Fall Cleaning Checklist
It's time for fall cleaning. This is the time of year for deep cleaning that you don't have time for on a regular basis. If the task seems too large, why not break it up into several weekends so you don't become overwhelmed? One of the reasons to perform intensive cleaning is to perform maintenance and upkeep checks--making sure that your appliances are working properly.
We'll start on the outside and move our way in. Be sure to get the whole family involved--many hands make light work. Turn it into a yearly tradition, a signal that summer fun is almost here.
First, a few rules: Never mix cleaning products. Bleach plus with ammonia can equal death. Start at the top and work your way down. Inventory your cleaning supplies and products and make sure you have enough--garbage bags, vacuum bags, paper towels, rags, rubber gloves, etc. Take them with you in a bucket or other container so you won't have to go searching for what you need. Have plenty of cold water and high-energy snacks on hand (nuts, dried fruit, cheese, vegetables) to fuel your endeavor.
l Tackle the garage. Appraise your tool collection--get rid of tools you don't use or that are rusted or beyond repair. Make a pile of things to sell in the garage sale and things to haul to the dump. Install pegboard with hooks on the walls to hang tools and implements. Make a special place for outdoor toys, bikes, scooters, skates, etc. Finish by sweeping and spraying the floor.
l Inspect the roof for loose shingles, for mushy places, for debris. Get the hose up there and spray it off. Remove debris from gutters. Ensure that gutters aren't loose or in disrepair.
l Examine exterior paint, brick or siding. Touch it up if needed. Check window screens for needed repairs or replacement, then power wash the outside of the house, including windows.
l Clean up woodpiles and other debris which serve as homes for pests.
l Check your lawn sprinkler system for maintenance problems.
l Drain all sediment from your hot water heater.
l Perform maintenance on home cooling systems, air conditioning or swamp coolers before hot weather warrants their use.
l Go through each bedroom closet. Box up any clothing that has not been worn for more than two years and donate it to a local charity. Perform repairs (sewing buttons, fixing hems, stain removal) before storing winter clothes.
l Dry clean winter coats and donate those that haven't been worn.