A transitional living room decorated with pumpkins and fall decor with the Fall Cleaning Checklist imposed over one corner

Cozy Up with the Fall Deep-Cleaning Checklist

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Have you ever noticed how early autumn sunlight picks up every speck of dust and grime? That’s one of the reasons I’m such a fan of Fall Deep Cleaning.

After all, winter already feels long enough; being surrounded by clutter and grime can make it feel endless.

Well then, settle in as I cover the essentials of fall deep cleaning, going room-by-room and sharing some helpful tips along the way. And don’t miss the free printable checklist at the end!

Why Deep Clean in the Fall?

I like to deep clean my home in fall to get rid of pollen and all the other grime we tracked indoors all summer long. Plus, it’s a great way to get ready for winter before the hustle and bustle of the holidays keep us too busy. By doing a fall deep clean, we don’t wind up stuck in doors during the cold season surrounded by clutter and dirt.

Room-by-Room Fall Deep Cleaning

Grab your essential cleaning tools and let’s get cleaning.

All Rooms

  • Clean ceiling fans and motor housings.
  • Clean recessed or ceiling lights.
  • Remove wall art and clean it front and back.
  • Dust ceilings, walls, trim and baseboards.
  • Clean spots and smudges on walls.
  • Launder curtains or dust blinds.

  • Clean windows inside and out, including tracks.
  • Clean and disinfect light switch plates.
  • Pull furniture away from walls and vacuum behind and beneath it.
  • Clean air vents and cold air returns.
  • Dust and polish hard furniture.
  • Fix scratches on wood furniture.

  • Vacuum and treat stains on sofas and soft furniture.
  • Clean lampshades.
  • Treat carpet stains.
  • Vacuum thoroughly.
  • Roll up area rugs and vacuum beneath them.
  • Vacuum the reverse side of all area rugs.
  • Shampoo or steam clean carpets and area rugs.

  • Wash all throw blankets and throw pillows.
  • Wash all trash cans and wastebaskets.
  • Find a home for repeat clutter.
  • Discard broken or worn-out items.
  • Donate unwanted or excess stuff.

Did You Know?

Much of the indoor pollution in our homes comes from harsh cleaning products. Don’t fill your home with harsh fumes—warm, soapy water is enough to clean almost every surface. Go over the germy ones with a disinfecting wipe and you’re good to go.

Kitchen

Shorter daylight hours signal that the holidays are right around the corner, and with it comes all the holiday baking. So, I look at Fall Deep Cleaning as a chance to get rid of summer grime but also to make sure my kitchen is ready to start whipping up food gifts for family and friends. 

  • Empty and clean the cabinets inside and out.
  • Empty and clean the drawers inside and out.
  • Pull out the oven and fridge to clean behind them.
  • Deep clean the oven, including the drawer below.
  • Empty and clean the fridge and freezer, including the gasket and drain pan.
  • Deep clean the dishwasher, including the filters.

  • Check under the sink for leaks.
  • Clean and deodorize the kitchen drain.
  • Clean the microwave/range hood filters.
  • Discard expired or stale foods.
  • Donate food items your family won’t eat.
  • Match up food storage containers, discard unmatched items.

Did You Know?

Putting out a cotton ball dampened with peppermint oil or leaving a vase of fresh bay leaves on the shelf are two natural pest control methods?

Bathrooms

Summer’s humidity often leads to mold or mildew in the bathroom, and sometimes household pests. A little fall deep cleaning is a chance to spot these and other small problems before they become big ones.

  • Remove the bathroom exhaust fan cover and vacuum the fan. Wash and dry the cover.
  • Empty and clean the cabinets, drawers, and shelves.
  • Discard expired medicines and products.
  • Wash shower curtains, liners, and bathmats.
  • Treat soap scum on your shower walls.

  • Remove hair clogs in the drains.
  • Clean and seal the grout.
  • Inspect under your sink and around the toilet for leaks. Repair ASAP if needed.
  • Replace the toilet brush with a new one.

Bedrooms

Since I like to air out the house daily, I wait to do my Fall Deep Cleaning after the first hard freeze so I know grass and weed pollen is done for the year.

Then I’m all about deep cleaning every nook and cranny in my bedroom to get rid of anything that triggers my allergies.

  • Remove the bedding and pull the bed away from the wall.
  • Vacuum the back of the headboard.
  • Deep clean your mattress and remove stains.
  • Launder the comforter or duvet insert.
  • Wash all pillows.

  • Wash electric blankets and throws.
  • Swap summer and winter clothing in storage.
  • Donate clothes that don’t fit or flatter.
  • Discard or repurpose worn out clothing.

Did You Know?

Your mattress may contain up to 10 million dust mites. That’s why it’s so important to deep clean it!

Living Room

  • Empty, clean and declutter all cabinets and storage areas.
  • Donate unwanted games, DVDs and books.
  • Clean the fireplace and hearth.

Laundry Room

  • Wash hampers and laundry baskets.
  • Get rid of or give away products you don’t like.
  • Deep clean the washer.
  • Deep clean your dryer and vent.

Did You Know?

Lint buildup in dryer vents is a leading cause of house fires. It’s not enough to empty the lint trap: you need to clear out the entire vent at least once a year.

Entryway

  • Sweep the front step and surrounding walls.
  • Clean your front door inside and out.
  • Polish your door hardware.
  • Recharge your video doorbell.
  • Sweep and scrub the entrance mats.
  • Swap out decor.

Outdoors

  • Clean the garage.
  • Put away summer toys and decor.
  • Wipe down patio tables.
  • Clean patio cushions and furniture before storing for season.
  • Clean the BBQ grill.

  • Clean the gutters and downspouts.
  • Remove all outdoor hoses.
  • Turn off outside water, drain outdoor faucets.
  • Have the lawn sprinkler system winterized.
  • Rake up leaves.

Finishing Touches

Before the weather turns wintery, there are a few more things to get your home ready:

  • Stock up on ice melt.
  • Check the cars for ice scrapers, replace them if needed.
  • Check for gaps around windows and doors, and seal or weatherstrip them.
  • Make sure our room humidifiers work.
  • Replace the furnace filter.
  • Have 3 gallons per person of bottled water on hand.
  • Change smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries.
  • Stock up on household batteries for power outages.
  • Have the fire extinguishers recharged or replace them.

Tips

Divide the tasks over time. Starting in October, do one or two tasks on the Fall Cleaning Checklist each week so it’s more manageable.

Don’t do it alone. You aren’t the only one who lives in your home, so you don’t need to be the only one to clean it. Get the family involved!

Make it fun. Put on a favorite playlist or chat with a friend. Keeping your brain entertained makes the process of Fall Deep Cleaning less of a chore.

What other things do you like to finish as part of your Fall Deep Cleaning?

Get the Fall Deep Cleaning Checklist

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