The Ultimate Fall Cleaning Checklist – How to Prep Your House for Autumn 2023
The ultimate Fall cleaning checklist! This free printable fall deep cleaning checklist pdf walks you through how to clean, declutter, and reset your home for autumn.
When it comes to the autumn season, fall cleaning might not be the first thing that comes to mind.
We know we’re supposed to do a good spring cleaning, but Fall cleaning is actually a thing, too!
What is Fall cleaning?
Fall cleaning consists of seasonal tasks that aren’t part of your weekly or monthly cleaning routine.
These are the things we often forget to clean. Plus simple ways to reset your home during the transition from warmer weather to cool temps.
When should you start Fall cleaning?
It’s best to start your yearly Fall cleaning in early September. That way you’ll have plenty of time to complete the tasks on this checklist before winter arrives.
By doing just a few tasks per day, you can stretch out the chores so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
How do you start a Fall clean?
Just print the Fall cleaning and organizing checklist below, and do as much (or as little) of the housework as you wish.
It’s just meant to be used as inspiration – no need to do every single thing, unless you want to!
💡 Quick tip: Have a donation bag or bin nearby to declutter as you go.
Let’s get started!
You May Also Like:
- 12 Tricks to Motivate Yourself to Clean When You HATE Cleaning
- How to Clean Your House Really Fast (step by step!)
- How to Keep Your Home Smelling Good (ALL THE TIME!)
- 15 Things to Declutter Before the Holidays
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The Ultimate Fall Cleaning Checklist
Note: This Fall cleaning list is divided up by what to clean in each room. You can DIY your own cleaning schedule however works for you (ie. doing one room per day).
In the kitchen:
Tidy and organize, tossing any food you won’t be eating.
Try a pantry challenge, too, to use up what you have before stocking up for the holidays.
There are easily forgotten areas of your refrigerator that you may be neglecting.
The top, underneath, and the coils can collect tons of dust and dirt.
Wipe down the top, and vacuum the coils in the back, and under the fridge.
3. Inside of dishwasher
Food collects in the trap of your dishwasher, and the walls can get grimy and gross.
Here’s an easy way to clean and disinfect it with vinegar.
Don’t forget to clean the trap too!
4. Wipe down cabinets
Your kitchen cabinets get surprisingly sticky and grimy, and then dust sticks to the stickiness.
A microfiber towel and your favorite all-purpose cleaner should gut through the grease and grime.
5. Oven and stove top
The inside of your oven needs a deep cleaning at least twice a year.
Food drips onto the bottom, or sticks to the inside of the door, and the heat sets it in.
Fall is a great time to give the inside of the oven and stovetop burners a good cleaning.
6. Disinfect garbage cans
Garbage cans get awfully smelly and gross, and it’s one of those items we often totally forget to clean.
Try using disinfecting wipes to clean and disinfect your trash cans regularly.
I love using this stuff to clean the drain.
Here’s any easy way to clean your microwave.
9. Wipe down walls
The kitchen walls get grimy from cooking, so fall is the perfect time to get clean before holiday cooking and hosting.
10. Wash or wipe down rugs
If your rugs are washable, run them through the washing machine and dryer.
Otherwise, give them a good vacuum or shake-out, and spot clean and stains.
11. Declutter countertops
Cluttered surfaces make any room look messy.
The less you keep on your kitchen counters, the tidier the room will look.
(Not to mention that it’s much easier to cook dinner when you actually have space to prep!)
Here are 7 tricks to have clear counters all the time.
Related kitchen cleaning posts:
In the living room:
12. Wash blankets
It’s so easy to forgot to wash throw blankets regularly.
Even if they’ve been tucked away all summer, give your blankets a wash so they’re fresh and smelling good to use on those cool fall evenings.
13. Vacuum upholstered furniture
Most vacuums come with attachments you can use on upholstery.
You might not even realize how dirty your cushioned furniture is until you clean it!
And don’t forget to vacuum up the crumbs, and flip the cushions too.
14. Move furniture to vacuum underneath
This probably isn’t part of your weekly cleaning routine, but try to pull your furniture away from the wall at least once a season, and vacuum or dry mop and sweep underneath.
It’s amazing how much dust, hair, and dirt can collect in those areas that don’t even see the light of day!
15. Shampoo carpet
You can hire professional carpet cleaners, rent a big machine to do it yourself, or keep a carpet cleaning machine on hand to use regularly.
This is the carpet cleaner I have and love.
It’s so easy to pull it out anytime there’s a spill or stain.
16. Disinfect remotes
Remote controls hold SO much bacteria and germs.
