6 Fall Cleaning Tips from GOCLEANCO founder and CEO Sarah McAllister
Seasonal cleaning tips from your favorite Instagram cleaning guru.
It’s that time again. We have been enjoying the summer sunshine on our faces for months but cooler temperatures are looming. You know what that means: fall cleaning! I live in Canada and the changing of seasons is usually met with some grumbling and pouting about how we are going to be frozen for the next 9 months. We reluctantly put away our sandals and pull out our winter boots. But I like to think of fall cleaning as the prep work for cozying up and hibernating inside. Where I live we sometimes barely get a fall season at all, so cleaning outdoor spaces while you have the chance (and before the snow hits!) is important.
Fall cleaning is all about getting the outside of your home ready for cooler weather (and depending on where you live, ice and snow), and the inside of your home ready for way more activity. You’ll be spending a lot of time indoors, and fall cleaning is a chance to start with a clean slate. It’s also a great reminder to do those deep-cleaning tasks you’ve neglected since last year. Basically, it’s the reverse of spring cleaning. Makes sense, right?
Personally, I think seasonal cleaning is the BEST kind of cleaning. It’s the time to tackle any jobs you have been putting off while you’ve been living it up and eating watermelon in the backyard. And you don’t have to do it all yourself, either! Have your children and family members help you out—these are life skills kids need to learn. You would be doing them a disservice by not including them in caring for their home.
Everyone’s fall cleaning process is a little different, but after many years as a pro cleaner, I’ve narrowed it down to the six best projects to tackle with your seasonal cleaning regimen.
Time to go through the entire house. Donate anything your kids have grown out of or you do not use anymore. Put away the summer gear and bring out the winter coats (putting it off won’t delay the inevitable cold weather)! Go through the kitchen cupboards and reevaluate your appliances that you use on a daily basis. This is what should be out on the counter for easy access and everything else can be put away in its place. Clearing the clutter will clear your mind and create a calmer space. The more stuff that is “out” the more stuff you have to clean! Be ruthless during the purging stage. If you haven't looked at it in 3 years, chances are no one is gonna miss it!
2. Tackle outdoor spaces.
Putting off the outdoor tasks until it is too late in the season is a dire mistake. Once the snow hits you have missed your opportunity — and looking out dirty windows all winter is depressing. Clean them up to let that winter sunshine in (you’re going to need every last ray!). Clean your windows, window screens and window tracks. Sweep or shop vacuum the front and back porch. Clean the garage! (This is a big task but come spring, you will be so happy you did it.) Tidy up the yard. Get the leaves cleaned up, put away the hoses, turn off your outdoor taps if you have them and clean up the patio furniture. If you have a pressure washer, now is the time to bust that baby out and get to work! This is a great opportunity to check your roof and gutters, too.
3. Clean your oven and outdoor grill
My family uses the oven much more in the winter months than we do in the summer, and fall is the time to get it ready for heavy use. use. I like to run a self clean on my oven the night before I clean it, then I vacuum up any crumbs, spray any burnt-on spots with an oven-safe cleaner and wipe it out. Clean the outside of the oven with your favorite multi-purpose cleaner. Just spray on the stovetop (and honestly, all over the oven’s exterior—food and grease have a way of getting everywhere), then wipe away with a damp cloth. Voila! A like-new oven, inside and out.
4. Dust… everything.
In the summertime we tend to be in and out of the house all day long. All of that movement brings in pollen, bugs, soot, pet dander, dirt, and all kinds of little particles that add up to dust. (Lots and lots of dust, unfortunately). It accumulates on most surfaces in your home, and especially objects that aren’t moved or used very frequently. I like to go over surfaces with my vacuum cleaner to get rid of most of it. With all of the vacuum attachment options available now, you can vacuum way more than just the floors. You can get into small spaces and even vacuum the walls (yes, there is dust on the walls)! For those hard-to-reach places like the top of the fridge, ceiling fans, and the tops of the frames on your gallery wall, try a Swiffer Duster. They’re great at trapping and locking in dust, so you don’t have to worry about it ending up on the floor when you remove it from the light fixture.
5. Deep clean the blinds.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but after the windows have been open all summer your blinds are usually filthy with the aforementioned dust, dirt, bugs, and all other kinds of gunk (in the kitchen, there’s food residue in play too). The good news is that cleaning them doesn’t need to be difficult! Blinds can easily be removed and cleaned in the bathtub with some Mr. Clean to help cut any sticky kitchen grease. Rinse them well to avoid any streaking or residue. If you’re feeling inspired, go ahead and clean all of your window treatments while you’re at it!
6. Give the laundry room some TLC.
Scrub your washing machine seal with a splash of bleach and water to get rid of any gunk and or mold. Run a cycle with Tide Washing Machine Cleaner to clean behind the drum. Always leave your washing machine door slightly ajar in between washes to help with airflow, help water evaporate, and prevent odors. You can also clean your washing machine filter, which is the little trap door (usually found on the bottom left hand side of the machine or on the back). Get a bowl and lay down a towel to catch any spills. Release the small black hose, remove the plug in the hose over the bowl and let it drain completely into the bowl. To the right is a round filter that unscrews. Remove the filter and rinse it off in the sink. Make sure you put it back securely and tightly or your washing machine will leak on your next load. You should clean your washing machine filter once a month, not just seasonally!
And that’s it—you’re ready for winter! Congratulations. You’ve taken care of those summer tools and spaces that have worked hard all season so that they’re ready to shine next year. At the same time, you’ve prepared your indoor spaces to see much more activity. Completing these fall cleaning tasks should make your home feel cleaner, safer, and more welcoming. Your home should be your retreat during the colder months, so make it the first place you want to be.