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Home Improvement: Time for a good fall cleaning

I know that we talk a lot about spring cleaning, but there are also things to do to get ready for fall. And even though it doesn’t feel like fall, it is officially fall as of Monday, Sept. 23.

So as leaves start to fly, visit your spring cleaning list and add a few seasonal extras to prepare your house for the winter.

Here are two things that I never considered but are very true — once winter arrives, we tend to hibernate a bit and that is much more fun with a clean home. Also, by doing some extra deep cleaning now, holiday preparations will be easier.

 Below, you will find a room-by-room list of things that are recommended in order to be ready.

Bedrooms-
Launder all pillows, bedding, and mattress pads.
Rotate/flip mattress (if needed).
De-clutter closets, switch out summer clothes for fall/winter clothing.
Wipe down windowsills.
Clean window drapery/mini-blinds.

Bathrooms-

Wash shower curtain and liner.
Scrub shower.
Deep clean shower head.
Check tile grout, touch up if needed.
Replace toothbrushes.
Clean lint out of the hairdryer.
Clean hairbrushes/combs/etc.
Re-stock toiletries.

Kitchen-
Clean the oven.
Clean the vent hood.
Clean out refrigerator.
Defrost, clean freezer.
Dust and clean refrigerator coils.
Move the refrigerator to clean underneath.
Toss expired foods from the pantry.
Check spices, especially baking needs, for freshness.
Run cut lemons and ice through the garbage disposal.

Living room-
Clean ceiling fan.
Clean light fixtures.
Clear cobwebs.
Wipe down all switches and doorknobs.
Move couches, chairs to clean underneath.
Dust/wipe down shelves.
Wipe down windowsills.
Clean window drapery/mini-blinds.
Wash all blankets.

Outside the home-

Check the caulking and weather seals around doors and windows.
Check the dryer exhaust pipe.
Clean gutters and downspouts.
Clean and store outside toys and furniture.
Clear any yard debris.
Clean the BBQ grill, refill propane or stock up on charcoal.
Clean off light fixtures, replace bulbs if needed.
Drain and store water hoses.
Pressure wash the house.
Touch up any areas that need painting.
Wash outside of windows.

Check steps for any repairs needed

Extras:

Replace the air filter, clean the cover.
Dust and clean the computer, keyboard, printer, and other electronics.
Clean the television with an appropriate cleaner.
Sweep out and vacuum the fireplace.
Have the chimney professionally cleaned.
Clean behind and under the washer, dryer, and other large appliances.
Drain the water heater to remove sediment.
Wash interior windows.
Schedule a furnace inspection.
Stock up on candles and matches/lighters.
Stock up on extra batteries and flashlights.
Check batteries in flashlights.
Stock up on sidewalk salt.
Test smoke detectors and monoxide detectors, replace batteries.

A few other things to think about…if you have other devices such as a smart thermostat, home surveillance camera, door lock management device, portable chargers or home security system, check those batteries as well!

For additional checklists and those that you may print, visit these sites:

https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/fall-cleaning-checklist

http://www.thesimplyorganizedhome.com/fall-cleaning-checklist/

https://organizedhome.com/seasonal-spin/fall-cleaning-chore-checklist

https://organizedhome.com/seasonal-spin/fall-cleaning-chore-checklist

Toi N. Degree, Family & Consumer Education Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, 704-216-8970 or by email toi_degree@ncsu.edu.

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