Use a disinfecting wipe to wipe it down. (Just try not to soak it too much.)
Read next: The Dirtiest Places in Your Home – and exactly how to clean them!
17. Spot clean stains on furniture
A portable upholstery spot cleaner is SUPER handy for tackling those furniture stains.
Instead of just flipping the cushion to hide the stain, go ahead and see about getting the stain out, even if it’s been there a while.
A fast-acting spot cleaning spray will help you tackle those stains as soon as you notice them as well.
18. Condition any leather furniture
It’s important to condition leather furniture regularly so it doesn’t crack.
The change of seasons is the perfect reminder to clean and condition it.
Basement & Laundry Room:
19. Washing machine
Believe it or not, your washing machine can get super dirty and gross.
The moisture buildup struggle is real.
To make sure your laundry comes out smelling fresh, be sure to clean your washer at least twice a year.
You can use these handy tablets to make it super easy, or this method to DIY it naturally.
Read next: How to Make Your Laundry Smell Amazing
20. Remove lint from dryer vent and hose
Right after you clean your washing machine, check your dryer vent and hose for lint.
It can build up and be a fire hazard.
You can even have it professionally cleaned, along with the ducts in your home, if it’s hard to get to.
21. Clean under (and behind) the washer and dryer
It’s a good idea to also pull the washer and dryer out from the wall so you can sweep and mop the floor.
There might be a lot of dust and lint back there!
22. Check carbon monoxide detector
As part of your fall maintenance routine, check or replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector.
You want to make sure it’s working properly before using the furnace.
23. Have HVAC system checked
Your local HVAC company should offer a service where they come out and check your furnace to make sure it’s functioning properly.
They might clean it, and mention any wear and tear they see.
It’s usually around $100 or less, and can save you grief later, if it breaks on the coldest day of the year.
24. Change furnace filter
Your furnace is far more efficient when it has clean air filters.
Changing them regularly also means you’ll be breathing cleaner air, and will have less dust accumulating around your home.
Around the house:
25. Disinfect and wipe down door knobs and light switches
Door handles, cabinet pulls, and light switches are prime real estate for lingering bacteria.
Use disinfecting wipes, or a microfiber towel and disinfecting spray to clean them thoroughly.
26. Wash curtains
Fall and spring cleaning are the perfect time to wash the curtains around your home.
They are probably dustier than you realize, especially if you’ve had the windows open at all.
27. Clean blinds
Even though blinds are a pain to clean, wiping them down regularly prevents dirt buildup that’s difficult to get rid of.
(Ask me how I know!)
28. Tidy and organize linen cupboard
Fall is a great time to give your linen closet a declutter and straighten.
If you have old towels you never use, consider donating them to your local pet shelter.
29. Wipe down baseboards
It can hard to see that your baseboards are dusty from a standing position, but crouch down and take a look.
There’s probably a layer of dirt and grime hiding there.
30. Dust ceiling fans
The flat top surfaces of ceiling fans is a first-rate dust collector.
Give them a good dusting, and rotate the way the blades turn if you plan to use it throughout the winter.
31. Dust or lint-roll lampshades
Using a lint roller on lampshades is a super easy to get the dust off.
32. Wash light fixtures
Light fixture cans somehow get filled with dirt and bugs, so take them down in the fall, and give them a good washing, especially if they’re glass.
33. Cobwebs in corners
This thing really helps get those nasty cobwebs out of the ceiling corners.
No ladder required!
34. Replace any burnt out lightbulbs
Before the early sunsets of winter arrive, make sure you replace any lightbulbs that no longer function.
Or try these rechargeable battery lightbulbs. They’re really handy if you lose power a lot!
35. Get your ducts professionally cleaned
Our homes have so much duct work, and it’s just not easy to clean ourselves.
Check Groupon or your mailbox for special deals offered by local companies, and aim to get your ducts professional cleaned every 1-2 years.
36. Shred unnecessary paperwork
It’s SO convenient to keep a paper shredder on hand, so you can quickly take care of any mail or documents that have personal info on them, so they don’t pile up.
If you don’t own a shredder, there may be ‘shred days’ occasionally in your area, where you can take all the paperwork that needs to be shredded.
37. Organize coat closet
Fall is the perfect opportunity to do a coat closet declutter.
You probably have some coats that don’t fit, or that you don’t love anymore.
Free up some space, so you don’t have to smush coats out of the way to hang yours up, and you can actually find those gloves on that first snowy day.
Now’s a great time to donate your cold-weather gear, or have it ready to participate in a local coat drive.
