If you were to ask others when they start fall cleaning I am willing to bet you will hear a variety of answers. Some people might say they start their fall cleaning in late summer. Others might say they start when the leaves start turning or falling. You might even find some who will say that they wait even longer. So…
When Do You Start Fall Cleaning?
The shortest and most obvious answer for when to start fall cleaning is to start when fall begins. Fall starts on the autumnal equinox which is mid to late September and lasts until the winter equinox which is in late December.
With that said, you don't have to nor should start your fall cleaning on this date. There isn't a hard and fast rule. The better answer is to assess your current home situation and start when it's the best time for you.
To help you make your assessment, I came up with a few questions and tips you may want to keep in mind…
What Fall Cleaning Do You Need To Do?
Creating a good fall cleaning checklist is a must. It helps you to plan ahead and stay on target. It helps you keep track of what you complete and what you will still need to do. Plus it is satisfying to check things off a list!
To create a fall cleaning checklist walk from room to room through your with a notebook or a note-taking app. Take note of what needs deep cleaned, organized and repairs that you need to make.
As you look around pay attention to:
- Inside drawers
- Behind furniture
- Fans and lighting
- Crown molding
- Under furniture and cushions.
- Draperies, blinds, and valances.
- Coat Closets
- Fire Places
- Furnace and utility rooms
Do the same for the exterior of your home. Inspect:
- Garden areas
- A/C or Heat Pump
- Outdoor Furniture
- Other Landscaping
Be sure to think ahead. Some things need cleaned and maintained now. Some will need to be done later in the fall. Also, think about weatherproofing your home for the upcoming winter.
If you need some ideas I have created a room by room spring cleaning checklist that you can use for fall cleaning as well. Much of what is on that list can carry right over to your fall cleaning checklist.
What is the Fall Weather Like in Your Area?
Determine what the fall weather patterns are in your area. Are they cold with a lot of moisture? Does it tend to freeze and snow early in the season? Or is your fall weather rather mild and dry?
The weather pattern in your area influences when you can do your outdoor fall cleaning. If you have rather harsh weather swings then it may be best to start earlier. You may want to consider starting in late summer to do some of your outside cleaning and maintenance.
Where I live the weather and temperature in the fall can go from one extreme to the other. One day it can be a dry 100 degrees the next day it can be in the 50's with cold harsh winds and rain. The further into the fall, the colder and harsher the weather gets.
To avoid this I start earlier in the season to get much of my outdoor fall cleaning and yard maintenance done. If I wait too long I will end up with a mess of unfinished cleaning or I am outside in the dark and bitter cold.
So get to know your weather and plan accordingly.
How Much Time Do You Have To Spend Cleaning?
Not only do you have to contend with the weather but you have federal and non-federal holidays. Halloween, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving are a few of the major ones. You also have the bulk of the Christmas season up until December 21st during the tail end of fall. There are also minor holidays and observances that can chip away at your time.
School is also back in session late summer. It gets busy and you may find yourself short on time. If you have kids you know what I mean. You are going to want to keep in mind any school events during the fall that can put a damper on your time.
One more thing to consider is the effect of daylight hours on outdoor fall cleaning. During the fall your days become shorter and shorter as the sun sets further to the southwest. Even with the time change, you will find that there isn't going to be enough daylight to get any work done outdoors later in the fall.
If you feel you will be short on time you may consider hiring a professional house cleaner. You wouldn't believe what a professional house cleaner can do in a few hours. If you can afford it I would recommend it. It's stress relief!
Do You Have Any Seasonal Décor?
Decorating your home can take hours of your time. Sometimes days.
If you are someone who loves to decorate for the season then having your décor organized and ready to go is a must. Especially outdoor décor.
The best way to organize seasonal décor is to always have the décor you will next in front. All you have to do is cycle the décor by storing the recently used décor in the back then bringing next to be used décor to the front.
For example (from front to back):
1. Fall Décor
2. Halloween Décor
3. Thanksgiving Décor
4. Christmas Décor
5. And so on…
This is also a perfect time to go through your old décor. Discard what is not needed and plan for any decorations you may want to in the future.
Do You Need To Schedule Any Professional Services?
Make a list of any kind of professional services you need to get them scheduled as early as possible. These maintenance companies get busy during fall and it may be hard to schedule one the longer you wait. Plus it can be quite inconvenient for these companies to squeeze you in on quick notice. Be kind to them and yourself and get it scheduled early.
Here is a list of professional services you may need to schedule:
- Lawn services
- Fireplace cleaning and inspection
- Winterizing sprinkler system
- Lawn equipment maintenance
- Pest control
- Gutter cleaning
- Furnace inspection
- Fall vehicle maintenance
- Pool services
- Pond services
- Landscaping services
- Professional housekeeping
- Vehicle maintenance
Are There Any Cleaning Tools and Appliances That You Will Need?
Knowing what you will need in the way of tools will help you budget for them early. Plus you can pick up any tools early in the season when the selection is good and not yet bought out. Be early and be ready.
Here is a list of tools you may need:
- Leaf blowers and vacuums.
- Power washers
- Gutter sprayers and screens
- Buckets/spray bottles
- Vacuums, vacuum filters, and shop vacs.
- Scrubbers and towels
- Leaf and yard waste bags
- Window insulation kits
- Furnace filters
- Caulking and weather stripping
- Pipe insulation and pipe warmer tape
- Air conditioner cover
What Kind Of Cleaners Should You Keep On Hand?
Make of list of cleaners you may need to purchase. Buy them early. This way you are sure to have it on hand to get any of your fall cleaning done at a moment's notice. Especially when the weather is not cooperating.
If you are a DIYer and prefer to make your own cleaning agents it would also be wise to prepare them early. Armed with a fall cleaning checklist you can pre-batch and it will be ready to go when you need.
Typical cleaners you need are:
- Glass cleaner
- Carpet cleaner
- Hardwood floor cleaner
- Dish soap
- Furniture polish
- General bathroom cleaner
- Toilet cleaner
- Bathtub cleaner
- Concrete cleaner
- Siding cleaner
- Deck cleaner
- Car wax or polish
With the above in mind, I hope this article helps you to determine when to start fall cleaning. I also hope I provided you with enough ideas and tips to help make your fall cleaning go as smoothly as possible.
As I partake in my fall cleaning I will be sure to update this article if I come across anything that I may also help you out. If anyone has any other ideas can share them in the comment section below.
Take care and enjoy your fall season.