Fall is my favorite. Not because of the pumpkin lattes (they’re pretty good too), but because it’s that long-awaited time when I’m finally back in control. Routines are on track. My people are in all the places they’re supposed to be. Check, check and check. Now, my stuff? That’s another story.
Welp, it’s officially time for a fall clean. Now, to be clear, fall cleaning is NOT spring cleaning. There’s no scrubbing or opening the windows to fresh air and new beginnings.
Fall cleaning is about clearing space for cozying up through colder weather and making way in the kitchen for hearty comfort foods. It’s about a practical, functional makeover to our high traffic areas and most-used storage spaces. It’s also about decluttering our space and our minds so we feel calm as we spend more time indoors and welcome guests (and piles of new toys) through the holiday season.
So how do you fall clean? It’s pretty simple. Tackle one of these areas per day for four days. Each area takes about an hour, so a total home cleanup will be done by the weekend. You can go in whatever order you like, but here’s my favorite way:
Fall Clean Zone One: Entryway
Let’s start at the front door. The goal is to transition this area from summer to fall, organizing as we go. Here’s the plan:
- Corral summer shoes, like sandals and flip-flops. Sort out the keepers and get rid of the rest. Leave out everyone’s most-used pairs for the last of the warm days and clear the rest to make room for fall layers.
- Get out and wash your fall layers so they’re ready when your entry is clean. Getting all this in order now will save you from scrambling through boxes on the first frosty day (and wearing a crumpled coat that’s still dirty from last year).
- Designate an organized, functional spot for backpacks and lunch bags. Make it as easy as possible so they don’t end up in a pile or lost around the house.
Fall Clean Zone Two: Kitchen
If you’re like me, you’ve ditched the stove for the grill all summer. But when autumn rolls around, I’m pretty pumped to get back in my kitchen. Here’s how to prep for cold season cooking.
- Make winter necessities easily accessible. Dust off your slow cooker and pull it to the front of the cabinet. Clear space for lunch-making supplies, like plastic containers and baggies.
- Wipe out the shelves of your fridge, pitching any not-so-fresh summer condiments like BBQ sauce and relish as you go. When you’re done, it’s so much lighter, brighter and ready to be filled with chuck roast and root veggies.
Tip: Bounty with Dawn water-activated Multi-Purpose Cleaning Towels are great for wiping down shelves in your fridge. They combine Bounty’s strength and durability with Dawn’s top-notch cleaning power to help speed up your cleanup.
- Tidy up the freezer. Ditch stray popsicles and out-of-date meats to make room for ground beef and garlic bread. Or frozen meals and veggie sides for busy nights.
- Take a quick inventory of your pantry. Throw away out-of-date items. Stock up on new dry spices since you won’t be using garden fresh herbs for a while.
- Make a note to beef up on your winter staples like canned tomatoes, broths and dry pasta. Organize canned goods so you know what you have and what you need. See cans you won’t use? To the food drive they go.
- More time inside means more messes inside. Refresh your stash of cleaning essentials, like Bounty paper towels and napkins.
Fall Clean Zone Three: Play Area
By this time of the year, playtime is happening indoors more and more. Here’s how to declutter and make more room for fun.
- Sort out what’s no longer age-appropriate or interesting. Have your kids help you pick so they feel involved and responsible. Bonus: Later, they won’t ask you where their stuff went.
- Save a few items to bring out later when they feel “new” again, or go and donate them as a family.
- Rearrange play areas so they feel fresh, new and more fun.
Fall Clean Zone Four: Bedroom and Bathroom
Mornings and evenings look a lot different these days, don’t they? Our summer beauty routine feels a little fried and we’re curling up a bit cozier at night. Reset your morning and nighttime routines with these tips.
- Exchange lighter sheets, like linen and cotton, for flannels and quilts. Dry clean or Febreze your comforters and duvets. No need to make this into a big thing – just add it on to your next laundry day.
- Collect all swimsuits, SPF lotion, bug spray, beach towels and any other items you won’t need again until next summer. Tip: Keeping it all in one spot will make it so much easier to find when the pool opens again.
- Switch out your closets. If you didn’t wear something all summer, consider donating it instead of packing it up.
- Reassess your go-to bathroom essentials as temperatures drop. Collect all summery soaps, clarifying shampoos and tanning lotions. Move them to the back of your bathroom storage and pull out deep conditioners, rich body washes and dry skin lotions.
Tip: Need to add some winter shower must-haves to your grocery list? Try Aussie 3 Minute Miracle deep conditioner for your hair. Its intensely hydrating formula has 3X the moisturizing power – and works in three minutes. For your skin? Try rich Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash with Shea Butter.
Before you know it, you’ll have everything in order. Fall routine – check. Fall clean – check, check. Ready to get started? Print our fall clean checklist to cross off as you go.
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