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Everyone tells you spring is the season you need to thoroughly clean your house. Sometimes, an autumn clear out makes more sense. For one thing, the kids are in school, which helps you to keep your housecleaning momentum to a greater extent.

For another thing, a cleanup can literally clear the air in your house. Plenty of allergens get into fabrics through the summer, a season when windows are open, and unfiltered air comes through carrying minor respiratory irritants. An ounce of prevention, as they say.

Also in the fall season, you will be indoors more and any extra space will be welcome. Organization and a clear aim of de-cluttering is key to getting through the cleanup in a single weekend with the least stress.

Here is an autumn cleaning checklist.

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Autumn cleaning checklist: what to clean outside the house

1. Check the caulking and seals on windows and doors to stop the fall wind from blowing more dust inside.

2. Be sure gutters and downspouts are clear. It’s not just an aesthetic advantage – you want to make sure drainage is unimpeded to avoid flooding issues.

3. Savor the sunlight. Give your windows a good washing to let as much of the diminishing light in as you can.

4. Make sure hoses are properly drained and outside taps are properly insulated. One cold night in autumn can cause you more problems than you might imagine. If a hose freezes in the winter, it is bound to spring a leak when you need it again.

5. Don’t forget the leaves. Rake a little at a time to reduce the size of the job as the leaves accumulate over the fall season.

Autumn cleaning checklist: what to clean inside the house

1. Be practical. Where do you spend most of your time indoors? Start there and organize the rest of your time cleaning to the places you rarely visit.

2. Wash your windows inside and out with soap and water, or use white vinegar to avoid streaks. Give it a good rinse to get rid of any suds.

3. Make sure your vacuum is cleared out and the bag new. Also use all of those fancy attachments that came with it on curtains, in corners and all the other crannies.

4. Get rid of the fluff in your dryer. Inspect the dryer tubes so they are not blowing lint everywhere. Check that the traps are washed clear of accumulated dust.

5. Light up your life. Wipe down light fixtures and empty out and critters that perished in the glass bowls for maximum clarity.

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After you’ve taken care of the fall housecleaning, you will feel so much more relaxed having family and friends over, once the holiday season begins near the end of the season.

Also, a clean house makes it easier to sort and de-clutter. Once your space is de-cluttered, you’ll know where everything is and have a lot less stress finding what you need. House cleaning, then, isn’t just about better air quality, and health. It’s about peace of mind, too.

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.