Fall Cleaning Checklist

Quick And Easy Tasks To Tackle Today

by Sommer Donahoe // October - November - December 2021

As we start getting back to our normal activities, let’s make sure we don’t lose the great momentum from all the love we’ve given our homes. As your lives continue to get busier again, remember that cleaning your home doesn’t always need to be a full deep clean. As we clean, the process can bring up reminders of all the things we wish we would have done over the years (thinking about all of you ’80s kids like me!). Individually, all the tasks could likely be knocked out in just a day or a weekend. But we all know how things go, and how our busy lives cause us to push them back for another time. It often happens that these small-scale projects stack up until we decide to sell our homes and are faced with a large-scale list of “to-dos.” This is when I help my clients get their houses ready to hit the market. But I’m here to remind you that you can stay ahead of the chore game by tackling some smaller, simpler tasks, before they become much larger, more daunting jobs.

Following are several things you can do now to kickstart the process – once you realize how good it feels to check these off your list, I think you just might be motivated to carry out a few more.

Kitchen Cabinets: Tackle that Tupperware cabinet by matching containers to lids and tossing items that don’t match. If you have little ones, ask them to help and make it a fun game.

Silverware and Utensils Drawers: Give them a quick vacuum and wipe down the insides.

Trash Can: Give it a good cleaning or get a new one if yours is in bad shape. Don’t forget to vacuum and clean the trash can cabinet inside your drawer system and area.

De-Squeak Doors: How many times have you opened a door in your house, heard that awful creaking noise, and said to yourself “I really need to fix that!”? Dust off the WD40 that has been sitting on the garage shelf or run to your local hardware store and pick some up to oil any squeaky door hinges.

Give Your Furnace Some L-O-V-E: Extending the life of your HVAC system by changing filters and keeping up with annual maintenance is key. If you are going to be selling your home, this is a great time to get ahead of the game and have it serviced.

Change Your Air Filters Regularly: You can buy filters in bulk and set a calendar reminder every few months to change them (make the reminder later in the evening when you know you’ll be home). Make it even easier by ordering filters online and having them auto-shipped to your home.

Schedule a Furnace Check-Up: This is the perfect fall season chore. Call your local HVAC professional and ask for your furnace to be serviced. If the heat goes out this winter, you’ll be thankful you made that call!

Fall Exterior Maintenance and Clean Up: Winterizing the exterior of your home could save you money in the long run. An easy time to tackle this is when you’re already outside decorating the exterior of your home for the holidays. Remove hoses from outside water spigots and clear pine straw or mulch away from foundation vents. Winterize lawn equipment and irrigation systems. Jump on a ladder (safely!) and clear out those clogged gutters. Or, hire one of the many local service companies to do this if you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself.

Test Those Smoke Detectors: Regularly replacing the batteries in all of your smoke detectors will go a long way in preventing that annoying chirping that only seems to come at night when you’re trying to sleep! And of course, they will be in proper working order should a fire start in your home. And when Daylight Savings comes back around, change out the batteries in all of your smoke detectors once again. If new batteries don’t stop the chirping, it may be time to buy new detectors.

Create An Emergency Escape Plan: Speaking of fires, should an emergency situation happen at your home, creating an escape plan can be crucial to your family’s safety. Who remembers this from your childhood? As a planner, this is as important to my family now as it was to my parents back in the ’80s. This is important year-round, but is a great reminder during the holiday season (think candles, Christmas trees strung with lights, frequent holiday baking, etc.). Often a simple, straightforward plan is best and will be remembered by everyone in your family. Designate a tree or location across the street and practice several times. From personal experience, having a quick, easy path out of the house helps avoid some very overwhelming emotions.

Sommer Donahoe

Realtor with Southern Lux Living, serving buyers and sellers throughout the Triangle.