While spring cleaning gets all the glory, the fall is the perfect time to declutter and prepare for the holidays. The change of seasons is a time when the remnants of summer should be put away, and homes should be bundled up for the cold seasons ahead.
Here are seven essential tips for fall cleaning and decluttering to get your home looking fantastic.
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1. Tackle One Room at a Time
Break your big cleaning and decluttering job into smaller tasks by taking a room-by-room approach. This approach will help prevent you from getting overwhelmed by the chores that lie ahead and make it easier to maintain the progress you've made.
Consider starting with some of the less visible rooms, like storage areas, bedrooms, closets, and bathrooms. Finish with high-traffic areas like the kitchen and living room so that those rooms aren't getting messy again while your focus is elsewhere.
2. Don't Hang Onto Donations
Don't hang onto donations or leave them in a visible area, as it may cause you to second-guess yourself. Furthermore, unless you're giving away something of value, don't try to offload your goods on friends or family. Take them to the donation center as soon as possible.
If you need to hang onto your donations for a few days, store them in a closed box and take an out of sight, out of mind approach.
3. Have Trash Removed
Depending on the state of your home, you may discover that you have a lot of garbage and junk that can't be kept, sold, or donated. This junk could include anything from broken appliances to old paperwork that you no longer need.
Rather than keeping your trash around and trying to plan around garbage collection quotas, have a junk removal service haul trash away. Doing so ensures your home is clean and tidy right away, instead of inundated with piles of garbage.
4. Use the KonMari Method
Mari Kondo is world-famous for her decluttering and cleaning practices. One of her simple philosophies is to hold an item for a few seconds and ask if it sparks joy. If the item does not elicit an emotional response, it's time to pass it along.
Take a similar approach when sorting through clothing. If you haven't worn the outfit in the past year, consider donating it. Similarly, if you wouldn't spend the same amount of money on it today, donate it or sell it.
5. Devote Time to Winter Yard Prep
The fall is the ideal time to prepare your yard and house for the challenging winter months. Create a yard maintenance checklist to work through as a part of your fall cleaning process.
Some common things to include on a winter yard preparation list include:
- mulching gardens
- cleaning eavestroughs
- pruning trees and bushes
- putting away tools
- tilling gardens
- checking for loose or missing shingles
Outdoor maintenance and preparation are especially important this time of year, especially if you experience hurricane season. Pick a nice weekend, and get it done.
6. Deep Clean Appliances
How often do you deep clean your appliances? After the hot summer days, hunker down and scrub your oven, stove, dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer vents. Take the time to dismantle your fridge and freezer, cleaning out crispers and scrubbing shelves.
7. Store Seasonal Wear
Storing seasonal wear is an effective way to declutter your entryway and dresser drawers. Put away your bathing suits, tents, camping gear, flip-flops, and sundresses. Swap them out for boots, jackets, hats, and mittens.
Create a streamlined storage section for your seasonal wear that's easy to access during both the spring and the fall.
With these simple tips, you can create a clean and tidy home year-round. Add a few days of fall cleaning to your to-do list to start your autumn off on the right foot.