Shorter days, longer nights. It’s time to get ready for fall!

1a33c732d32864882529361fa6e24714With each season there comes an opportunity to clean and organize. Just as in the days of long ago, it’s still necessary to prepare our homes for the upcoming change in weather. We’re all familiar with spring cleaning, especially those of us who endure long winters and can’t wait to open the windows and get outside. But what about the rest of the year?

While I may never claim the title, “Organization Guru” or “Clean Police”, I do like to roll my sleeves up at the beginning of each season and give my home a little love. Not only is it an opportunity to clean out clutter (along with the dust bunnies) but it will give you a fresh canvas to start updating your décor. Plus, I love an excuse to rearrange my furniture!

There are tons of resources online with check lists, etc. But because I love my followers so much, I’m taking the guess work out of it for you and giving you my top indoor and outdoor fall cleaning to-do items. Like I said, let’s not go too crazy here. We’ll leave the deep cleaning for spring. But this will get you feeling like it’s okay to batten down the hatches and snuggle up.

Cottage 2 Sitting 1

Indoor:

* Clean and dust light fixtures including ceiling fans – these guys are often forgotten, but have a knack for collecting dust (and dead bugs…YUCK!)

* Clean your windows – after all you’re going to be stuck looking out of them for several months, they might as well be clean! 

* Give your appliances some love – these guys work hard for you year round. Show them you care by giving them a little attention. Vacuum refrigerator coils, clean your oven, clean out your dryer vent to remove any lint from the hose and lastly, replace the filter in your furnace and/or air conditioning unit!

* Wash all of your bedding and replace with winter weight linens – we’re talking pillows, dust ruffles, blankets  and mattress covers. While you’re at it, flip the mattress too!

* Clean your window treatments – in fact, you may even want to replace them with heavier weight coverings to help keep you warm. Whatever your plan is, it’s time to give those guys a cleaning.

* Wipe down and clean out/reorganize your kitchen cupboards – the holidays really are coming. Get ready now. Take inventory of what you have an what you need. Get rid of what you don’t need. It will make your holiday hosting that much easier!

* Time for a chimney sweep – No one likes a surprise when you go to start your first fire. Have yours professionally inspected and swept.

Cottage 1 Porch

Outdoor:

* Clean the gutters – I don’t mean to be “Captain Obvious” here, but you really don’t want to wait until the first storm to find out that your gutters aren’t clear. That could be bad, very bad.

* Check weather stripping and caulking around your doors and windows – repair and replace if need be.

* Clean outdoor furniture and put it away – you probably have a few more weeks to enjoy your patio or porch. But if you find you aren’t spending much time out there, you might as well store it away before the weather is really cold!

* Touch up any exterior paint that may need it – there’s nothing like a canvas of white snow to highlight all those bare spots that need to be touched up. Don’t spend the winter wishing you had!

* Drain and store the garden hoses – Don’t wait too long to do this, your hose will thank you!

* Turn off & blow out your sprinkler system if you have one

Once you’re done with all of your fall cleaning chores, why not treat yourself to a little Apple Cider Sangria?!

Found on Lexi's Clean Kitchen

Found on Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

 

Ingredients:

1 bottle of white wine (try Pinot Grigio)

2 1/2 cups fresh apple cider (3 cups if you want more of a cider taste)

1 cup carbonated water

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2-1 cup gluten free Vodka

2 apples, chopped

1 Tbsp. raw honey

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup pomegranates

1 orange, chopped

Optional: 1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger

Instructions:

1. Chop apple and oranges and place in the bottom of a pitcher with the pomegranates

2. Add in cinnamon sticks, carbonated water, wine, cinnamon and raw honey. Stir.

3. Add in Vodka. Start with 1/2 cup, mix and taste. Adjust as desired.

4. Serve with ice!

 Enjoy!