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Spring doesn’t have to be the one time of the year where you get all the crucial deep cleaning done each year. In fact, doing it in the Fall—or even quarterly—is a great way to keep things manageable and put together year-round. And we’ve got the ultimate fall cleaning checklist that goes room-by-room to get you started along with a few tips to help you further.
Having a good fall cleaning schedule when it comes to the main areas of your home can help make cleaning it and keeping it clean after the fact much more manageable. And the kitchen is likely the most crucial area to stay consistent with to keep it in tip-top shape and easy to maintain.
Declutter countertop and other exterior surfaces
Declutter drawers, shelves, and cabinets
Clean points of contact
Polish appliances (exterior)
Clean the exterior of appliances
Clean inside the refrigerator(s)
Clean inside the freezer(s)
Clean behind and underneath refrigerator
Clean behind and underneath stove/oven
Clean underneath and/or behind the microwave
Clean the bottom of built-in units if it’s not a countertop microwave
Lightly and carefully clean switches and outlets (turn the power off, if necessary)
Clean windows and other glass surfaces
Clean exterior of cabinetry
Clean inside cabinet, drawers, and shelves (optional)
Tidy inside cabinets, drawers, shelves
Clean any lighting fixtures
Clean vents and filters
Clean knickknacks and décor items
Clean rugs and any towels left sitting out
Clean baseboards and underneath lower cabinets
Dust top of cabinets
Clean and mop floors
Cleaning dining room table and chairs
Clean barstools and any counter-bar surfaces
Restock any essential kitchen or kitchen-cleaning items
Curious as to how you can get your kitchen clean and tidy for the holidays or just in general? Then check out some of the posts below next (new tab).
Few things feel better than a clean and inviting home to relax in, and the living room is usually the most obvious room to notice this in.
Because of this, it’s essential to make sure that you give the room meant for gathering a little TLC a few times of the year so that you can enjoy it for the holidays and off-season. This is more so when it comes to things that we may not do routinely, such as cleaning the fireplace, tidying up window treatments, or getting underneath or behind furniture.
Bathe/groom pets prior to cleaning the room to help unnecessary mess during and after cleaning (optional)
Air the room out by opening windows to let some fresh air in
Declutter the room (exterior) or anything that doesn’t belong and deal with it accordingly (i.e., donate, give away, put away)
Clean fireplace (optional)
Clean interior windows, screens, trim, tracks, and treatments
Dust and/or clean walls and ceilings
Dust and clean any ceiling, wall, or light fixture (fans, lamps, sconces)
Dust and clean baseboards and any wood trim (i.e., mantel, crown molding, doors, nearby, banister)
De-fur or remove debris from any fabric-type furniture (i.e., vacuum)
Clean, declutter, and organize any knickknacks sitting out or inside furniture pieces
Clean any wood or wood-ish furniture, including behind, underneath, and around
Clean any washables (i.e., throw pillows, blankets, area rugs, etc.)
Sweep or vacuum the floor, including underneath large furniture
Clean points of contact (remotes, game controllers, switches, knobs and handles, etc.)
Clean and organize any pet or kiddo areas and items (toys, beds, food area)
Carpet clean (optional)
Upholstery clean furniture (optional)
Clean any air purifiers in the room and replace filters, if necessary
Deep cleaning the bedroom(s) can feel like a daunting task, but the reward of being able to relax in your room after you’re done can definitely be worth the effort. Best of all, you don’t have to do it all at once if you don’t want to, but instead, break things down as you see fit.
Clean ceiling fans, portable fans, window air conditioning units, and/or air purifiers
Even though it’s meant to help clean our clothes, the laundry area or room tends to be one of the messiest areas of the home and generally one of the most neglected. However, keep it clean with regular and seasonal cleaning, such as with fall cleaning chores, can be a great way to ensure that it stays neat, tidy, and safe all year long.
Dust and demark walls and ceiling, including any fixtures and vents, working from top to bottom.
