At the turn of each season, I like to pull out my handy checklist of chores that helps me tame the domain. The good news is that there are certain things around the house that only require twice-a-year (and sometimes just annual) attention. For instance, I know how much you love and look forward to cleaning out the clothes dryer exhaust tube, but it’s not necessary to do more than once a year. Today we’ll talk about the fall list and save a few honey-dos for spring.
Speaking of that, having your honey do some of these things is a great idea. Not that you’re shirking any responsibilities. It’s good to share the work. It gives everyone (kids included) a feeling of ownership, and everyone will feel accomplished by that last check mark on the list.
Another tip: Add some fun by playing your favorite music as you work. I also like to light pretty fall-scented candles or put some fragrance on the stove so the house smells awesome from the inside out.
Without further ado, here’s a complete checklist for a safe, clean and organized home this fall. I’ve included some DIY links to some of these items to help, too.
- Clean or replace furnace filters.
- Schedule a fall furnace inspection.
- Inspect and clean chimneys and flues. Schedule professional, if needed.
- Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Inspect or replace fire extinguishers in the kitchen. It’s also good time to review your fire escape plan.
- Run a vacuum over couches and chairs.
- Clean carpets. Schedule professional, if needed.
- Flip all of the mattresses.
- Wash windows. (Kids love helping with this.)
- De-clutter closets and donate items not worn in the past year. Get a receipt and determine the value of your items if itemizing taxes.
- Clean refrigerator condenser coil.
- Prep kitchen for holiday cooking: organize cabinets – especially baking supplies. Make a list of replacements or additions needed.
- Clean dryer exhaust tube and vent to prevent a house fire.
- Drain sediment from hot water heater.
- Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and window.
- Wash exterior windows.
- Clear out the gutters.
- Rake leaves, if needed. Dogs love the piles!
- Stock up on fresh firewood if you have a wood-burning stove.
- Clean and store patio furniture, umbrellas and summer toys.
- Fertilize lawn and treat for perennial weeds, such as dandelions and clover.
- Schedule pest control treatment, or spray perimeter yourself before bugs migrate inside for warmth. That is so eww!
- Plant flower bulbs for a beautiful spring garden.
- Touch up paint on trim, shutters, railings or deck.
- Stock up on sand or salt to deice sidewalks. Also be sure shovels are clean and handy.
- If you live in an area with cold winters, drain and store garden hoses, as well as sprinkler systems.
I also have this list available as a downloadable PDF. That way you can print this out for your fridge and check off as you go. No need to stress yourself out by trying to do all of this at once.
Happy cleaning and organizing, everyone! Let me know what other items you like to include.