Here’s a guide to cleaning and home repairs to complete before winter.
Autumn is a great time to peruse your property, cleaning all over and assessing things that might need preventive maintenance before the weather turns cold. Although a whole-house check can feel overwhelming, it’s essential so that you can avoid major repairs later.
Wondering where to start? Here is our fall home cleaning and repair checklist.
Kitchen Start with appliances: The oven, dishwasher, refrigerator and garbage disposal all will need a deep scrub-down, which gives you a chance to also make sure that everything is working properly. Take the time now to address any necessary repairs. Next, clean the areas you can’t see that might not get as much attention in your regular cleaning routine, such as under appliances and on top of cabinets.
Bathroom Besides a thorough cleaning, check for leaks or clogs in the plumbing and gaps or discoloration in the grout. Wash your shower curtain and liner if you have them, and update your medicine cabinet by disposing of products and medications that have expired.
Living Areas Begin by washing the floors, whether they’re hardwood or carpet. A full-floor waxing or steaming, respectively, can instantly make a room feel cleaner. Inspect and clean windows, sills and weather stripping. Check all moldings, baseboards, ceiling fans and light fixtures, dusting and cleaning when necessary. Replace smoke detector batteries and dead light bulbs.
Bedrooms Make sure walls, windows, ceiling fans and light fixtures are functional and clean. Flip your mattress and switch to your winter bedding for cozier sleeping on those chilly nights to come. And don’t forget about a fall closet clean-out: Anything you haven’t worn in months, such as old clothes and items that don’t fit, can be donated.
Laundry and Garage Clean your washing machine by running an empty cycle with vinegar, check all hoses and investigate any leaking or faulty operation. Make sure the dryer lint trap is clear, and consider brushing out the vent hose. In the garage, organize tools, label storage boxes, and check that the door is sealed and the opener is in working order.
Outside Inspect all exterior windows and doors for cracks, making necessary repairs, and if you have a deck, tighten any loose screws or bolts. Make sure your gutter is clear of leaves, sticks and other debris and that all trees are trimmed back from the roof.
Bonus! Design Check-In After cleaning and maintaining your home, think about the design: Are you happy with how your home looks? If not, what areas would you like to improve? Make a list of rooms you want to renovate, then prioritize them. What can be done now, next month or next year? Let those decisions guide your interior design improvements until next year—when it’s time to revisit your home maintenance checklist all over again.