Some things never change, no matter what decade, century or millennia. Preparing for the changing of seasons is one of those timeless traditions. Gathering and harvesting. Canning, pickling, and smoking meats—timeless. Home preparations for the colder months ahead—timeless tradition.
I recently read an article that said Fall cleaning is just as important as Spring Cleaning. Though I had never thought of doing a “Fall Cleaning” like “Spring Cleaning,” it makes perfect sense. In the Spring, we are airing out the home from it being kept closed through the winter months. In the Fall, we should be giving it just as thorough of a cleaning in preparation for it being kept more closed up through the winter.
When our windows are closed-up through the cooler seasons, fresh air cannot push out the buildup of the polluted indoor air from VOC’s given off by our electrical appliances (TV’s, laptops, video gaming equipment) as well as VOC’s from furniture and carpets.
Using the RIGHT household cleaners is A MUST
The use of household cleaners that are chemical laden, also produce buildup of VOC’s. This is another reason why it is imperative to use 100% all natural household cleaners. Harmony Aromatherapy's 100% all natural household cleaners are non-toxic and do not produce VOC’s. You can safely green clean your home throughout the winter months while your family is kept indoors.
The best defense is to give a very thorough Fall cleaning! Open the windows while you work, if even a crack, then stay on top of your weekly green cleaning.
Begin with the workhorse of your home—the furnace.
Replace your furnace filter and if you would like peace of mind, get a maintenance checkup done with a furnace care pro.
Readying the Fireplace. Get a professional chimney sweep to come and inspect/clean your chimney. Some maintenance jobs are just too risky to put off. Hiring a chimney sweep is one of them.
Avoid dryer vent fires! If you did not clean out the dryer vent this Spring/Summer, do not delay any longer! Vent fires can –and do happen!
What you need to do: unhook the vent from the back of the dryer and from the wall. Use a snaking-type tool and insert it into the vent to remove trapped lint. Reattach dryer vent to the dryer and wall.
Keep major kitchen appliances purring. Dust loves to settle anywhere it can! Pull out the fridge and with a vacuum attachment vacuum around the condenser coils, then wipe down the back of the refrigerator with a rag to remove any additional dust. Wipe down the wall and flooring where the fridge stands. Slide refrigerator back into position.
Like dryers, refrigerators need to have proper air intake to run efficiently. The more efficient your appliances run, the more savings you’ll have on your utility bill and the longer your appliances will last. Saving money is always good thing!
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Outwitting Dust Hide-Outs
Work from a Top Down Approach
Spray Harmony Aromatherapy Multi-Purpose Cleaner on the end of a dry flat mop head and wipe down walls and corners of ceilings.
Dust attaches to walls too, not just horizontal surfaces!
Best dust trapping method.
Trap dust by using a rag that has been sprayed with the Harmony Aromatherapy Cleaner you want for the job. If you are doing a whole room; door frames, doors, baseboards, air intake vents, etc. you may want to get a bucket and fill it about one third full of warm water, then add about one fourth a cup of the concentrate green cleaner you want for the job.
Launder Curtains with Harmony Aromatherapy eco-friendly laundry detergent. Harmony Aromatherapy Laundry Wash is safe enough for your most delicate sheers.
Wash light fixtures (when cooled) with Harmony Aromatherapy Dish Wash or Harmony Aromatherapy Brightly Multi-Purpose Cleaner. Clean light fixtures make rooms appear warmer and let in more light!
Are you using LED lighting? If not, you may want to invest in LED lightbulbs. They use significantly less energy and are brighter.
Vacuum hidden outs for dust.
Vacuum upholstered furniture—in between cushions and even the undersides! Gently turn furniture upside down and with vacuum attachment, vacuum the underside of the furniture, including the dust skirt. Before returning furniture to its place, vacuum/sweep the area where the furniture sits.
Vacuum the top of your mattress. Also vacuum/sweep under the bed. Again, the idea is to eliminate as much dust and dirt particles as possible. These particles can be so microscopic that they can filter down through your sheets on to your mattress!
Change bed linens for the seasons.
This is the perfect time to change out your summer sheets for flannel ones!
One of the best investments I made last year was to purchase a heated mattress pad! It was wonderful to climb into a bed that was already warm! Many come with duo heating controls so your spouse can set it to whatever he/she is more comfortable with. If you tend to be more cold than warm you may want to consider a heated mattress pad.
Kitchens: Get your pantry in order!! Take everything out. Throw out outdated items. Do you have too many cereal boxes of the same kind opened? Consolidate your cereal into clear glass containers. You will know exactly how much is left and it will keep fresh for longer. You can do the same with pasta and snacks.
As you are cleaning the pantry, take note of items you are running low on or are out of. This is especially helpful to do as the holidays are approaching! You don’t want to get ready to make that pumpkin pie, only to discover you are out of pumpkin pie spice, or flour!
Wipe down the cupboard doors with Harmony Aromatherapy Multi-Purpose Cleaner (for painted surfaces) or Harmony Aromatherapy Wood Floor Cleaner (for stained wood surfaces). See best dust trapping methods above.
Fall Garage Cleaning:
Has your garage becoming a clutter-zone from bikes to baseball gloves and soccer gear strewn about? Get the summer sporting equipment in its proper totes or bins. Then give the garage a good sweeping.
Fall Yard Cleaning:
I grew up with the tradition of raking the leaves, jumping in them and then when that fun was over, my parents would burn the leaves. A gardener for the Smithsonian Institute recommends mowing over your leaves (if you can still see grass in between the leaves) to mulch them right on the spot. These shredded leaves become food for the grass during the winter and early Spring. If there is a heavy amount of leaves, then they should be raked.
Fall is also considered to be the best time to plant trees. And, thankfully, many nurseries and large home improvement stores have their outdoor plants half off now! Fall planting allows the trees to develop a strong root system instead of focusing on the production of leaves and fruit (if they are fruit trees).
How can I get all this done?
1. Spread out your Fall cleaning over the next two-three weeks.
2. Get the kids involved in the cleaning.
3. Focus on what you believe to be the most important areas for your home and your needs.
Keep the holidays in view!
With Fall cleaning finished, you’ll have a wonderfully, green clean home for holiday festivities!