Getting Ready for Winter

Published September 24, 2014

get-your-household-shipshape-for-fallFor many households, the school year signifies the beginning of the calendar year.

Perhaps the reason for this is because the kids begin a new school year and schedules for sports and activities have started. The house is now ready to be deep cleaned from all the summer commotion.

Here are a few good tips that have been passed down to me over the years that may help with the daunting tasks ahead.


I love the Mr. Clean magic eraser for cleaning baseboards. They’re great for eliminating scuff marks and give the baseboards a nice, clean look. For general cleaning try a simple mixture of soap and water after you’ve vacuumed them with your vacuum’s brush attachment.

Outdoor Furniture Upholstery

When it’s time to bring the cushions inside for the year, it’s a good idea to give them a thorough cleaning. A mild soap and water mixture works well to rid the upholstery of any dirt or debris. Let the cushions fully dry before packing them away for the winter season.


Cleaning blinds is probably the most tedious job there is inside the house. It’s not a lot of fun but it is necessary. Cleaning them depends on the type of blinds you have but generally a good pair of white, cotton gloves always does the trick. Mild, diluted soapy water works great here as does equal parts of warm water and vinegar. Simply dip your fingers into the cleaning solution and then run them over each individual blind slat. The other hand can be used to dry them. Alternatively, a nice absorbent white cloth works well for this task. Some say wiping the slats with a dryer sheet after you’ve cleaned them is a good idea to repel any future dust that may occur.


During flu season I like to wipe the doorknobs in the house frequently. Wearing a pair of rubber gloves, use antibacterial wipes to wipe clean any germs that may be on the surface.

Duvets and Pillows

For synthetic pillows, I find that placing them in the washing machine is the best way to thoroughly clean them. Let them air dry if possible or use a low heat setting on your dryer. For duck down pillows and duvets, be sure to check that the fabric outside casing is washable before you begin. It’s recommended to wash these pillows in commercial-size washing machines that are very spacious as the smaller, European ones may do damage to the filling. It’s best to hang to dry or place them in a large dryer. Pull the duvet out every 20-30 minutes or so to fluff it up.


These can be very fragile so it’s best to handle them with care. I have always found feather dusters to work well and lint rollers are fantastic when used lightly on the outer surface. For more delicate items, such as easy-to-reach crystal chandeliers, use a spray bottle to spray a mild cleaning solution on your cotton cloth and wipe each crystal separately. Dry with a soft cloth. Check to see if your crystals are removable for easy cleaning. If your chandelier is located in a precarious position, it may be a good idea to call in a professional with the right equipment and ladders to clean the fixture properly and safely.