Cleaning 101: Fall Cleaning

Hello Readers!  Well, it’s that time of the year again: time to turn our focus to Fall cleaning.  I know we’re all familiar with Spring cleaning, but the key to an easier Spring cleaning session is to actually do seasonal cleaning every season.  And Fall is no exception.

So, what’s so special about Fall?  Well, for one, most of us are getting ready to fire up the fireplace and run our heaters, if you haven’t already.  We have already made the switch from air conditioning to heat in our home, but that may have been because I have already suffered a bout of the common cold this season.  Regardless, checking your heating system and your fireplace now is key to maintaining a warm home all Winter.  To add to that, your fireplace really should be serviced once per year by a professional to avoid house fires.  See, soot and ash get stuck in the flume of your chimney, and over time they can build up if they aren’t swept out.  And then, when your fire gets hot enough, that buildup will catch fire.  If it doesn’t burn your house down, it can be suffocating with all the smoke inhalation.  So, it’s best to have it serviced and cleaned out to avoid any issues.

As for the furnace, you should always test your unit or have it serviced by an HVAC professional in the early Fall.  These professionals can tell you if there are any potential issues or replacements needed before the cold weather sets in and you truly need your unit.  Plus, you can avoid those expensive late night calls to a professional when the unit breaks down.  However, they can’t always predict bumps and snags.  Every now and again, the furnace may give out without warning, just like a lemon of a car.  And sometimes it isn’t something a professional could have foreseen.  Just keep that in mind throughout the Winter months.  But still, schedule for an HVAC professional to service your furnace now so you can be ahead of the game.  And while you’re at it, have them service your air conditioning unit, too.  Even though you probably won’t use it until next Spring, this will most likely save you the hassle of having it serviced when it’s roasting outside.  Plus, they may tell you to replace your unit before next Spring.  If that’s the case, then you know you can start saving up now to replace it later on instead of being hit with the added expense unexpectedly in the Spring.

Some of the other tasks I recommend right now include wardrobe switches and bedding switches.  If you are like me, you probably have worn the same clothes forever; most likely, you stick with the classics like I do.  I don’t care if my favorite wool coat cost me a pretty penny; it lasts forever, and it more than pays for itself every year.  The same can be said of cable knit sweaters, a great pair of boots, and crisp button down blouses.  They continue to be in style year after year, and everyone can get away with them.  So, naturally, if you are like me you are careful to keep your clothes in good condition over the years so that they last a long time.  And, if you’re like me, you probably have your sweaters stored in a sweater box in your closet or in a wardrobe bin under your bed.  Whatever the case, this is the time to sort through your clothes and switch from your summer dresses and capris to your cable knit sweaters and thick socks.  This is also a good time to go through your summer wardrobe and toss anything that’s been ruined or no longer fits.  As an added bonus, there will still be some summer clearance sales to hit up right now to score some really fantastic deals on those pieces that you lost.  And if not, just make a note of what you might need next year in order to score on those digs at the very first sale of the season.

Speaking of sales, this is also a good time to score on those first season sales for Fall.  Right now, Fall fashion is a relatively new concept and some of those new styles will be on sale.  If you want to add a couple of trendy new finds to your wardrobe, now is the time to score them before they go up to regular retail price.  Then, you can mix and match them with the classics to stay in season throughout Fall and Winter.  But, ultimately, you should rely on the classic pieces like plain cable knit sweaters, plaid sweaters, nice boots, and wool pieces to make up the bulk of your cold weather wardrobe from year to year.  It will save you money in the long run because they will never go out of style and they tend to last from year to year.  Some of the trendier styles tend to be made cheaply and yet are expensive, from what I’ve seen.  It is common to have these pieces fall apart after a couple of wears, so I recommend buying a minimal amount of trendy digs.  Maybe one or two tops and a skirt will suffice for trendy pieces, but not much more.  As for boots, look for ones that you know will go well with your own wardrobe as well as will last awhile.  Not all expensive boots last forever, and not all boots will go with everyone’s style.  I do recommend finding a pair that will pair nicely with a skirt or with pants, even though my husband Ryan dislikes boots with skirts.  However, it is a nice touch for some, and I rather like it myself.

Now, with bedding, you should definitely take this opportunity to care for your mattresses as well as switch from warmer weather linens to colder weather ones.  Flip the mattress, sprinkle it with baking soda, and vacuum it at this time.  Then, store the summery linens and blankets before piling on the Wintry items.  I typically like to use one main quilt that my mother and grandmother made for our wedding and add an additional quilt, also homemade by either myself or my mom or grandmother, to our bed.  While I use a neutral set of sheets year round for my bed, I would definitely recommend using this time of the year to switch out your sheets if you choose to.  I would avoid flannel ones, however, as they tend to not allow for air circulation and can be rather uncomfortable when warm.  But a heavier set of cotton sheets will do well at this time of the year.

Along with these seasonal tasks, this is also the best time of the year to do some annual tasks, too.  Wiping down the walls and baseboards with warm soapy water is a good idea.  This will keep down the dust count in your home, which will help avoid the inevitable sneezing, since it’s much more difficult to open windows in cold weather.  Oiling your wood furniture is also a good start since the lack of humidity and use of a furnace or fireplace can dry out your wood, leading to cracking and other issues.  Storing any patio furniture would also be a good idea since it can sometimes be ruined by the cold weather.  And don’t forget to wrap any plants or bulbs up, winterize your yard, rake leaves up, and clean out your gutters at this time.

I hope this post helps you get started on your path to Fall Cleaning.

Until next time,



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