The Fall Checklist


In the northern hemisphere I see everyone getting ready for fall, but I find I do a lot of the same things to prepare for spring as I do for fall.

Cleaning: We’re used to saying spring cleaning, but I’m even more aggressive with fall cleaning, probably because I’m more likely to have frequent guests and drop-ins. This is the time to give the inside and out a thorough airing, clearing off the cobwebs, and dusting the high and low places I normally can’t reach.

The kitchen is the worst because grease accumulates there. It’s going to get a facelift in a few weeks so I want to attack all the upper shelves, hanging lights, and the various decor on high.

Can I add that one of the best presents I bought myself was the Roomba? I got the Roomba 880, and I have run it everyday and sometimes twice a day since I got it. I love my Roomba. Even Greg loves it. It’s one less daily chore off our list, plus it cleans under the beds, something I was never able to do before.

It’s not as maintenance free as they claim–either that or my house is a lot dustier and furrier than the average house. But it’s very easy to take the machine apart and clean the innards.

I thought I would regret an extravagant expense, but I haven’t. For once I’ve been pleasantly surprised.


The outside also needs a good cleaning, but I want to wait a few more weeks since it’s still in the 90s here. On my list:
• gutters
• animal pens
• walkways

Weeding and Pruning: This is a big job, one I’m biding my time for cooler temps.
• Trees along our paths need to be trimmed back
• Weeding! Ugh! The vegetable garden is in good shape but my front yard needs a lot of work. That’s a whole post in itself. I was bad, and I have a confession to make in a later post.

Raking: In the north, raking leaves is probably a fall chore, but our trees don’t lose their leaves until very late in the year. I usually rake in January if the weather isn’t too cold or wet.

Essential Checks
• Check water spigots for leaks and prepare them for winter. We’ll be wrapping them in foam when winter is closer.
• Check the fireplace for soot buildup.
• Check all doors and windows to make sure they’re sealed. We did this last year so I suspect everything is still good, but a scorpion did get in the house this year, so we’ll have to find the lapse. If it can get in, cold air can get in.

You might worry about cold, but my mortal enemy are the scorpions. Oy! We did well this year, but it’s still not impenetrable.

Plant a fall garden
If you’re in the South, you still have time to put in a fall garden. Radishes and peas are fast. Carrots, onions, chard, spinach, cabbage, broccoli and Brussel sprouts can stay in all winter with little or no protection.

Or prep for spring by planting bulbs now if you live in the north.

Clean the garage, or in our case, Greg’s shop. Our garage is pretty tidy now that we got rid of a couple of bulky things, but Greg’s workshop needs a team of professional organizers.

Unfortunately, all he has is me. I really want to tackle it this year. Chances are it’ll go right back to being in disarray within weeks, but I plan to take a picture of the clean shop to prove I’ve at least done my part.

What’s on your to-do list this fall (or spring)? Is there anything you absolutely have to do when the seasons change? Is there any chore you dread more than others?



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  1. I have some outdoor pruning on my list. In a few weeks, I’ll clean out some flowerbeds. Indoors, I don’t know where to start. I need the children at home so we can sort through some things and make a trip to Goodwill. My husband and I are doing some painting this winter.

  2. We just had our patio and outside area pressure-washed – lots of mildew on the pavers – and now it looks all shiny. 🙂

    I’m hoping to get our garage all cleaned up and organized, but totally waiting for the weather to get cooler for that project, maybe even wait until the winter.

  3. My to-do list is always full, bit Fall and Winter are when we also have the most visitors, so keeping the house tidy on a daily basis is kind of a must. I always get the carpets deodorized and steam-cleaned before the holidays and definitely dread that; it’s three days of furniture moving and damp floors and semi-controlled chaos. This year I have two family members coming for extended stays so we may have to do that a bit early.

    • Lynn: Welcome back!

      I’m glad we don’t have carpets anymore. I like area rugs because I can change them out or clean them elsewhere, but carpets can be tricky, especially with all the dogs we had at the time.

      We had one dog that after the cleaners finished would roll around the carpet to put back his smell. Oy!

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