Now that Halloween has come and gone, I am working on preparing my home for the holiday season. The approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are a perfect excuse for tackling the task of autumn cleaning. My favorite part of the holidays is decorating my home, inside and out. However, before I can even begin thinking about putting up all my decorations, I first need to give my entire home a good fall cleaning. Here are some of my tips for making autumn cleaning quick and painless.
Decluttering your home is the first step to take when beginning a fall cleaning spree. I always begin by decluttering and organizing my home. You could clean all you want, but your house would still look messy and disorganized if you do not first get rid of the clutter. I know that my home is a magnet for clutter. (I come from a long line of women who just cannot give up junk!) So, for the past week, I have been working on organizing all my stuff. I begin by putting away the things that I found their way around my house.
The biggest offenders are cables for electronics and knick knacks. With the help of my husband, I sorted through all the cords and cables that had accumulated in our living room and dining room over the past year; anything that did not go to something we used frequently went into a storage box in the basement. The same applied to my knick knacks; if I did not really want something on display, then I either boxed it up or gave it away. I also went through our dressers and closets in an effort to weed out clothes we have not worn in a while. Giving away the things we no longer want or use not only feels great but is also a great start to fall cleaning.
Once the clutter is gone, I can really get to the down and dirty of autumn cleaning! Buy a Swiffer Duster and a box of refills. I discovered Swiffer Dusters a few years ago. I cannot rave about this product enough. Dusting my house was the autumn cleaning task that I dreaded the most. It seems like, as soon as I get one room dusted and move on to the desk, the first room is already dusty again. Now with my Swiffer Duster in hand, I can do a little bit of dusting every evening when I get home from work. Tackling the dust that accumulates in the home on a daily basis keeps me ahead in the cleaning battle. Swiffer Dusters are also great for the deep cleaning of autumn cleaning. I am pretty much dusting every nook and cranny in my home as I prepare to put up all my holiday decorations. And, let me tell you: Using a Swiffer Duster is so much easier than lugging around a vacuum cleaner and a wet rag!
After dusting my home, I set about cleaning the furniture and floors. In addition to a Swiffer Duster, I insist you invest in a Swiffer Wet Jet. I buy the wet cleaning cloths and the dry dusters. Neither is meant to go with Wet Jet, but both work just fine. I like the wet cleaning cloths because I get a little more cleaning power than just the dry cloth and the cleaning solution. The dry dusting clothes also work just fine with the Wet Jet handle and make cleaning my hardwood floors so much easier.
I also recommend investing in a good vacuum cleaner. I give all my carpets and upholstered furniture a good vacuuming before I even think about putting up all my decorations. A good vacuum is also great for cleaning up the bits and pieces of garland and tinsel that will inevitably make their way to the floor throughout the months of November and December. I also use my vacuum with my Swiffer Duster to tackle some of the dustier areas of my home. Plus, suctioning off the duster refill part every so often actually makes a single Swiffer Duster last twice as long!
Because I also decorate the outside of my house for Christmas, fall cleaning also means tackling the mess on my patio and in my yard. My husband has spent the last two years working on home repairs. In the process, some garbage and equipment has accumulated on the patio outside our back door. The fall cleaning process is a great time to tackle outdoor cleaning projects. For example, my husband finally brought the tarps sitting by our back door into our garage. We all use autumn cleaning as a time to tidy up the outside of our house. Hanging icicle lights is a good excuse for tackling clogged or dirty gutters! Setting up blow molds means raking the leaves out of flowerbeds. In other words, just as I decluttered the inside of my home, I also use the fall cleaning season to declutter and organize the outside of my house.
I have to admit that I both love and loath fall cleaning. On the one hand, I wish that my house would magically stay clean throughout the entire year. On the other hand, I really do love the feeling of getting my home in order for the holiday season. Decluttering and organizing are great first steps for anyone ready to tackle the sometimes arduous task of fall cleaning. Investing in a few good cleaning products (Swiffer Dusters, Swiffer Wet Jet, and a good vacuum cleaner) also make autumn cleaning go so much faster!
How and when do you prepare for the holiday season? What other tips do you recommend for autumn cleaning?
Tips for Fall Cleaning in Preparation for the Holidays: Cleaning by János Szüdi (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/szudi/2440025660/