Fall is the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and spruce up your home. Use this fall cleaning checklist to get your home in shape for the chilly months ahead.
__ De-goop your gutters. No one loves this task, but gutters clogged with leaves, pine needles and other debris can lead to bigger problems down the road.
__ Clean and inspect your chimney, woodstove, and boiler. Call in a professional chimney sweep at least once a year for safety's sake.
__ Put your garden to bed. Trim the perennials, weed and mulch garden beds, and protect your shrubs. Don’t forget to mow the lawn and fertilize it.
__ Take care of your tools. To keep your yard tools in good condition, clear off any dirt and debris. Oil any tools and blades that show signs of rust.
__ Tidy the yard. Store summer furniture and decorations. Wipe down anything that will remain out. For goodness sake, get the summer toys off the lawn!
__ Change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Technically, this doesn't involve any actual cleaning. Do it anyway.
__ Windows: Clean inside and out. No one wants to look at junior's paw prints all winter long.
Dust, dust, dust: Fall is the time of year to think about indoor air quality. Use a microfiber cloth or duster and pay special attention to moldings, light fixtures, and ceiling fans.
__ Wash curtains. Curtains retain an enormous amount of dust and dirt. Time to toss them into the washer. Use warm water to kill dust mites.
__ Wipe down blinds and shades. Use a microfiber cloth to freshen up window treatments.
__ Steam clean carpet. Steam cleaning freshens up your flooring and kills dust mites. As an added bonus, it also extends the life of your carpets.
__ Clean out your closets. Store what's out of season. Donate what doesn't fit. Then, wipe down the surfaces to fight dust.
__ Reduce and recycle: Pitch old magazines. Thin out children's artwork and toys. Reducing clutter now means less cleaning during the holiday season.
__ Polish your wood. Take a little time to clean and protect all your wood surfaces including molding, shelving, windowsills, and door frames.
__ Inspect your air ducts. If you see obvious signs of dust, mold or debris, especially signs of rodents or insects (ewww!), call in an expert.
__ Button up. Check windows and doors for drafts. Inexpensive caulking and weather-stripping can make your home more energy efficient.
Now, go make yourself a pumpkin-spice latte and curl up on the couch. You are officially ready for winter.