Don't wait for the first frost to hit to tackle these chores.
We are well into fall, and winter will be here before you know it. (Don't worry, we won't hit you with a Game of Thrones reference here.) But you shouldn't wait until the first frost hits to be prepared for the season, especially with the (very busy!) holidays just around the corner.
Some things should really get taken care while the weather is still tolerable, so it’s wise to start sprucing up as soon as possible. Here are seven things you should consider deep cleaning before temperatures drop.
Windows and Carpets
Shantae Duckworth, professional organizer and founder of Shantaeize Your Space highly recommends doing a deep cleaning of all surfaces in your home, but especially windows and carpets. “Giving all windows a wash, so you can eliminate all dust, dirt, and grime from the glass, and the natural light can help keep the house warm,” she says. “Then give all rugs and carpets a vacuum and get them ready for winter by vacuuming up all of the fall allergens.”
Heating and Cooling Vents
If you don’t remember the last time you changed your HVAC filter, it’s time to change it. Then get to cleaning. “You want to vacuum and clean out all heating vents, both to improve air quality (with those winter viruses going around), and to ensure your heating system is working to the best of its ability,” says the professional organizer.
While you should be deep cleaning your closet every season, it's especially important to do it before the winter. Duckworth says, “Go through all of your winter apparel and gear to check for holes, check sizing, and donate any items you are no longer wearing.” This is also a great way to see if there’s anything you need to stay warm before the temperature drops, like a new jacket or extra sweaters.
We rarely think about the space under our sinks, but if you live in a cold climate, Kat Christie, licensed contractor, DIY Expert, and founder of She Fixed That, says that when it gets very cold, you should leave the under-sink cabinet doors open to allow heat to circulate which can prevent freezing. So, reorganize and give the pipes a clear path that isn’t surrounded by stacks of soap and bottles in the bathroom or cleaning spray and sponges in the kitchen.
No, really! While having your chimney swept sounds like something on a to-do list from the 17th century—it’s still very much an essential task, according to Christie. “Over time, soot and creosote buildup in the chimney can become a fire hazard, increasing the risk of chimney fires. Additionally, a clean fireplace ensures better ventilation and more efficient heating during the colder months.” Think of this as a way to prep for those holiday chestnut roasts.
Related: How to Clean a Fireplace
If you’re planning on cooking this holiday season, it’s a good idea to go through your pantry. Check the expiration dates on spices (even if they’re hard to read). Evaluate any canned goods or boxes of pasta you might have. Explore your baking supplies. Are those sprinkles expired? Then make a list of anything essentials you threw out that you need to replace.
Deep cleaning your garage isn’t so much about getting rid of that old broken dining chair, as it is about evaluating what you need for the winter. “Make sure you have tools,” says Christie. “You don't want to be one of the ones scrambling for a shovel.” She also suggests making sure you have salt to melt ice and gas for your snowblower if you have one.
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