Clean walls and underneath or behind washer and dryer
Clean out dryer duct and filter, whether as DIY or via professional (optional)
Dust and clean wood trim, including baseboards, doors, cabinetry, shelves
Clean, organize and declutter drawers, shelves, and cabinets
Refill any laundry essentials
Freshen up any décor within the area
Clean the outside of the washer and dryer
Clean the inside of the dryer and washer according to their care instructions
Vacuum/sweep the floors
Mop the floors
Clean trashcan and/or lint disposal can
Rethink and reorganize how to make the area more efficient and to your liking
Cleaning the bathroom might just top most people’s list of detested chores, but it’s also one of the areas that need it most. Fortunately, it can be easy to do with seasonal cleanings, such as by adding it to your spring and fall cleaning chores list or schedule, and by maintaining it through quick and consistent maintenance cleaning afterward.
Declutter surface items
Declutter cabinets, drawers, and shelving
Clean the sink and faucet
Clean the counters and backsplash
Clean the medicine cabinet
Clean the toilet, inside-out and top to bottom
Clean any cabinets, drawers, and shelves
Clean shower curtain(s) and rod(s)
Clean bathroom rugs and other decorative textiles
Clean bathroom knickknacks and decor
Freshen up any towels or cloths that sit out in the open, including unused
Clean mirrors and window
Clean baseboards and underneath cabinets
Clean wood trim, such as doors and door drams, windowsills, etc.
Clean the walls
Clean points of contact
Clean shower and/or tub
Finding it hard to keep your bathroom clean, or dreading the thought of tackling it and don’t know where to start? Check out these in-depth posts on bathroom cleaning to help speed up the bathroom-cleaning process and learn how to keep it cleaner for longer (new tabs).
While people often think of doing outdoor yard work during the springtime or while spring cleaning, it’s also beneficial to do it during the autumn season and add them to your fall cleaning schedule—especially if you live in a rainy or snow-prone area.
Check the chimney and fireplace for any structural issues – optional
Check the foundation and sides of the home for structural concerns – optional
Check the sidewalks, patio, pathways, and decking for damage
Check exterior plumbing for leaks
Check the roof
Check the outside perimeter for any repairs
Check and/or clean the gutters (preferably after leaves have fall from trees already)
Maintain any vegetation according to their care instructions
Tidy up trees, bushes, and flowerbeds when applicable
Clean up any yard debris
Clean exterior lights or scones
Mow the lawn
Finish cleaning up any debris in the yard
Clean siding and remove any cobwebs or other insect-prone areas
Clean the patio or deck
Clean sidewalks or pathways
Clean furniture and knickknacks
Decorate the patio according to the seasons, if desired
Put away any necessary patio furniture, décor, or items not needed or that need protection from any winter weather (optional)
Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Clean or replace the HVAC return filter
Clean out the fireplace, firepit, pool, or other yard feature
Clean exterior side of windows or inside-out
Clean outdoor mats and rugs
Clean outdoor pillows, blankets, curtains, or other washable textiles
Regardless if it’s cleaning out your wall or purse, or tidying up files and documents, try adding some personal or miscellaneous tasks to your fall cleaning schedule or chores list to ensure that things are kept up on properly.
Clean out wallet, purse, backpack
Tidy up and declutter files
Tidy up financials
Sort any neglected mail and paperwork
Clean any house filters (vacuum, kitchen exhaust vent, HVAC filter, air purifiers, fridge)
Clean pet items and areas
Clean up e-mails
Donate decluttered items
Get your car serviced
Clean your car’s interior or have it detailed
Appropriately recycle any hazardous items (batteries, bulbs, unused cleaning or maintenance products, etc.)
Make it entertaining: Believe it or not, cleaning doesn’t have to suck, and you can make the entire process less so by adding something you enjoy to it. This might include listening to audiobooks, podcasts, your favorite tunes, chatting with family or friends in person or on the phone, or videos that are good to listen to instead of having to watch.
Break it up: If a project or chore seems overwhelming just thinking about it, then try breaking it into bite-sized pieces and spreading it out throughout the day, week, or month. One example would be cleaning a few kitchen drawers in a day rather than tackling it all at once.
