There aren’t many things that I love more than the smell and feel of a clean space. I wish I were joking when I say that cleaning is one of my favorite pastimes. I was pretty much addicted to dusting in middle school. (Part of me cringes when I think about the amount of chemicals I must have breathed in over the years.) Let me be bit more specific, chores such as doing the dishes are not my cup of tea. It is the deep cleaning chores that I love. Doing things that eliminate any dust, dirt, and other things in a home that can make a space feel heavy.
Typically these kinds of things are done as a part of spring cleaning to freshen up our living spaces, but doing similar tasks coming into winter can be just as beneficial maybe even more so when flu season arrives. They don’t have to be done all at once or even in the same week. I usually do one room at a time moving through the house. Having one spotless space dorkishly excites motivates me to take on the next.
There is an array of to-dos that can help you ease your way into winter and freshen your home. This is just a little of what we have going on in our casa. These are my top eight ways to spring up your fall cleaning to start the cold months off right.
8 Ways to spring up your fall cleaning
Double up for muddy feet
Use a doormat on both sides of the door to keep tracked in winter mess to a minimum. Having a designated spot by the door to remove and keep shoes is allllmost a surefire way to keep the ick of a messy winter spilling into the rest of your living spaces. If it works for you, consider keeping a boot tray just outside the door.
Sift through your closets
Go through your winter clothes now when you can better judge what you won’t wear. Take the discarded items to a consignment shop that might buy them for the coming season and/or make a quick drop-off at Goodwill. Cleaning out closets isn’t just about clothes. I know you have other junk, er I mean, unused items that could be donated, recycled, or even upcycled. The objective is to make room for what life may bring in the winter months. Like possibly Christmas presents destined for re-gifting? This chore seems to be a reoccurring theme with us.
Clean ceiling fans and light fixtures
This is probably the most overlooked dust collecting area. Cleaning ceiling fans and light fixtures is something that we should be breaking out dust cloths and climbing chairs, stools, and ladders to do more often. They’re just so darn awkward to clean. The big change in seasons is the perfect reminder to check out what’s been happening above our heads. To clean and sanitize ceiling fans, I use our vinegar ‘glass’ cleaner and go back over it with homemade wood polish to give it that extra shine.
Flip and wash/vacuum mattresses
Our mattress has a zipper cover that I am able to wash as two separate pieces and hang on the line. The alternative would be to vacuum the mattress top with an attachment. I take things a step further and actually mist our thieves surface cleaner over the cleaned mattress to kill off any lingering germs. And of course, this is the perfect time to wrangle and flip your mattress over for even wear. It’s these extra steps in care that make stuff last longer.
Sweep the dark places
Get behind the furniture and under the rugs with a sweep and a mop for a good clean out – my favorite chore to do. This one might sound like a no-brainer, but this chore is often swept under the rug (sorry, I just couldn’t help myself). It’s amazing what can accumulate in those out of sight, out of mind locations. Every time I indulge in this deep cleaning chore, I feel like I can breathe a little deeper. With a cat, dog, and two outdoor enthusiasts in the house floors can get dirty and dusty quickly around these parts. You can get the recipe for our floor cleaner here.
Wash out the tea kettle and coffee pot
By boiling equal parts vinegar and water and letting it sit for several hours, you can remove deposits that build up within a kettle. Once you have a whistling clean tea kettle, you’ll be all set for the frigid months ahead. We’ve switched to Chemex, but for those still plugging in to make coffee, you’ll notice a big difference in flavor after a good clean.
I like to wash curtains twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. They are another dust magnet that can go easily unnoticed. A simple wash can make a big impact on the air quality within your home.
Get hats and gloves out of hiding
This is the last thing on my list. With everything clean and in its place (for the short time it lasts) I swap out the summer gear in our umbrella holder for hats, gloves, and scarves. Pulling these necessities out now makes things easier when that first big cold comes in.
Let’s be real, this picture doesn’t have much to do with fall cleaning, but I had to include this fun shot of Kearney, my trusty cleaning companion. There are a lot of chores that can be done to make things feel better inside where we spend the majority of our lives come winter. These eight fall cleaning tips are my favorites as they pack the biggest punch when it comes to freshening the air and living a little easier. Do you now feel like inviting me over to your home to clean? I get that a lot when I reveal my hidden passion… and part of me is always tempted by the offer.