The expression “spring-cleaning” has been drilled into our psyches for so long, we rarely pause to consider any alternatives. Is spring actually the best season to do your big annual sprucing-up sesh? Or could another season be lying in wait for its shot at the title? We’re leaning toward the latter, and we’ll tell you why — fall actually makes more sense for myriad reasons.
We know we’re rocking the boat here. We also grew up being told spring is the season for cleaning and was therefore sacrosanct. If we’re really being honest, it’s the only time of year some of us deep-clean.
But change can be good, remember? Keep an open mind and let us explore the many reasons fall is actually the perfect time for “spring-cleaning.” We’ll even throw in some of our best tips for how to approach the task this season.
We’re heading into the no-window months
While you probably threw every window in your house open the minute you detected that first hint of fall air, we all know such glorious weather can be short-lived. Depending on where you live, fall will soon give way to winter — a time of year when windows remain shut largely into the spring. That means all the dust and dirt tracked into your home during the warm-weather months just sort… circulates.
The fix? For starters, go ahead and give your floors a classic sweep-and-mop (or at the very least, Swiffer) combo. Then, turn to any heating apparatus. Filters should be cleaned and surfaces should be dusted to avoid that telltale burning dust smell. It’s also an ideal time to get your heating system serviced before colder weather hits.
Allergens sneak in during spring & summer
On the subject of things that sneak in undetected, let’s talk pollen. Certain states practically glow yellow with this stuff during the warmer months, which means it inevitably finds its way into the air inside your home.
Wiping down all surfaces should nix most pollen particles, but you can also swap out the filters for your HVAC and air purifier (if you have one). If you swear by essential oils to help with allergies, now would be a good time to check your reserves and perhaps order a few that are good for allergies and will fill your house with the smell of fall.
Oh! And don’t forget to wash a major source of allergens like dander and dust: pet beds.
The holidays are here
Ah, who doesn’t love this time of year? The fall also represents the final stretch before we hit the cool-weather holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and New Year’s. And you know what that means — entertaining, hosting, baking and, in general, hunkering down in your home for quality time with loved ones.
By tackling “spring-cleaning” in the fall, it takes one less worry off your plate come holiday time. Instead of doing the mad-dash deep-clean at the eleventh hour, you can do a light cleaning a few days prior instead. So, think ahead now and prepare by cleaning out coat closets, tidying up the guest room, restocking the linen cabinets, locating and organizing holiday decor and deep-cleaning your stove/oven.
Critters like cozy houses too
Baby, it’s cold outside! As you’re thinking how warm and inviting your house feels, the critters and creatures outside may be thinking the same thing — and trying to figure out a way to become your winter roomies.
Doing your due diligence before a cold front comes through could mean the difference between having a critter-free winter abode and sharing it with anything from rodents to moths and spiders. Knock down any cobwebs lingering in tall corners, seal any cracks and crevices and schedule your annual pest-control appointment.
The heat of summer has finally faded
No matter where you live, fall likely means at least a few degrees difference in the average daily temps. In some regions, the fall brings a much-needed respite from stifling heat and humidity. That means you can open up the windows while you work, allowing fresh air to flow through and keeping any cleaning substances from overpowering your senses.
A few other things you can do now that the weather is cooler? Swap out your bed linens for something more substantial, rearrange your wardrobe to make room for winter-wear and replace doormats that may be worn and muddy from summer shenanigans.
‘Tis the season of getting cozy
Generally speaking, fall kicks off the part of the year in which you spend more time at home. You want to curl up on the couch and watch movies. You want to make hot cocoa and bake holiday cookies. You want to spend all day in your pj's just because. But that means you also want your home to be clutter-free so you can actually enjoy doing all those other things without stressing.
To that end, declutter and drop off extraneous items at the local Salvation Army. Exchange nearly burned-out candles with new ones (pumpkin spice scent, perhaps?). And clean any appliances you know you’ll be using more frequently, like your vacuum, washer and dryer and fridge.