Use this list of what to clean in November as your simple guide to what jobs need to be tackled this month around the house.
November is definitely a month of preparation and planning ahead so now is exactly the right time to think about what kind of things you’ll want to already have taken care of as we move closer to the craziness of December. November is the time to tackle all of those little things around the house that will help you create a bit of peace of mind for yourself when things start to feel a little hectic with all of your holiday preparations. This list is simple and we’re not going to overdo it. We just want to worry about only those things that will make you breathe a little sigh of relief later on when you realize that you’ve got these areas of your home in order. The goal is to have ourselves open a cupboard or walk into a room and say “Ah!” instead of “Oh no! Another thing to add to my to-do list!” 🙂 So here’s what to clean in November!
Your Simple List of What to Clean in November
Read through this explanation of what to clean this month and why, then scroll to the bottom to print out the checklist. Post it on your fridge or file it away in your home keeping binder so you can check off what you get done!
This is a busy time of year for everyone, so just remember: Even if you can’t get to every single thing on this list. Each thing that you do get to is a step in the right direction and still makes your home cleaner and more peaceful than it was before.
Kitchen Drawers and Cupboards
Depending on how big your kitchen is or how cluttered your cupboards are, this could seem like a really big task. Just take it one cupboard or drawer at a time. You’ll probably find that you’ll have some cupboards where you’re able to make a huge difference in just a 2-3 minutes. Don’t worry about getting every single cupboard organized to perfection, just aim to make progress here. Anything you do in here is an improvement over how things were before and will make your holiday cooking so much more enjoyable.
The Utensil Drawer Tray
I just thought I’d better call this one out specifically. 🙂 We tend to think these utensil trays are cleaner than they really are. We always think they’re fine until one day we realize that they’re really pretty gross and it’s usually when you have a guest over who’s looking for a teaspoon.
The Washing Machine and Dryer
This one will just make you feel accomplished. Wipe down the tops, sides, and interiors of your machines, clean the dryer lint trap, and run a cleaning cycle in the washing machine. These things only take a few minutes but will really make you feel like you’re on top of this whole housekeeping thing.
Under and Behind Kitchen Appliances
Move these and get behind them if you can, but if not just do your best. Anything you do is better than nothing!
Clean Window Blinds
This is one of those things that we all tend to put off, but we know we shouldn’t. Give yourself the satisfaction of knowing that you’re on top of this as well as, you know, the satisfaction of not having dust bunnies flying all over the place the next time you open your blinds. Read How to Clean Your Blinds Without Sacrificing Your Sanity for my method!
Make Room in Dresser Drawers
Putting away all of those new Christmas pyjamas and cozy sweaters will be so much easier when you actually have somewhere to put them. Try to do at least a little decluttering session in each family member’s dresser/closet to make some space.
Bathroom Vanity Drawers and Cupboards
Having tidy and organized drawers and cupboards in the bathroom is just a nice way to start and end the day. While you’re at it, declutter any old lotions, soaps, and cosmetics, then check to see what needs to be restocked. Make sure you have enough toilet paper, toothpaste, hand soap, and things like that to get you through until after the holidays.
Game Storage Cupboards or Closets
Holidays mean spending lots of time with family and there’s no better way to have fun together on a chilly evening that a few well-timed board games. Of course, you want to be able to actually see the selection that you have available and you want to make sure that all the games have all their pieces and can actually be played when the mood strikes. Now is a great time to declutter any games that your family doesn’t love or that have broken or missing pieces and tidy up the games that you want to play over the holiday next year. If you have room, maybe think about adding a new game this year as well!
Fall Decor and Bins
Depending on where you live, you might still have your fall decor out on display for most of the month of November, but this is still the perfect time to get it ready for storage and even to make your life a little better next year. This is kind of a three-mini-step process. The first thing you should do is wipe down the interior and exterior of the bins where you store your fall decor. They’ve probably accumulated quite a bit of dust and debris over the years if this isn’t something you usually do.
The next step is to purge any decor that you haven’t used in a few years or that you put out this year but didn’t love. Get rid of it if it doesn’t make you feel absolutely delighted to put it out! That’s the whole point of this stuff, right?
The final step is to take a moment and dust/wipe down each items of fall decor that you have out. You can do this as you put them away for the season, or even while they’re still out on display. I find that this is a step that we don’t often think about and you can end up with some pretty dusty/dirty looking decor items after a few years of being displayed and stored. I had some plastic Halloween rats that I noticed were looking pretty dusty a few weeks ago so I just rinsed them off in the sink. Whoever thinks of cleaning plastic Halloween rats? Ha! 🙂
Pots and Pans
Now’s a great time to freshen up your pots and pans ahead of all that holiday cooking. If your pots have some darkened areas that have built up that could use a really good scouring, November is a great time to get that done. You can also look at the bottoms of your pots and pans, particularly if they’re copper and shine those up a bit. A layer of ketchup left on copper for about 30 minutes will brighten it right up!
By the way, the recipe I was making in that photo was Lentil and Barley Stew with Apples, a great thing to make with your freshly deep-cleaned pots and pans this fall!
Click here to print off your checklist!
If you’re looking for more ongoing guidance and detail on what to clean and how to get it done quickly and easily, check out my book The Cleaning Ninja!
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.