Preparing your home for more time spent indoors doesn’t have to mean spending hundreds of dollars to hire a professional cleaning service. You can refresh your interior with less elbow grease than you think!
Drapes and Blinds
Curtains and blinds are a magnet for more dust than you can imagine. Before you send them off to the cleaners (and pay dearly for it), simply remove them from their rods and place them on the fluff cycle in your dryer. As they tumble, take a damp cloth and run it along the windowsills and rods. Remove them promptly to avoid wrinkling — ideally before the buzzer goes off — and rehang. Alternatively, swap them out for richer textured drapes, and keep their summer cousins covered and hanging in a closet.
Lighting Fixtures and Ceiling Fans
Now is the perfect time to replace any ceiling bulbs that may have burnt out. Also, remove the covers from wall sconces and bathroom or kitchen fixtures and wash them to remove built-up dust. Ceiling fan blades get really filthy, so while you have the ladder out, why not wipe down each blade? Wear gloves, keep a bucket of water beside you for rinsing and watch in amazement as your fan turns from an eyesore to a sight for sore eyes.
Walls and Trim
Chances are, there’s a place or two in your home that everyone likes to stand — and put their grubby little mitts. Check your doorframes, corners and especially the bathroom walls for built up grime. Most dirt won’t need repainting but can simply be wiped off with a sponge. Avoid vigorous scrubbing, however, as that can remove paint.
Clean Out the Kitchen
If you’re like most home cooks, you probably have a Bundt pan or a mystery spice or two lying quietly around. Fall is a great time to go through your cupboards and trim your tools down to what you need. Keep in mind, however, that the 2-year rule that applies to clothes may not apply to cookware. Even if Aunt Sally only visits every five years, if she likes your jelly roll, you need to keep your jelly roll pan.
Proper home maintenance isn’t always about cleaning. Run your hands along windowsills and doorframes to check for drafts — weatherstripping reduces energy waste as well as your heating bill. Hire a reputable chimney service to check your fireplace, and make sure your pantry is well stocked with just-in-case items such as flashlights, candles, matches, batteries and bottled water. Finally, don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke detectors, even if you think they might be ok.