The Four Biggest Priorities of Fall House Cleaning

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white house with red trim in fall, picket fencee

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Ugh, it’s time to think about Fall House Cleaning!

Didn’t we all just do our Spring Cleaning?

House Cleaning in Fall

It seems like we just cleaned the darned house. Why do we have to do another big cleaning now? I just want to drink apple cider and jump in leaf piles and have pumpkin spice everything.

Ok, I guess that’s enough petulant child for one post! (True fact: I don’t really like pumpkin spice anything. Not even pie.)

In actuality, there really is good reasoning behind a thorough fall house cleaning.

Cleaning Up Before Closing Up

As the reality of cooler/cold weather (depending on where you live) sets in, we know we will be spending more and more time indoors with the heat on, and doors and windows closed up.

It only makes sense to get the place clean before you seal yourself and your family indoors for however many months before spring comes along.

Set Your Priorities

Although every home would benefit from a deep cleaning top to bottom, not everyone has time to give the house that much attention. Maybe you really need to set your primary focus on Home Maintenance Projects instead.

Maybe you just wanna jump in that leaf pile over and over.

“We dream of having a clean house, but who actually dreams of doing the cleaning?”

marcus buckingham

If you can’t get to everything in your home this season, here are my four top areas to focus on cleaning:





sun shining in window on plant


Days are getting shorter, clouds are getting heavier and greyer, and your home’s interior is going to seem darker than it’s been in months.

Clean your windows, inside and out, in order to let every last ray of sun possible shine into your house.

It’s surprising just how much light a dirty, dusty windowpane can block.


Snow, slush, salt, grime. Your family will be tracking these things into your house in no time. The best way to keep floors as clean as possible in winter is to adopt a no-shoes-indoors policy, and keep a bench and shoe storage near every exit to your home.

I have never had such a policy, and I know my floors get dirtier than my friends who are strictly shoes-off.

It is key, though, to get your floors as clean as possible while the weather is still relatively decent, because open windows go a long way to dry them off quickly once you’ve cleaned them.

Sweep and mop hard surface floors, vacuum carpets, wash rugs. Shampoo your carpets, too, or hire a professional service to do it for you.

bed linens with coffee cup and tray


Your goal here is to eliminate dust, dander, and microscopic critters from your house before you seal it up. These are houseguests you do not want to make comfortable.

Wash and iron curtains. Dust blinds and shutters. Wash bed linens, including spreads, duvets, blankets, and mattress pads. Wash all bed pillows. While your at it, flip or rotate your mattress and then vacuum it. Wash pet blankets. Plan on doing many extra loads of laundry for a while. You’ll be glad you gave the time, after it’s all done.


Your kitchen needs a deep cleaning. You’ve probably neglected it quite a bit (I know I have!) because of all the salads and fresh produce and grilled meals you’ve been eating.

We are moving back into the days when our ovens and and stoves and crockpots are in heavy rotation. And that’s before the Holidays arrive toward the end of the year, with all of the food-related events and activities they bring.

Clean your oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and all your frequently used small appliances. Empty out your pantry and dispose of all expired foods. Discard stale spices.

Inventory food and kitchenware to see what you may need to replace before company arrives or you do any entertaining. Take the time to plan ahead and stock up now. Don’t get surprised at the last minute!

The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment. 

marie kondo

This list obviously doesn’t cover everything that needs to be cleaned in your home, but in terms of preparing for the cold season, these are your top four priority areas. Take care of them first, and you’ll be way ahead of the game.

Related Post: The Great Big List of Fall Home Maintenance Projects

How is your Fall cleaning coming along? Share your stories in the comments!

white house, fall house cleaning

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