Complete Fall Cleaning FREE Printable Checklist

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Check out this list of fall cleaning tips! Includes homemade cleaner recipes, plus a free printable checklist to help you get things DONE!

Fall Cleaning with a cozy basket and coffee mug.

Fall Cleaning Tips

It’s that time of year again to get working on some good fall cleaning! Complete home cleaning can be overwhelming if you aren’t sure where to start. You know the house needs to be cleaned and cleaned out, but what is the best “plan of attack”?

Well, we just finished with fall cleaning here. My house feels wonderfully clean, and I even had a rummage sale with everything I cleaned out! (Am I the only one that can’t “start” winter until my house is clean? Or is that the OCD in me just coming out?)

Tip: This is a great time of year to clean your clothes out, too! Steps Towards Building a Minimalist Wardrobe

Here are some of my best fall cleaning tips that help us keep our sanity during this time of year!

clean dining room

Fall Housekeeping Tips

1. Remember that fall cleaning (and household cleaning in general) can save you money! While you clean out, don’t forget to make piles for throwing away and donating. Throwing away clutter will help make your life more organized and streamlined, saving you money in the long run. Donating or selling items can bring you a little extra income or an income tax deduction.

And make sure you grab some organizational totes to store what you are keeping! When I am cleaning, I also try and label things that I’m putting away. It doesn’t do me much good to pack up boxes of things I want to keep and then not know what is in them.

2. Don’t try to do it all at once! Start in one room and work your way through the house. Also, don’t think you need to have it all done in a single day! Plan a good week for your cleaning.

If you are really ambitious, you can even create some kind of daily cleaning schedule to help you get through the week. Here are some ideas and free printable weekly planner templates. I like to do this deep cleaning at least four times a year, once per season, instead of just fall and spring. This means I have less to work on each time, so it feels less overwhelming.


3. If you aren’t going to have the time and you can afford it, think about hiring a maid service or a house cleaner for a few hours. You might not believe this tip is very good, but if it’s more profitable for you to spend your time working or doing something else, then, by all means, spend a little to save your time and sanity.

Besides, a house cleaner may not be as expensive as you think. Many freelance home cleaners are very affordable. Just make sure they come with references.

4. Don’t stress too much. Remember, you must do it all again come spring cleaning time! (Or more often if you choose to deep clean four times a year instead of 2 as we do.)

Thanks for the printable. It’s quite handy. And your suggestions on fall cleaning are great too. I’m just staring my fall cleaning session at home and needed some fresh ideas on that, so thank you for sharing.

Hannah, Little House Living reader
clean bathroom

Types of Cleaning You Should Do in the Fall

You can grab my full checklist (below) to find the exact things that will help you get your home sparkling, but here are a few things that you should consider doing in the fall.

  • Sweep any areas you don’t typically sweep (like behind and under furniture).
  • Check that drains and faucets are working properly.
  • Deep clean the bathrooms (sinks, toilets, showers, floors, etc).
  • Scrub away any mildew or mold (and eliminate the source).
  • Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Vacuum any areas that rarely get vacuumed.
  • Clean vents all around the house.
  • Clean your oven.
  • Clean ceilings and ceiling fans.
  • Check batteries in any equipment.
  • Throw away or donate unused toys.
  • Clean your mattress, pillows, and all bedding and blankets. (Comforters, mattress covers, etc.)
  • Remove items and wipe out all drawers and shelves.
  • Dust in rarely cleaned places.
  • Dust light fixtures and clean switch plates.
  • Declutter any areas of your home that you need to declutter.
  • Clean out the attic or basement of your home.
  • Clean carpets (shampoo if needed).
  • Change filters.
  • Clean the dishwasher.
  • Wash shower curtains.
  • Clean or dust all window treatments and shades.
  • Mop floors.
  • Wipe down baseboards and walls.
  • Put away patio furniture or outdoor furniture for the winter.
Paper Towels

What You Need for Fall Cleaning

I usually use vinegar, a little oil, lemon to clean the house
They are very safe and cheap.

Steamopolist, Little House Living reader

Common Questions About Fall Cleaning

When should I start fall cleaning?

You should start fall cleaning right when the weather starts to cool down in your area. This might mean after the first freeze of the season.

Is fall cleaning still a thing?

Yes! Fall cleaning is still a thing because it helps to clean the summer grime out of your home before you are all cooped up for the winter.

Should you clean up your garden in the fall?

This is hotly debated as some will argue for or against it. Personally, we’ve always liked to clean up plants when they are done producing and feed the plants to other livestock.

Free Fall Cleaning Printable Checklist

To help you along your fall cleaning journey, I’ve created a handy printable fall cleaning checklist of things that should be done inside your home this fall. Just enter your email below to grab your free checklist printable.

Of course, don’t forget that you can save even more money (and keep the chemicals out of your home!) by making your own cleaners! Did you know that you can clean your bathroom with just a grapefruit? So simple!

Citrus Cleaner

More Simple and Frugal Ideas

Share your best fall cleaning tips in the comments section below!

Me and Kady

Merissa Alink

Merissa has been blogging about and living the simple and frugal life since 2009 and has internationally published 2 books on the topic. You can read about Merissa’s journey from penniless to freedom on the About Page. You can send her a message any time from the Contact Page.

This post on Fall Cleaning Tips was originally published on Little House Living in October 2012. It has been updated as of October 2023.

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  1. do you have any advice on how to clean the air in your home? Aside from using an air purifier which we want but cant afford right now and commercial air fresheners because of the chemicals.

        1. unless you have cats…..mine chew on every thing and LOVE to play in the dirt – they don’t use it for a litter box, they just LOVE to dig in it and throw it everywhere!!

  2. If it’s your OCD making you want to “fall clean” I have the same problem. Over the past two weeks I have been systematically going through our home room-by-room and discovering items we no longer need / use. As shocking as it may seem, I have removed 14 kitchen sized garbage bags [mostly baby stuff I still had from my toddler] from this project and am looking forward to a decent tax write-off.

  3. I’m a little late but working on this list as we speak 🙂 So spring cleaning would be all the same stuff? Anything to add? Thanks!

    1. I would say spring cleaning would be the same but I would probably add things like making sure I have all my seed trays functioning and ready and other gardening things:)

  4. Thanks for the printable. It’s quite handy. And your suggestions on fall cleaning are great too. I’m just staring my fall cleaning session at home and needed some fresh ideas on that, so thank you for sharing.

  5. Thanks for the checklist! I recently cleaned the whole house because we got an assistant from my hubby work to live with us temporarily until he found an apartment(which he did after 6 weeks 🙂 ) and once you start you find more and more things to clean. I love cleaning out clutter that always gives me new energy but the actual cleaning takes a lot of energy. We have a big and very old house so it took me a while but the results are always satisfying 🙂