Hire or ask for help: If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or even resentful about cleaning or doing a deep fall or spring cleaning, consider hiring or asking others within your household for help when possible. Just be sure to be polite, even if you think they should be helping. Say thank you when they do it, have realistic expectations, try to put a positive spin on it, and do your best to make it feel like a team effort. Sometimes it even helps to give them a list and let them pick what they want to do.
Try to incorporate your chores into a morning or evening routine:Sometimes, it helps to do a bit of cleaning at the beginning and/or start of the day, and doing so can even boost your mood and productivity. For instance, you could spend 10 minutes tackling those kitchen drawers mentioned previously, or maybe wiping down the counters and vacuuming the floor before and as you wait for your morning coffee to brew. And while you’re at it, you could even listen to an audiobook as you do so.
Set a timer if you feel super unmotivated or procrastinating: Setting a short 5, 10, 15, 20, or even 25-minute timer is a great way to get yourself accomplishing things on your fall cleaning chores list while helping it to feel less overwhelming or tedious. Just make sure to have an idea for what you’ll be doing, how you’ll be doing it, and in what order before you get started. You can even use a music and/or video playlist or audiobook with the timer set instead of an actually phone or kitchen timer.
Try to work in an order that’s efficient: Moving in an order that will help you to avoid extra steps can be a huge motivation and time-saver. As an example, if you plan to dust and vacuum, it’s usually good to dust before you vacuum to avoid having to do things twice. Still, things don’t always have to go room-by-room if it’s not going to mean more work for you later. If you feel like cleaning the kitchen backsplash and then moving on to another room instead of doing all the kitchen stuff first, feel free. You’re at least getting it done.
Reward yourself: Whether it’s for a single chore, several chores in a day, finishing cleaning a room, or finishing the entire house, acknowledge it, give yourself a good pat on the back, take note of how you feel about the end result, and reward yourself. A reward might mean binging on a few Netflix shows or reading your book with a sheet mask, or it might mean an evening of gaming. Enjoy the hard-won moment and not feeling the weight of those chores hanging over your head while you chill out.
Stack Related Chores: Stacking chores that are related to one another is an excellent way to multitask and save on time and effort later. You can even stack chores with activities you like doing. Good examples of this might include:
Dusting and vacuuming.
Emptying fridge the night before Trash Day or Grocery Day.
Quickly wiping out said trashcan before you put that trashbag in.
Using that leftover and relatively clean paper towel that’s been spritzed with cleaner on your bathroom counter after cleaning your kitchen counter.
Folding clothes and Netflix-ing.
Clean the sink before going to bed.
Vacuum the main areas of the house while listening to an audiobook, podcast, or music as your coffee or tea brews.
In this post, we provided an easy-to-read fall cleaning checklist of chores that go room-by-room. We also added links to other articles that offer tips, how-to guides, and other information to help you out further. And we included interactive to-do checklists for each room or area for you to use if you choose to.
As mentioned in our Tip section, feel free to move at your own pace and in an order that works for you. The beauty of having a “loose” checklist such as these Fall cleaning chores is that it helps you track what needs to be done. At the same time, you can still work around your schedule instead of feeling like you have to work around the cleaning.
Just make sure to stay consistent with your efforts, even if it’s doing a little bit in the morning and then at night or tackling specific chores for that particular day. It’s also helpful to give yourself a good headstart, rather than waiting until the last minute. And ask for help from other household members if you feel you need it; just be courteous about it.
We hope you found the Fall cleaning chores checklist and guide helpful, but if you want to find out more information, please feel free to check out some of the posts listed down below or ones that are listed throughout this article up above.
Final Tip:At the end of the day, remember why you’re doing this. You’re doing all the cleaning ahead of time for yourself and maybe for your loved ones too.
You’re doing it so that your household, life, and the holiday season will run more smoothly and feel all the more relaxing. You’ll feel a lot less overwhelmed by all the holiday cheer and occasional madness with a clean home that looks, feels, and functions great.