OK! Autumn is finally here in Austin TX!
Yeah, we’re a little later than most when it’s time for the temperature to cool down. BUT, we’re here in 80-degree cool, crispy, fresh air. It no longer feels like a greenhouse and my hair will hold a curl longer than 30 minutes!
Austin, the place where us women convert our flowy sun dresses into a flowy fall dress. (This means adding plum nail polish). The place where we can still comfortably sit on the patio in the evening with a local pumpkin beer. Pups and besties in tow as we listen to a band play our favorite Schneider song. I mean, I LOVE summer but Fall is my 2nd favorite for sure. There is just so much change and relaxing going on at the same time, it makes my soul smile! But as I sit and drink my WARM Vietnamese coffee, I usually start making my Fall Cleaning Checklist. It’s the same every year, I just write lists so I feel accomplished. I also must have a clear precise chronological process all put together on one paper, or else! Or else I will be running in circles for days trying to get it all done right.
After Summer, my house is pretty bad. There is a dark-dirt-shadow on all the corners of the house, where the kids grab every time they pass it. Like “Why, for the love of God, do you all need to slingshot yourself around every corner of the house? Just WALK around it without slapping it like it’s stolen the heads of your Barbie’s!”. Anyway, I’ll never understand it, I just roll with the funk of life and clean it later. Well, guess what Brandi!!! Later is here! Like, right now, you have run out of tomorrow’s and you have to clean that mess up! So, I make my list and put all of the duties in order, in a way that makes sense and saves me time. The list is the easy part, getting up and actually executing it is the rough stuff. I have been using the 3-2-1 rule for things that I would normally put off. That means instead of sulking in the thoughts of what I need to do, I just say 3-2-1 and then I go get it done. Without thinking about it. Just do it!
Before you close your windows for the Winter, print this list and 3-2-1 yourself into action. You will feel so good after it’s all done and you know you relax on the deep cleaning until Spring. Follow the steps in the order they are laid out, to save time. Let me know if you have any questions about any of the steps or what products I like to use in my home and my clients’ home’s. I’m never too busy to help. And as always, if you have a friend who could take advantage of this list, forward it to them.
Collect all of the bedding from each room and wash it all according to it’s washing instruction labels. I like to wash all of bedding on the hottest setting (for my washer that’s the sanitary setting), Tide, and plenty o’ Downy Unstoppables. While it is washing, sprinkle the mattresses with baking soda. Vacuum it up before putting the sheets back on. After it is all washed, and the beds are made, I spray it with some of my DIY fabric freshener. Ask me how to make it!
While your bedding is in the wash, grab your step ladder and extended Swiffer. Starting upstairs (if you have an upstairs) dust the areas where the ceiling meets the walls. Dust the vents, light fixtures, fans, lightbulbs, tops of door frames and picture frames. Dust all bookshelves, electronics, décor, tables and window blinds.
With the soft head attachment of your vacuum cleaner, suck up all of the dust and gunk out of the sides, tops and inside the tracks. After they are all dust, dirt and bug free, wash the windows on the inside and outside with a mixture of:
- 3.5 oz. of Jet Dry
- 4 Tablespoons Alcohol
- 1/4 Cup Ammonia
- 1 handful of powdered dish-washer soap
2 Gallons of Hot Water
Unless you want to paint your entire home, chances are you will need to WASH the walls and baseboards. By wash, I mean Mr. Clean Sponge every spot or shadow on the walls, doors, baseboards and cabinets. Also pay attention to the underside of the cabinets where it meets the floor. Ours are always so dirty with spills, splatters and I don’t know what else.
Backsplash and Tub Tile:
You can either use a Mr. Clean Sponge on the tile and backsplash or a Mr. Clean spray solution and non-scratch sponge. If they are super dirty use a bucket of hot water (as hot as you can stand) with Dish Soap and a non-scratch sponge. If there is mildew, use your favorite mildew remover. Usually some bleach spray works great for me.
I use a razor blade scraper (from Home Depot). I CAREFULLY (it’s a razor) run it along the tops of my counters and quickly remove any stuck-on mess. Wipe that ‘mess’ off onto the floor. Use a Mr. Clean or Bleach Solution spray and clean with a non-scratch sponge. And finally, I use Windex to shine them babies up!
Sinks, Baths and Toilets:
Using a Bleach Solution spray the sink, tub or toilet and clean edges and corners with a toothbrush. Use a non-scratch sponge, scrub the rest. Rinse sinks and tubs with hot water and dry.
Deep clean the interior and exterior of all your appliances. This includes your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, stove and oven, fridge, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, etc.
Shampoo all the carpets and rugs in your house!! If you don’t have a shampooer, rent one or hire a company to shampoo your carpets. Depending on your area, do some shopping around to find the best one. They also offer grout cleaning (which is next) which could save you lots of backache. Clean your grout in tile flooring with your favorite grout cleaner from your local hardware store. These cleaners are extremely tough so be careful and wear gloves! After the grout is clean, mop the floors with bleach solution water and dry them. You may want to consider mopping twice to make sure you got it all. Get behind and under EVERYTHING.
Clean all of your tables with hot water and soap solution, dry with separate towel. Use murphy’s oil or Pledge to finish them off! After you vacuum, all fabric should be shampooed as well. Couches, upholstered chairs and cushions, shampoo them all. There are plenty of ways you can do this on Pinterest.
Change all of your air filters.
Go through your drawers and cabinets and get rid of anything you haven’t used. Consider donating them! While the cabinet and drawer contents are out, clean the inside of the drawer and cabinets. I use hot water and soap with a microfiber towel.
Go through all of your piles of papers (mail, school papers, art, cards, bills, etc.) and organize or shred as needed. Clean that mess up!!
Re-arrange your furniture. Switch it all up and maybe check out some feng shui ideas.
Incorporate new fall scents. Wax Melts, Candles, Oils, etc. Always makes me nostalgic when it counts.
Put up some Fall Décor to get you in the mood.
Add a temporary mud room if you don’t have one. I don’t, so I get creative in the Winter months. There is always so much “Door clutter” in the winter. I CAN’T STAND IT!!!! So, what I do is add a huge basket for boots, shoes, gloves, hats and umbrellas. I also hang up a wooden plank coat hanger for our jackets and scarves. Or else they will be hanging over your chairs and couches…….you know they will!
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