Hey Collectors!

Along with National Preparedness Month and back to school tips, I wanted to share some fall cleaning tips. If we take care of things they are less likely to break, get rusty and fall apart leading to clutter. Regular cleaning and maintenance will keep your stuff in good working order!

Here are a few of my fall cleaning tips to get you started. Of course, decluttering and getting organized is part of fall cleaning.

Ready to go. Gather cleaning supplies. I tell my clients to keep in one area such as the pantry or underneath the sink. I like to keep my supplies in an easy to carry caddy so I can easily go from room to room. Keep your main cleaning supplies here: whatever you use on a regular basis. Some things you might want to keep: sponges, gloves, duster, window cleaner, general purpose, oil soap and bleach. Something that you use once a year, such as sealing countertops, can be kept in the pantry or garage.

Get Help. Fall cleaning can be a chore, so consider hiring someone to do deep cleaning. See if family or friends would be willing to help. Of course, offer to do the same for them. If you have small children, hire a babysitter or schedule play dates so you can stay focused on cleaning.

Map out a plan. Make a list of everything you need to do both inside and outside. Most people suggest working inward and downward, so you could start at the top corner of a two-story home. Clean from the top down. Do not move onto another room until you have finished the room you are working on.

Consider hiring professionals, such as window washers, if it will save you time and energy and possible injury!

Outside. Now is the time to clean and store patio furniture, garden pots and tools. Drain and store garden hoses. Service and drain the lawn mower as recommended.

Don’t forget to clean outdoor furniture cushions to prevent mildew before you store them.

Check caulk around doors and windows and re-caulk as needed.

Have your gutters serviced to clear debris. Remove lint from the outdoor dryer exhaust.

If you have a snow blower make sure it is working. Stock up on deicing products.

Inside. In my back to school organizing tips for parents, I suggested going through spring clothes for children and adults. If you haven’t done that already, do now. Make sure summer and spring clothes are cleaned if you are going to store. If you have fall clothes stored, air out.

Flip and rotate mattresses and wash all bedding such as quilts, comforter, bed skirts, etc. Air out pillows and blankets, preferably in the sun.

Deep clean carpets and replace doormats if needed.

We are trying to go more natural in our household and use everyday items such as baking soda and vinegar to clean. You can find lots of easy to make recipes by Googling.

I also love working with essential oils when cleaning. I am especially fond of lavender and lemon. Pinterest is a great resource for essential oil recipes. I have created a collection of aromatherapy products, including this one geared towards cleaning: http://www.collectorcare.com/shop/essential-oils/releasing-letting-go-blends/space-clearing/.

What are your favorite fall cleaning tips? What is your least favorite fall cleaning chore? Share your comments below.

Not a fan of fall cleaning, clearing your clutter or getting organized? Would you like to be clutter free and organized for the holidays? Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email rachel@collectorcare.com to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.