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Fall Cleaning and Organizing: The Ultimate Checklist

Last Updated: April 9, 2024

Written by Karen Norman

Useful Tips for Fall Cleaning and Organizing. 

Get organized and prepared for the Colder Season. 

What is Fall Cleaning?

Fall Cleaning is essentially a Spring Clean in the Fall. We often see spring as the time to do a whole house clean (aka, spring cleaning), but there are just as many – if not – more reasons to do a fall cleaning and organization session. Take your cues from nature; nature organizes itself as the colder weather starts. Trees shed their leaves and grow dormant buds. Animals hibernate, burrow, or grow winter coats. Harvest wraps up. 

At home, this means it’s time to pack away the paddling pool, clean out the yard and garden, and prepare the abode for the cold months ahead. Without a fall clean-up session, it’s hard to enjoy the beautiful season as you are stuck dealing with the buildup and clutter from summer.

When and Why do a Fall Cleaning?

As warmer days subside and darker evenings draw in, it is time to face another winter. Giving your home a deep clean twice a year (Spring and Fall) helps you stay in tune with the changing seasons and embrace them. A good time to do this is during the weekend change in Daylight Saving Time. So, roll up those sleeves – let’s begin!

Fall Cleaning from Outside to Inside

The Great Outdoors

Your back yard will soon be the site of snowmen and s’mores; the last thing you want is festering snow mould or tripping over something hiding under the snow.

  • Clean and pack away kiddie pools, tents, outdoor furniture, and toys.
  • Trim the lawn and rake up the leaves. A layer of organic material like a mound of grass or a carpet of fallen leaves can promote snow mould.
  • Drain and detach the garden hose and move it to the shed (or basement). Next, locate the shut-off valve for your outdoor tap. Ensure the lines are dry, then shut it off for the winter. Failure to do so can see ice form, expand and break the pipe.
  • Clean out the garage or carport. You want to be able to park out of the snow. (Also, a good time to winterize your vehicle or RV).

Inside the Home – The Deep Clean

Nobody blames you for wanting to spend as much time as possible outside when the days are warm and long. However, all that gardening, beach-going, and backyard tanning bring in dust and debris that hides under the fridge, in corners, and under the stove.

Using a good broom followed by a microfiber cloth mop, go through every non-carpeted surface in your home. Pull out appliances, move beds, slide the desk – find the places where dirt likes to hide.

A bucket of warm water with some dish detergent or distilled white vinegar will clean your walls without harming the paint. However, you may need a little more detergent for the kitchen walls to clean up the fine grease spray that tends to settle above the stove.

Use the lemon trick for a refreshing clean in your microwave.

You don’t need harsh chemicals to clean the oven. Baking soda and water will do a great job.

Garbage Bins
Deodorize the garbage bins, compost bins, and litter boxes (if applicable).

Give the dishwasher a good clean.

Windows and Mirrors
Wash the interior windows and mirrors with commercial glass cleaner or make your own. However, leave the exterior windows to the professionals. The pros have the equipment and purified water to get to the highest windows and leave them streak-free.

To dust high ledges, don’t risk standing on a ladder. Instead, get a telescopic dusting tool. It also works well on ceiling fans.

Book a professional carpet cleaning. A regular vacuum won’t pull up enough dust and mites. If you have shedding pets, time this tip for when they are in their full winter coats and not shedding as much. Ask your cleaner about added services, like dryer vents and ducts.

As you move in and out of the kitchen, snake the drains, pull out clogs, and get rid of all those empty bottles under the sink. Then, wipe down the sink areas.

Clean out and defrost the freezer. Safely discard freezer burnt and expired foods.

No point in putting it off – organize that pantry! A few extra shelves and bins will keep that area tidy and make cooking easy instead of a chore.

If your room is messy, you will not want to spend cold weekend mornings in bed, so give your bedroom a good clean.

For even more ideas, take a look at the Ultimate Fall Cleaning Checklist from The Spruce. And for some extra motivation, take a look at this Video from “Momma From Scratch.”

Minor Repairs and Safety Checks

Don’t waste winter days with squeaky chairs or broken bed slats. Take care of them now so you can spend your time cuddling in front of the fireplace! Fall is also an appropriate time to ensure winter safety.

  • Tighten loose screws on furniture and appliances.
  • Bolt items like bookcases to the wall – especially if you have curious children or pets.
  • Check all the bed slats. Put bumpers on sharp bedposts if you spent the summer stubbing your toes.
  • Replace burnt-out lightbulbs. Make sure to read the maximum wattage for each fixture.
  • Test your fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide alarms. Replace them if they have expired.
  • Check the expiry date on your fire extinguishers. Then, make sure everyone knows where they are and how to use them.
  • Call a company like ATCO (or similar) to do a health check on your furnace and fireplace.
  • Grab an extra furnace filter. Your furnace works harder during the winter. As a result, you may need to change the filter more often.

Fall Cleaning so you can Enjoy Life all Year Round

Fall cleaning and organizing will give you time to enjoy the cozy winter season. Unfortunately, we gradually build up a lot of stuff and a lot of dirt. Doing a deep clean and declutter twice a year will help keep things under control.

As we go into the cooler months and spend more time indoors, a deep clean and declutter will help your home feel organized and comfortable. Do you really want to cozy up in front of the fire if you are surrounded by clutter and dirt? It can be tough to relax when the to-do list is building up.

Additionally, you’ve given yourself a head start on spring cleaning! Clean spaces tend to remain cleaner for longer. For more ideas on getting a Dang Good Clean, explore our other Dang Good Blog Posts. 

Or, if you live in or around Calgary, call in the pros for carpets, windows, furnaces, and upholstery. Visit our homepage today!

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