Use this list of what to clean in October as your simple guide to what jobs need to be tackled this month around the house.
When I started to put this list of what to clean in October together, I honestly thought it looked a little bit too ambitious. The idea behind these simple monthly cleaning lists is to make them very approachable and to give you just a few things to focus on for this month. My goal is to find the ten tasks that are perfect to get done at exactly this time of year, either to prepare for the months ahead, or to take care of things that typically get a little out-of-hand in the months prior. These are things that make sense to do exactly now, so you’re getting the most efficiency possible out of your precious cleaning minutes. So when you first go through this list, you may react as I did and think that it looks like there are a lot of big jobs to get done this month, but when you really think about it, you’ll realize that many of these things sound like big tasks, but they’ll actually take you about two minutes to complete. Aren’t a lot of home keeping tasks like that? They fool me every time. 🙂
Your Simple List of What to Clean in October
Take a moment to read through this run-down of cleaning tasks for October, as well as my explanation for why this is the perfect time for these tasks, then scroll down to the bottom of the post to print out the list. You can save it in your home keeping binder or stick it on the fridge to remind you to get to these things at some point this month.
Stair Railings, Door Knobs, Light Switches
Ideally, these things would be wiped down every couple of weeks, but this task is such a simple one that it often gets over-looked until your railings start to look like they’re an entirely different color. Ask me how I know. 🙂 October is a great time to clean these little areas of the home because we’re heading into flu season and these are places that we physically touch constantly. We’re also heading into the holidays and the last thing you want to be worrying about during the busy holiday season is running around the house wiping jammy finger prints from three months ago off of your light switches so you don’t scare your guests.
Shoe Racks, Boot Trays, and Mud Room Storage Shelves
Putting shoes away where they go is a good thing, but over time, dust, dirt, and grass fall off of them and make the shoe storage areas themselves pretty dirty. The types of shoes that we’re all using is changing right now with the seasons, so this is a perfect time to remember to clean your shoe storage areas as well.
Crystal, China, Silver, Holiday Linens and Other Serveware
This is the time of year when we all become acutely aware of the fact that the holidays are almost upon us. If you live in Canada like I do, Thanksgiving is actually about mid-way through October, so you may want to move this one up to the beginning of your to-do list so you’re ready for that if you’re Canadian. The good news is that once you’re done using all of this stuff for Thanksgiving, if you store it well and try to keep it from being too exposed to the air (for the silver, at least) you’ll be all set for Christmas too.
Here’s my favourite trick for cleaning super tarnished silver really quickly and naturally, by the way!
Baking and comfort food season is here! If your weather stays warm until mid-October like it does here for us in southwestern Ontario, you may not have been inspired to start baking and making your favourite casseroles yet, but you will be soon! Give your oven a good cleaning now and you’ll be all set-ish for the rest of fall and winter.
You can find my favourite natural oven cleaner recipe here!
Change Your Furnace Filter and Wipe Down Your Furnace and Hot Water Tank
It’s obviously a good idea to change out your furnace filter before you fire your furnace up for the season, unless you put in a new one in the spring before you stopped using it. I’d suggest taking things just one step further while you’re in your basement or utility room. It’s a great idea to wipe down your furnace as well as your hot water tank because you never know when you’ll wake up one day and one of these essentials will be broken. It will give you peace of mind when you have to call someone in to repair them to know that at least they aren’t covered in an embarrassingly thick layer of dust. 🙂
The Desk in Your Home Office or Hobby Room
As I mentioned a moment ago, the holidays are coming! Take a moment to clear off your desk area and give it a good wipe-down too. You’ll need it for Christmas cards, gift tags, and wrapping presents soon enough. Having a clear, clean area to work will make all of that so much more enjoyable.
Deodorize the Vacuum Cleaner
With all that fall coziness comes closed windows, and eventually, stale indoor winter air. Your vacuum sucks up dust, dirt, pet fur and all kinds of things that really contribute to that unpleasant stale odor that we can sometimes get after months of keeping our windows shut. When you turn your vacuum on, some of those odors are forced out into the air, making your house smell less clean every time you vacuum. It’s a cruel joke. Cleaning and deodorizing your vacuum cleaner now will set you up for a whole season of fresher-smelling indoor air. Read how to get this job done here: How to Clean and Deodorize Your Vacuum Cleaner.
If you have light coloured siding that tends to get dirty looking, you probably gave it a good pressure washing at some point during the summer, but it’s a good idea to quickly wipe your siding down again now before the snow flies. When the landscape is all white and the leaves are off of the shrubs, it can tend to highlight dirty looking siding.
Vacuum Dusty Window Screens
It’ll only take a minute and will make your fall views so much nicer. 🙂
Wipe Down Appliance Seals
Debris and stickiness can build up on the seals around your fridge, freezer, dishwasher, and oven and can cause your seals to be less effective, wasting energy and costing you money. These things can also sometimes lead to actual tears in the seals and then it’s a big unnecessary hassle to have them replaced so your appliances work properly again. Take a few seconds to wipe the seals down now to keep your appliances in good shape.
Click HERE to print off the simple October cleaning checklist!
Looking for more guidance and detail on what to clean and the house and how to get it done in the most efficient way possible? Check out my book The Cleaning Ninja!
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- What to Clean in September
- What to Clean in November
- How to Actually Use all Those Vacuum Cleaner Attachments
- Simple Things I Do Every Day to Make My Home Stay Clean
- How to Keep Your Home From Being Taken Over by Pet Fur
- The Mayonnaise House Plant Trick
- The Creek Line House Cleaning Archives
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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.