You may think spring is the season for cleaning, but cold winter weather brings friends and family indoors, making this the best time to prepare a clean home. Use this checklist to make sure your home is ready for cozy nights and cooler temperatures.
Many homes feature different linens and rugs for winter, as well as closets full of warmer outerwear. Switch out these items at the end of fall to get your house ready for the coming season.
- Change area rugs around your house to sturdier, water resistant options if possible. If you don't normally use doormats, winter is the time to change that. Using stain and water resistant floor covering and doormats will help keep mud and water covered shoes from tracking their debris onto your carpets and furniture.
- Change your bed linens to warmer options for winter. Using a thicker blanket, or a blanket at all, well help prevent the temptation of cranking up the heater and costing you money. Down comforters and flannel sheets are other great ways to add warmth to your bedding without increasing the cost of a warm home.
- If you're lacking closet space, remove thin summer clothing from your bedroom and hall closets. Pack them in boxes or space saving vacuum sealed bags for safe storage until spring, freeing up room for larger winter coats, pants and boots.
- Move winter and holiday themed books, catalogues and magazines to the front of your bookshelf or tabletop to freshen reading material around your home. Reorganizing books on your bookshelves can also help prevent them from warping.
- Change air fresheners and potpourri to classic winter scents. This is one of the easiest ways to help set a cozy winter mood around your home. Avoid anything tropical, and try cinnamon, pine, cranberry or apple scents.
For aesthetic and safety reasons, many items around your home should be cleaned in preparation for winter.
- If you own a fireplace, make sure to have it cleaned and/or inspected before heavy winter usage.
- Launder all linens, blankets and rugs brought out of storage for winter use.
- Before placing your winter linens on the bed, vacuum your mattress to remove dust and debris.
- Clean out heating system vents before heavy winter use. Dust and debris can easily collect inside, and will be blown into your home if not removed.
- If your oven has a self-cleaning option, use it to prepare your oven for frequent holiday baking. Otherwise, purchase an oven cleaning solution and wipe down the inside.
- Polish pots and pans to remove food residue before cooking for holiday guests.
- Review the contents of your refrigerator and pantry. Throw away foods and spices that are no longer usable. This will ensure you actually have everything you need when cooking holiday dinners.
Keeping floors clean during winter months may be hard, but the regular maintenance is well worth it.
- Quickly mop up any mud tracked in from outside, especially on hardwood floors.
- Thoroughly sweep all hard flooring in your home at the beginning of winter, removing dust and debris to prevent it from circulating throughout your home. Lighter, regular sweeping should be done throughout the season as needed.
- Vacuum upholstery in your living and dining room. This is especially important in formal rooms that typically only see use during the holidays, and have grown dusty with disuse over the year.
- Vacuum before and after holiday parties to provide a clean environment for guests, and maintain a clean environment after they're gone.
The outside of your home can benefit from a good winter cleaning just as much as the inside.
- Sweep your patios, porches and walkways several hours before holiday guests are set to arrive. If you live in an area with snowfall, be sure to thoroughly remove snow from walkways and stairways to prevent injury from guests slipping and falling.
- Always be sure to clean your gutters at the end of fall, and throughout the winter as needed. Fallen leaves and other debris can easily clog them, leading to leaks and damage.
- Light fixtures are incredibly important during dark winter nights, and should be properly cleaned to ensure they shine as brightly as possible, and look nice for guests.
- Power-wash the sides of your home to remove dirt, mud and leaves that have built up during fall and winter storms.
- Clean the outside of windows and glass doors the day guests are set to arrive.
- Even if no one will be using your outdoor furniture during chilly winter months, wipe down tables, chairs and benches on your porch and in your backyard before holidays guests arrive.
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