gutters.

    Do the downspouts, too.

  3. Check Clean the patio furniture.

    Then store away.

  4. Check Drain and store garden hoses.

  5. Check Check the exterior paint.

    Touch up as needed.

  6. Check Drain the pool, if applicable.

    Close it up for the year.