it’s time for fall cleaning

it’s time for fall cleaning

Every Friday, I sit down and make a list of everything I want to / need to get done over the weekend. Because I don’t do much housework during the week anymore, my weekend to do list includes a lot of that – laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming. But now it’s fall, which means it’s time to use my weekends to start tackling my fall cleaning checklist!

Most fall cleaning checklists you’ll find will include things that only a homeowner would need to worry about. Most young professionals aren’t homeowners – some are, and more power to you! – including myself.

So, my fall cleaning checklist focuses mostly on my own possessions and keeping my apartment neat and tidy.

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The young professional’s fall cleaning checklist

I’m assuming that you, like me, like to do marathon cleaning days, instead of a little bit here and there. If you don’t prefer to binge clean like you binge watch Gilmore Girls, that’s OK – the checklist still applies! I recommend scheduling the tasks out across the next 30 days or so, to make sure everything gets done.

Here’s where to start:

  1. Burn a fall-scented candle or diffuse some fall-scented essential oils. (like this one)
  2. Start your laundry machine and dishwasher.
  3. Open all the blinds and curtains. If you can open your windows, do that. Let that beautiful fall air in.
  4. Walk around the house with a trash bag. Throw away every single thing that needs to be tossed.

Alright, are you feeling better? Me too.

Fall Cleaning Checklist: Every Room

  1. Vacuum and/or mop.
  2. Walk through every room and gather every item that’s out of place. Find a central location for those out-of-place things. Tackle that table as you go.
  3. Dust every surface and wipe surfaces down.
  4. Wipe down picture frames, lamps, etc.
  5. Dust your blinds and clean your windows with Windex – especially if you have a dog.
  6. Did you know you need to dust your ceiling fans? I missed that memo, but apparently, you should do that.
  7. Dust door frames and window ledges, and baseboards too. I also walk around the house with a magic eraser to get any scuffs on the walls.

Note: I have a Roomba, so I make sure it’s empty and start it in whatever room I’m not currently cleaning. I lock it in there until it dies or gets stuck on a shoe, and then I empty it, charge it and lock it in another room. And repeat until the whole house has been vacuumed.

Fall Cleaning Checklist: Bedrooms

  1. Strip the beds and wash all of the linens. Remake the bed only with clean, fresh linens.
  2. Wash your extra linens for guests, too, that have been sitting in storage.
  3. Flip your mattress.
  4. Wash your comforter, pillow shams, throw blankets, etc.
  5. Empty your dresser drawers. Refold and reorganize every drawer – and declutter as you go.

Fall Cleaning Checklist: Closets

  1. Take everything out of your closet and declutter as you replace items.
  2. Wipe down shelves and remove trash, empty shoe boxes, etc.
  3. Switch out your seasonal clothes.
  4. Flip your hangers around so you can see what you wear between this season and next season.

Fall Cleaning Checklist: Bathrooms

I hate cleaning bathrooms, y’all. So I try to do little baby cleanings of my bathroom often to keep from having to do big nasty nitty gritty deep cleanings of my bathroom. I like to think we all do that.

I do try to seasonally…

  1. Sort through drawers and cabinets, tossing old or expired products.
  2. Look for missing items in your first aid drawer or cabinet, especially for cold and flu season.
  3. Wash all towels and bathmats.

Fall Cleaning Checklist: Kitchen

  1. Empty drawers and cabinets and wipe down shelves. Declutter as you put things back where they go.
  2. Take care to look for the things you’ll need for holiday season. Put baking pans, cookie sheets, serving bowls, etc. in easy to reach places.
  3. Empty your freezer, fridge and pantry. Wipe down shelves. Toss things that have expired. Make a list of things you need to replace.
  4. Clean your dishwasher, stove and sink, as well as all regularly used appliances.
  5. Clear off kitchen counters and deep clean.

Fall Cleaning Checklist: Living Room

  1. Flip couch cushions.
  2. Vacuum underneath couch cushions and the cushions themselves.
  3. Wash pillow covers and blankets, if you can.
  4. Wipe down bookshelves and entertainment center shelves, and declutter as you go.

Fall Cleaning Checklist: Last Steps

Now that you’ve gone through every room of your house, make sure to…

  1. Wash every single piece of dirty clothing, every towel, blanket, etc. in your house. Fold them and put them away in your freshly tidied closet.
  2. Take out the trash.
  3. Put items to donate in your car, so you don’t let them sit around.
  4. Tackle that table of lost toys I mentioned earlier. Put everything in its place. If it doesn’t have a place, send it on its merry way!
  5. Anything in your apartment that needs fixing? Put in fall maintenance requests and make sure you ask for an air filter change, too (if your complex changes them for you).

Fall Cleaning Checklist


Do you like to clean and tidy in the fall? Or do you totally dread it?