38. Check fire extinguishers
Your fire extinguisher should have an expiration date on it, so take a quick look to make sure it’s not in need of replacing.
39. Check batteries in flashlights
Go around your home, turning on all your flashlights to make sure they’re working.
No one like the surprise of a dead flashlight when the power goes out.
40. Change smoke detector batteries
The change of seasons is a great reminder to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
Aim to do it every fall and spring. If you live in an area that participates in Daylight Savings Time clock changes, use that as a reminder to swap for fresh batteries in November and March.
41. Decorate for Fall
Not really a ‘cleaning’ chore, but your home will feel extra cozy with a few pieces of Fall decor.
No need to spend a lot, either. You can shop the sales at Michaels or Hobby Lobby, or pick up a few pieces at Dollar Tree.
Related: 9 Inexpensive Ways to Change Your Decor for Every Season
In the bedrooms:
42. Wash comforter or duvet cover
Opinions vary on how often we should launder our bedding
If you haven’t washed your comforter, quilt, or duvet cover, consider this your reminder to do so.
43. Wash mattress cover
Mattress covers are a great way to protect your mattress from moisture, allergens, and bed bugs.
Now’s a great time to wash it in hot water, so it can stay effective.
44. Vacuum and flip or rotate mattress
While you’re washing your mattress cover, use this opportunity to vacuum and rotate your mattress.
You’ll be surprised by what comes out of your mattress when you vacuum it.
And rotating it will ensure it gets worn evenly, and you’ll sleep better on the fresh side.
45. Change summer bedding to winter bedding
Do you use a lighter quilt in the summer?
If so, swap it out for your heavier bedding as the weather starts to cool.
46. Move bedroom furniture and vacuum underneath
Bedroom furniture can be harder to move, if your space is crowded.
But try to pull it all away from the wall a bit, to vacuum up the crazy dust bunnies that are surely hiding back there.
While you’re flipping your mattress, try to vacuum or dry mop under the bed as well.
47. Swap out your summer clothes for winter clothes
Unless your closet is huge, you probably keep off-season clothing stored elsewhere in your home.
This is your reminder to make the swap. You’ll feel so much better once it’s done!
It’s also a great time to declutter your clothes using this super quick method!
48. Declutter surfaces
Flat surfaces such as dressers and night stands are like a magnet for clutter.
Your room will feel so much cleaner if you can keep things put away, or at least organized on those surfaces.
Toss any trash, give it a good wipe down, and maybe even get an organizer to make it look neat and tidy.
Related home organizing ideas:
- 19 Easy Tricks to Make Your Bedroom More Cozy
- 135 Things to Get Rid of to Organize Your Home Fast (whole home checklist!)
- Get Your Closet Organized With These 10 Easy Tricks
In the bathroom:
49. Wash shower curtain
For some reason, it’s so easy to forget to wash the shower curtain regularly.
Try to do it at least twice a year, in fall and spring.
50. Replace or wash shower liner
If your shower liner isn’t washable, replace it so it doesn’t get mildewy.
Pro-tip: Stretch your shower curtain and liner closed after every shower so it can thoroughly dry.
51. Clean grout
It’s can be so difficult to keep your shower grout mold-free.
I recently discovered this magical product that made dark spots disappear in minutes.
I just sprayed it on and walked away, and the little mildew spots were completely gone when I came back!
52. Clean out drain
Your shower and sink drain can get filled with hair and clogged all too easily.
It’s MUCH better to clean it out regularly, so it doesn’t get backed up on the worst possible day.
This tool is the quickest way to clean it fast.
53. Wash rugs
Your bathroom rugs really do need to be washed regularly, so add it to your fall cleaning routine if you haven’t laundered them in a while.
54. Wipe down cabinets
Just like in your kitchen, bathroom cabinets can get sticky and gross.
Give them a good wipe down, before too much dirt can accumulate.
55. Disinfect garbage can
Believe it or not, even your trash cans need to be disinfected regularly.
Clean it with some disinfecting spray and hot water, so it’s just like new.
56. Disinfect toothbrush holder
Your toothbrush holder can get SO grimy and disgusting, so run it through the dishwasher, or give it a good cleaning with your favorite disinfecting spray.
57. Change your toothbrush or toothbrush head
We all get busy, and totally forget to swap our toothbrush for a fresh one.
Keep a multipack on hand, so you can easily switch yours out for a new one every couple months.
58. Sort through medications
Fall is such a good time to sort through your medicine cabinet, so you’re prepared before cold and flu season starts.
Toss any expired medications and vitamins, and make a list of what to stock up on next time you grocery shop.
