Fall Cleaning: Just as Important as Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning always gets the spotlight. Why? Because people feel like they need to make a fresh start after a long and grueling winter. But fall cleaning is just as important; after all, you’ll be indoors for three months or more, why not spend it a clean place?

The first and most obvious thing to do is get your furnace inspected if you own your own home, and change the filter even if you don’t. You’ll want to enjoy consistent heat throughout the winter, as well as clean air coming out of the vents.

Then, you’ll want to initiate a thorough cleaning. The first step — as always — is to purge some of the things you don’t need. The holidays are coming, and you can make space for new stuff — or all of the guests you’ll be hosting at your Thanksgiving, Christmas and Super Bowl parties.

Town & Country magazine has a list of 50 things that you probably don’t need to keep: condiment packets, outdated reference books, canvas totes, unworn costume jewelry, extra mugs, leftover paint and old phones. They’re just taking up space.

Bag up any lightly used clothing and household goods that might be of use to someone else and contact ClothingDonations.org for a contactless #donation pickup. A truck will visit your house on the appointed day to take that #junk away for good.

Then, start a targeted, room-by-room dusting and cleaning. Take as many hours or days as you need, but concentrate your efforts to make sure everything gets organized, dusted, wiped, mopped and sanitized.

Dust, pollen and insects such as moths probably blew into your home over the summer. Don’t let pests set up shop and overwinter in your basement or rafters. “See who’s hiding where and giving them a squish or kick to the curb before they start snacking on you or your clothes,” Apartment Therapy says.

Think of fall cleaning as a fresh start on a new season — one in which you’llbe spending a lot of time indoors. Don’t you want to live in a clean, sparkling and healthy home? Get started while you can still can!

Clean Out Garden Beds While You Can

Now’s the time to clean out #garden beds if you want them to flourish and flower next spring. Pull out annuals and any other plants and shrubs that have died back. Cut the grass one last time, and make it short — shaggy lawns left under snowpack can develop brown patches, Cleveland.com says. Rake up the grass trimmings, dead leaves and other detritus and compost them if they are disease-free; burn or trash suspect material. Mulch flower beds to discourage the growth of weeds in the spring. Finally, clean and sharpen your garden tools — and then relax around the fire pit.

Keeping Up With The Clutter

Face it – busy lives lead to clutter. The bigger your family, the more pets, the more visitors, the bigger the mess. It’s not all bad. An active family is a happy family—those visitors, events, and flurries of activity all create memories that will last for lifetimes. The flip side, of course, is that sometimes things just get out of hand. What to do? Get your arms around the clutter by establishing some simple steps to help your home stay clutter-free, even in the midst of a myriad of family and friends.

For example:

  • Family rules. Set up rules for your family and require everyone to follow them. For instance, when you use a glass, plate or utensils, you rinse them and put them in the dishwasher as soon as you’re done with them. No leaving these things lying around the house on tables in various rooms.
  • Clean as you go. If you take care of cleaning up on a regular basis, the clutter won’t pile up. Make it easy by storing cleaning cloths and products near where messes are made—e.g. in the bathroom.
  • A place for everything and everything in its place. It’s an old saying, but a practical one. When you use something put it away where it belongs. Not only will this relieve clutter, but it can help you avoid lost items as well.
  • Don’t need/want an item anymore? Donate it to us! Keep boxes and bins handy (and tucked away in closets) where you can put items you no longer need or want. When the box is filled, contact us and we’ll come and take it off your hands. Your donations go to help our veterans!

Still feeling like you just can’t keep up with the clutter that seems to magically emerge around you? Here’s some advice from Real Simple about how to avoid “The Top 6 Excuses for Clutter.” Which of these do you fall prey to?

Do you have additional tips that have helped you and your family keep your active home clutter-free? Share them here!