While spring cleaning is a more popular term, the end of summer and return of the regular school year routine make Autumn a popular time for “fall cleaning” as well. This week we’re going to be talking about a few ways you can “fall clean”, not just in your home, but in your life as well!
Let’s start with our homes. With the holidays fast approaching (yes, that’s right — thinking about the holidays already!), now is a great time to prepare your home for busier months. Last year, Tara from Deal Seeking Mom and I spent two weeks preparing our homes for the holidays in early November. We created detailed checklists that you can use any time of year, so be sure to download those at the end of this post!
For now, though, let’s talk about the three stages of fall cleaning. You could approach these in a couple different ways, either completing one stage at a time throughout your entire house or moving room-by-room and completing all three stages before moving on to the next room.
I prefer the room-by-room approach because there’s a more immediate sense of accomplishment and you’re not working over yourself as you go. However, my husband tends to want to completely one task throughout our entire home before moving to the next, so if that’s the way you prefer to work as well, there’s no reason not to continue that way!
Declutter. Declutter. Declutter. I don’t mean to harp on the idea of decluttering and simplifying your stuff, except it really is a huge part of living intentionally and simply. With less stuff, you have more time and energy to fully embrace life, more money in your pocket and a better perspective on what’s really important in life.
Just think about how many times someone talks about all the stuff in their home or clutter that’s driving them nuts or wanting to just get rid of it all. On the other hand, it’s rare that you hear someone bemoaning the fact that they chose the path of less stuff. In fact, most people who begin the journey of decluttering find it so invigorating that they end up decluttering more and more over time.
If you’re just getting started, don’t feel like you need to turn into a minimalist overnight. Start by walking through your home and gathering up anything that you’re obviously ready to part with — trash, broken toys, cheap knick knacks that you never really liked in the first place, etc.
Then, as you go room by room, think about the last time you used an item, whether you truly love it and how hard it would be to replace it down the road if you change your mind. Begin boxing up things that you’re ready to let go of, either for immediate donation or to live in a sealed box in the basement for 3-6 months. Once that time has passed, if you haven’t missed the stuff in the box, you can safely donate it without worrying about regrets down the road.
If you’ve already begun decluttering, it may be time to get more serious about it and make the harder decisions, but it’s okay to do a little bit at a time!
Once you’ve cleaned out the clutter in each room, you can begin deep cleaning: Wipe the baseboards, clean behind and under furniture, wash the windows. Clean upholstery, curtains and blinds. Dust fan blades and switch the direction they rotate in preparation for winter.
Although these are the things that I often put off in favor of spending time with my family, it’s a good idea to do them a couple times a year to improve the air quality in your home, check for damage that you might not otherwise notice and keep it from building up indefinitely.
For simple deep cleaning, stick to a microfiber cloth for dusting, a vinegar/water solution for windows, glass, bathrooms and more and baking soda to scrub sinks, toilets and showers.
Finally, reorganize the areas of your home you use the most, as well as your storage, so that things are easy to find and get to. Stuff naturally moves from a state of organization to disorganization as you get things in and out of drawers and stuff additional items into closets. Reorganizing is a great way to not only straighten up the mess but also to make sure the things you use the most are the easiest to get to.
Download or print these printable checklists to help you fall clean your home, room by room:
- Bathroom Cleaning Checklist
- Bedroom Cleaning Checklist
- Kids Room / Playroom Cleaning Checklist
- Kitchen Cleaning Checklist
- Living Room Cleaning Checklist
- Storage Cleaning Checklist
Do you feel inspired to clean and reorganize this month?