The Complete Fall Cleaning Checklist

Emma TomsichUPDATED: May 25, 2023

Spring cleaning gets the spotlight every year, but this autumn, make fall cleaning a priority.

With schools having recently started and holidays nearing, a good fall cleaning can make your life far easier. Seasonal cleaning can begin as soon as the first leaves fall, so when the weather turns frosty, you have a tidy home to cozy up in. Fall cleaning is the perfect way to prepare your home inside and out for you and your guests. So, instead of scrambling to fix up your home days before big family celebrations this fall, put in the work now to save yourself the anxiety. 

We’ve gathered a list of the most essential autumnal chores and handy hacks that will ensure your home is not just spick-and-span but also sparkling. 

Indoor Fall Cleaning 

Due to the cold temperatures and harsh winds that come with autumn, it’s most important that you focus your fall cleaning efforts on your home’s interior. While the thought of cleaning your entire indoor living space can seem like a tremendous feat, there are ways you can make it easier. Rather than tackling your whole interior at once, fall cleaning is less overwhelming if you attack it room by room.


Before you begin preparing your holiday feasts, you must give your kitchen a thorough once-over to eliminate any dirt, dust and disasters from getting in the way of your special meals. For optimal kitchen maintenance, follow this checklist:

  • Clean your grout
  • Wash the walls
  • Do a deep refrigerator clean
  • Get rid of odors
  • Sweep and mop under your refrigerator
  • Vacuum your refrigerator coils
  • Clean your stove and oven
  • Disinfect your garbage cans
  • Clean appliances: toaster, microwave, blender
  • Clear out pantry and organize
  • Wipe inside and outside of cupboards
  • Organize your Tupperware and pots and pans
  • Clean the dishwasher
  • Freshen your garbage disposal
  • Run your drain stopper through the dishwasher
  • Sweep and mop the floor
  • Clean the backsplash
  • Wipe down baseboards

Living Room 

During holiday gatherings, families tend to congregate primarily in the living room. Therefore, your living room will be on full display. A thorough fall cleaning is the only way to guarantee your home passes guests’ inspections, and you don’t want a little dirt to get in the way of your holiday cheer, so follow this checklist for a spotless living room!

  • Declutter
  • Clean your window treatments
  • Wipe down windows
  • Wash the walls
  • Dust and clean framed art and photos
  • Dust and wash ceiling fan
  • Vacuum out couches and chairs
  • Condition leather furniture
  • Shampoo carpets or rugs
  • Spot clean upholstery
  • Wipe down the TV
  • Wipe down baseboards

Dining Room

Nothing says holidays like family meal gathered around the dinner table. So when you clean your dining room, follow this list for a spotless table guaranteed to impress your relatives and guests. Oh, and don’t forget to set the table too!

  • Wipe down table and chairs
  • Dust chairs with vacuum attachment
  • Wash window treatments
  • Wipe down windows
  • Clean walls and corners
  • Wash your tablecloth
  • Wash placemats 
  • Sweep and mop the floor
  • Shampoo the carpet or rugs
  • Organize china cabinet or buffet
  • Clean light fixtures


While you may prefer your bedrooms to be off-limits, nosy guests always seem to make their way into them. So you should attack all bedrooms, and give extra attention to any guest rooms family members will be staying in. Follow this list to impress the guests staying with you:

  • Wash your bedding
  • Buy new pillows
  • Flip or rotate the mattress
  • Organize your closet
  • Organize your drawers
  • Vacuum and dust under furniture
  • Dust headboard, side tables, dresser, desk
  • Dust curtains and light fixtures
  • Wipe down windows and mirrors
  • Shampoo the carpet or rugs


When it comes to cleaning your bathroom, vinegar is your best friend. Vinegar is very acidic, so it’s great for eliminating those vexing spots and disinfecting bacteria-ridden surfaces. Plus, vinegar is eco-friendly! Follow this list to make your bathrooms sparkling and spotless.

  • Scrub the grout
  • Wash the shower curtain
  • Unclog shower head and drains
  • Disinfect the sink and toilet
  • Clean and disinfect the toilet brush
  • Wash the floor
  • Soak bathroom fan grille
  • Scrub the shower or tub
  • Organize towels, etc.

Outdoor Fall Cleaning

As important as it is to deep clean the interior of your home, outdoor chores are essential for preventing damage to your house and harm to your family. So even though you may feel a bit exhausted after dealing with the rooms of your home, it’s time to turn your attention to the outside.

While there are many fall cleaning services that can help you with the seasonal maintenance for your home, most of these tasks can be done by yourself. Just make sure you get up the energy to do them before it gets too cold outside because crossing these outdoor tasks off your fall cleaning checklist is a must. Another benefit to getting your fall cleaning done now is that it will save a lot of time and effort when the spring rolls around!


Cleaning up your yard is a necessary step for preparing it for the winter. When lawns are left littered with leaves, they become starved of water and sunlight, which can discolor the grass and cause it to die. Instead of taking your chances, follow this list to get your yard ready for snowfall.

House Exterior

While most of your holidays will be spent indoors with family and loved ones, it’s still important to impress your guests with a spotless exterior. When cleaning the outside of your home, follow this list to satisfy your visitors.

  • Wash the windows
  • Winterize windows with caulk
  • Clean debris and leaves from gutter
  • Seal gaps to prevent critters
  • Store garden hose
  • Shut off sprinkler system 

Fall Maintenance

On cold, winter nights, you’re going to want your home to be toasty. That’s why fall is a great time to tackle some basic home maintenance. After completing this checklist, your home will be winter ready!

  • Replace your HVAC filter
  • Service your air conditioner
  • Clean your chimney
  • Clean dryer vent
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

The Bottom Line On Fall Cleaning

Getting your home holiday-ready should be fun, not excruciating. Dedicate some time for fall cleaning now, and it won’t be an ordeal later. Instead of trying to tackle every chore in one day, space the tasks out to make the job more manageable. And after you’ve met your cleaning goal for the day, reward yourself with a hot cup of apple cider or a pumpkin latte. And while you’re at it, check out these homeowner tips. In no time, you’ll have a clean home, which will make every autumnal activity all the more enjoyable.

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Emma Tomsich

Emma Tomsich is a student at Marquette University studying Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations. She has a passion for writing, and hopes to one day own her own business. In her free time, Emma likes to travel, shop, run and drink coffee.