59. Sort through beauty products
We all have cosmetics or beauty products that we bought and never use.
There’s no reason keep anything you don’t actually love or use, so do a quick declutter.
Your morning routine will function so much better if you streamline your products.
Related cleaning posts:
- 6 Simple Ways to Keep Your House Clean ALL THE TIME
- How to Create a Cleaning Schedule for Working Moms ( and other busy people!)
- 10 Minute Chores: Cleaning Tasks To Do When You’re Short on Time
Outside Fall Cleanup and Maintenance:
60. Clean gutters and downspouts
With all the leaves falling, gutters and downspouts can get full very fast.
Now’s the perfect time to give them a cleanup, so they work properly, and protect your roof.
61. Wipe down door thresholds
The thresholds to our doorways can get super dirty, and we usually forget to notice.
Give them a good wipe down, or vacuum if there’s a track.
62. Wash windows
Summer rains and dust can have your windows looking downright terrible.
You’ll be so surprised how much dirt comes off of them when you start wiping them down.
And be sure to rinse the screens and wipe down the tracks, too.
63. Powerwash the deck, patio, and house
Power washers are oddly satisfying to use.
You can quickly get all the dirt off your house, deck or patio, and make it look fresh and new.
64. Cover or put away patio furniture
Trust me, you’ll want your patio furniture put away or covered before winter comes.
It’ll prolong their life, and keep them in good condition so you can use them next spring and summer.
65. Winterize or take down pool
Early fall is the perfect time to winterize your pool.
It’s not a fun chore, but you’ll feel so much better once it’s done, and you can check it off your list.
66. Check snow blower
Make sure your snow blower is in proper working order early on, so you’ll have time to get it fixed before the snow actually starts falling.
67. Winterize lawn mower
If you don’t empty the gasoline from your lawn mower, be sure to add some stabilizer so it stays in proper working order.
68. Clear out flower beds
Prep your flower beds for winter by pulling all weeds, removing fallen leaves, removing your annuals, and cutting back perennials.
69. Buy sidewalk de-icer
Purchase sidewalk salt or de-icer early in the season, so you can avoid the mad rush (and empty shelves) at the store on the first icy day.
70. Drain and store hoses
Be sure to drain the water from your garden hoses, and store them in your garage or shed before freezing temperatures set in.
71. Clean, cover, and store BBQ grill
Do your future self a favor, and have your bbq grill clean and ready for cookouts next summer.
75. Remove any trash
Garbage can really accumulate in the car, so be sure to do a quick trash cleanup so it looks tidy again.
76. Organize and declutter glove box
It’s difficult to find things in an overstuffed glove box, so remove anything you don’t need, and give it a quick organize.
77. Wipe down surfaces and cupholders
I’m not sure how so much dust can accumulate on the interior surfaces of your car, but give them a quick wipe down.
And check your cupholders for any stickiness or crumbs as well.
Your car will look SO much cleaner if the carpets are clean.
Shop-vacs make quick work of car vacuuming, but you can also stop by a local car wash that has vacuums you can use.
79. Wax the outside
It’s important to protect your car’s paint, and keep it shiny, by waxing it twice a year.
Waxing also protects it from damaging winter salt.
80. Check wiper blades and windshield wiper solution
Old windshield wipers just don’t work well.
Replace them early, before the fall rains and winter snow sets in.
Double check that your windshield wiper solution is full as well.
81. Put ice scraper in the trunk
It’s always a surprise the first time you have to scrap ice off your windshield every year.
Feel prepared for it by putting your ice scraper in your car, ready to go.
Fall Cleaning Checklist Printable
Ready to do some Fall deep cleaning?
I really hope this Fall home maintenance checklist was helpful to you!
And please don’t feel overwhelmed – just pick and choose the high priority items, and sprinkle a few per week into your cleaning routine.
It’s such a good way to transition your home from the end of summer into fall and winter.
You can bookmark this post (or pin it on Pinterest) to reference over and over.
And don’t forget to download and use the free fall cleaning checklist printable pdf!
(I also made a blank cleaning checklist so that you can customize your own fall cleaning list.)
Sign up below to get instant access to the printable Fall Cleaning Checklist.
Plus you’ll become a member of the Vault of Awesome Printables! There are SO MANY handy printables in there, to organize every aspect of your life.
And be sure to check out these other Fall posts:
- 107 Ideas for your Fall Bucket List
- Easy DIY Fall Wreaths to Embellish Your Front Door
- 22 of the Best Fall and Halloween Movies
- 63 Cute & Romantic Fall Date Ideas (for any budget!)
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