Make sure to prep your home before the weather changes. You probably give your home a deep clean in the spring, but you should also show it some love at the beginning of fall. Here's where to start:
1. Perform a pantry audit.
First, remove all the cans and boxes from the shelves, and vacuum away any lingering dust or crumbs (a lot can build up in just a few months!). Then, inspect each item before putting it back in its place, tossing anything that is expired or past its prime. Consult our shelf-life chart as a helpful guide.
2. Test and clean your smoke detectors.
You already know to put fresh batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors (doing it on the days you change the clocks for Daylight Saving Time is an easy way to remember). But you also need to clean your units, since dust that accumulates can cause them to underperform. Using your vacuum cleaner's soft brush attachment, clean in and around the dectectors' openings. If any are more than 10 years old, replace them.
3. Flip your mattress.
When you turn back your clocks, turn your mattress over, too. If you can't flip it because it has a pillowtop, rotate it 180 degrees to prevent body impressions form causing certain spots to slump. Sprinkle the mattress with baking soda to neutralize odors, and then vacuum it up.
4. Shampoo your carpet.
Get a jump on holiday party season by giving your carpeting a good scrub. We recommend getting a professional cleaning once a year, but you can also do a good job by renting a carpet cleaner and using some other DIY tricks.
5. Vacuum all upholstered surfaces.
You think your couch is clean untill you plop on it, and a haze of dust appears around you. Give sofas and chairs a good vacuuming, making sure to hit both sides of the cushions, the back, sides, arms, and even the platform underneath the cushions.