Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Deep Cleaning

Picture cred. go_greener_oz

One of my biggest joys in life is enjoying a clean house. I spend many hours of my spare time cleaning and organizing simply because I find it so therapeutic (don't feel bad for me...really!) . I realize not everyone shares my joy of cleaning....but who doesn't like a clean house?!
With the seasons changing and the cold weather coming, I've gotten started on my fall cleaning in preparation for the many months I'm about to be stuck inside. I decided to take the time to write out a few of the things that I do (or attempt to do!) every year.

1.Purge closets
If you're like me, you don't have enough closet space for all of your stuff. It's one of my biggest pet peeves to have things where they don't belong, so I utilize quite a bit of closet space. I share my bedroom closet with my husband, (I use the term "share" loosely, because he really only gets to use about 1/4 of the closet!), and it's ALWAYS cramped. So, I like to take this time of year to go through all of my clothes and decide whether or not I should keep it. If I haven't worn it since the last time I went through my closet, I need to get rid of it. I also take the time to pack up some things that I won't be wearing (i.e. shorts and capris) but I like to leave my tank tops and short sleeved tops out for layering.

2. Clean windows (inside and out!) 
Because of all of the summer rain and mud, it really is helpful to do this in the fall, even if it was just done in the spring. However, This is one of my least favorite chores because it's such a pain! We have really old windows (regular windows and storm windows) and so that makes twice the work. Many times I have threatened to hire someone to clean my windows....but I'm always so glad to be able to see outside without trying to peer through the dirt.

3. Wash all linens
I wash all of our sheets and towels several times a week, but I don't wash our throw blankets, curtains, and other barely used linens that often. Since the next several months will be spent curled up with a blanket indoors, it's nice to start fresh. Plus, if you have allergies like me, it'll cut down on your sneezing.

4. Empty out bathroom cabinets and wipe down
I like to collect beauty products like it's a hobby. At any given moment I'll have 3 different bottles of hairspray, several bottles of styling products, and a few different kinds of leave in conditioner. That's not even getting into all of my make up and nail polish and lotions. All of this stuff accumulates a ridiculous amount of gunk and so it's really important to take everything out of the cabinets every few months and wipe out the cabinets. I like to do it every few months so that it doesn't get too out of hand.

5. Empty out kitchen cabinets and wipe down
If your summer is like mine, it's full of quick meals and running out the door to enjoy the weather. This leads to lots of forgotten crumbs, grease, spills, etc. While a kitchen may look clean to the naked eye, look closer! And unless you want bugs in your house, (I don't!), it's necessary to clean out those cabinets that have accumulated so much of your summer grease and grime. I take out all of my appliances and dishes that have been pushed to the back of the cabinet, wash everything, and wipe out the cabinets. This also gives me a chance to move all of my Winter appliances to the front (hello Crockpot!)  and put my summer oriented appliances toward the back.

6. Wipe down walls 
Even though we have no kids, we do have a dog. And you'd be surprised how many fingerprints and dirt smears two adults and a dog can make, especially on light colored walls. For this particular chore, the magic eraser is my best friend. Note: be careful with the magic eraser on painted walls, as it will take paint off if used too roughly! I also like to take a rag that has been soaked in a water/soap mixture to get the grime off.

7. Mop floors really well
I try to mop my floors every week or so, but I'm not always successful. This is the time of year when I really aim to get at least one GOOD mopping session in to try and get all of the muddy footprints off of the floor and pay special attention to the corners. I do have a steam mop which makes the job a lot easier, but it's still time consuming with all of our wood floors.

8. Get carpets cleaned
We don't have a lot of carpet in our house, but I felt like it should be put on the list anyway. It's really important to me to have a house that SMELLS clean,  and fresh carpet is essential for that. I wait for a  good coupon or groupon and pay to have someone do it because it's pretty cost effective and frees me up to accomplish something else!

9. Dust all ceiling fans and light fixtures 
This is usually something that I enlist the help of the husband for. I'm not tall enough to reach all of those....or so I tell him. We keep our fans going all Summer long and they accumulate a lot of dust. Wiping the blades off not only makes them look better, but it helps not to spread dust around the house as well.

10. Wipe down all dining tables and chairs
Again, I'm not sure how two people can leave so many fingerprints and accumulate so much gunk on chairs and tables. However, somehow we manage to do just that. With all of the birthdays and Holidays that happen during the Fall and Winter months, I prefer to give our guests an enjoyable eating experience! I get a rag that is wet with soapy water and wipe down the whole table (top, bottom, legs....everything!) and do the same for the chairs. Once you see how much you are able to wipe off of your furniture, you'll thank me.

Hopefully this post is helpful for you and it doesn't label me as "owner of the messiest house EVER." I'd love to hear your deep cleaning secrets!

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