Fall cleaning checklist

Woman cleaning gutters

Spring isn't the only time to get significant cleaning and organizing done in your home. Many major chores and deep-cleaning tasks should actually be done in the fall in order to prepare your home for the wintertime.

Seasonal chores
for fall


The summer sun has faded away, so it's time to prepare for the cold winter weather.

  • Clean summer furniture, grills, toys and other outdoor items.
  • Store away any of these items you won't use again until spring.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Inspect, drain and store garden hoses.
  • Power wash (or thoroughly clean) windows and siding, if necessary.
  • Recaulk windows and doors as needed.
  • Check and replace weather stripping.
  • Touch up exterior paint as needed.

Check out more fall cleaning tips >>


  • Vacuum the condenser coils on your fridge.
  • Clean dryer vent and exhaust areas.
  • Clean your oven, if you don't do it monthly already.
  • Flip your mattresses — end to end and front to back.
  • Move your bed and other big furniture and vacuum behind/underneath.
  • Vacuum or clean window treatments, window sills, baseboards and ceiling corners.
  • Wash and dry your walls.
  • Clean light fixtures and ceiling fans.
  • Replace your furnace filter.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Clean your computer — dust the CPU, clean your monitor, shake the crumbs out of your keyboard
  • Get your carpets cleaned or rent a steam cleaner and do it yourself.
  • Donate toys and clothes your kids have outgrown to a children's shelter or other charity.
  • Give your closets an overhaul: Donate, sell or toss anything you haven't worn in a year.
  • Clean out your kitchen cabinets to get organized and ready for the holiday season.

Read our time-saving kitchen cleaning tips >>

Call the experts

General cleaning and organizing you can do yourself, but some things are better left to the experts.

  • Get a professional inspection and maintenance check on heating and cooling units.
  • Have your chimney and flue cleaned and inspected.
  • Get a roof inspection if your roof is old, any shingles are loose or you are in a snowy climate.
  • Schedule a tune-up on your car.

Read these five steps to winterize your home >>

More about cleaning and organizing

How to effectively schedule your house chores
How to keep your mattress smelling fresh
5 Spots in your house you should disinfect daily


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Comments on "Fall cleaning checklist"

Michelle October 03, 2012 | 11:13 AM

This is an important fall cleaning checklist. I like to give my home a deep thorough cleaning to get rid of all the lurking dust and germs before I spend the next several months sealed up indoors. I also agree with Hannah that it makes sense to take care of all these things before we are overwhelmed by the holiday rush. Doing a little bit of preventative maintenance now will spare us some big headaches further on down the road.

Hannah October 01, 2012 | 6:58 PM

Great checklist for fall cleaning. I like the idea of getting all the deep cleaning and random errands (car checkups) done before the holidays are in full force. Holiday season goes by so fast, so it's best to get all of this out of the way so you can enjoy the season.

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