Photography: Stacey Brandford | Design: Sarah Birnie | Styling: Morgan Lindsay
These five tasks are always last on our to-do list, but the best time to do them is now, before the temperature drops.
Though most of us may think spring to be the ideal season to deep clean our homes, home expert Denise Wild has another thought: “Spring is such a good season because we’ve been holed up inside during the winter — I don’t want to be cleaning my house, I want to be outside!” she says. Wild believes autumn and winter are the perfect seasons to tend to all those areas of your home that get neglected throughout the year.
Here are five tasks to tackle now.
1. Clean out the garage.
“A really great place to start is the garage,” says Wild. “The weather is so perfect to tackle that now and within the next few weeks.” Wild suggests doing an overall purge, donating things like that tricycle your kid hasn’t used in years or the ample amount of snow brushes you’ve accumulated. Once you’ve paired down, it’s time to organize. The easiest way to do this is to hang hooks along the walls and the ceiling to keep items off the floor. Once your garage is organized, give your floors a good clean with a sturdy broom — Wild recommends the Vileda Oskar Broom. If you don’t have a garage, tackle your storage locker or overflowing closet.
2. Wipe down and back up outdoor pieces.
It’s sad to say, but it’s time to pack up all that summer furniture. Do it now while it’s still slightly warm out, so you’re not stuck packing it up when that first snowfall hits. “All the things that are usually outside — patio furniture, outdoor accessories, outdoor cushions — you want to pack up and look after,” says Wild. If you can’t bring your accessories inside to store for the winter, just cover them with a tarp. Now is also a good time to wipe your outdoor pieces clean and treat them for rust. “I just take a fine grade sandpaper and sand the rust down,” says Wild.
3. Wash all textiles.
Now is the time to clean those textiles you always forget about, such as the guest bedroom duvet cover, curtains, throw cushions and blankets on your living room couch. “Lots of things can’t go in the washing machine because they’re specialty items, so just give them a nice steam,” says Wild. The steam will kill bacteria, get rid of wrinkles and make your fabrics look fresh. You can even add in some essential oils to your steamer, like tea tree which kills bacteria and will offer your pad a fresh aroma. If you can’t get your hands on an industrial-grade steamer, a small handheld garment steamer will do.
4. Vacuum and sanitize mattresses.
This is one of those spots we always forget about. Take the sheets off the beds and give each mattress a good clean. Vacuum them to get all the debris off and then apply a mild cleaning solution — such as vinegar and tea tree oil to kill bacteria — and wipe down the mattress with a damp sponge. She recommends using the Vileda Scrunge for this task, which has a scrubber on one side and sponge on the other. Have a mattress with a bad stain? Mix of one cup hydrogen peroxide, two tablespoons baking powder and a squeeze of liquid dish soap, pour the solution into a spray bottle, spritz the stain and dab with a sponge until it disappears.
5. Organize and clean under the bed.
Just like your mattresses, those dark corners of your home easily get forgotten. Take the time to organize the stuff that has accumulated under the bed, and invest in short boxes to store the belongings. Vacuum the space, aiming to get into those tough corners where dust has accumulated.