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Spring Cleaning is Out! Check Out Our Fall Cleaning Checklist for Washington D.C. Renters

fall cleaning checklist, fall cleaning listFall is officially here! With cold, wet weather setting in, you will likely be spending more time doing indoor activities. So as the leaves begin to fall, the ground starts to freeze, and you start hunkering down inside, you may want to start thinking about tidying up your rental. While spring might get all the notoriety when it comes to cleaning, fall should be hailed as the best time to declutter and regroup when it comes to your home.

The necessity for fall decluttering is made especially important if you are a renter; particularly for those dealing with a small space. As the holidays edge closer, you may find yourself hosting guests in your small space. So, ideally, there’s no better time to proactively remove clutter that is taking up valuable real estate within your home. These fall cleaning tips will give you the cleaning motivation you need to ensure that your home is ready for the coming months and that  your rental will feel like a welcoming place to relax when the weather turns cold.

Six Effective Fall Cleaning Tips

1. Get Help from Friends, Family, or a Professional:

 Any task worth doing is a task worth finding help for. Decluttering can be difficult on your own, especially if you haven’t been in the habit of regularly sorting through your things. Whether you ask a trusted friend or turn to a professional organizer to help you, don’t be afraid to ask for a little help. After all, home decluttering can be an emotional process—all the “stuff” you need to sort through marks different chapters in your life, and every item in your home exists there because of some attachment. A friend or professional will be able to help you look at your belongings with fresh eyes, and their detachment can be very helpful in deciding to part with a particular item you may not need anymore. They can also help assist you in identifying what things will be used on a day-to-day basis and what items you probably won’t use again.

2. Reverse All of Your Clothes Hangers:

This is something you should do every year when you start your fall clean up routine. Pick a date and set a reminder each year to turn all of your hanging clothes around so that the hangers are facing a direction you are not used to. As you use the clothes throughout the year, turn the hangers back to the normal direction, every time you use a piece of clothing. When your calendar reminder kicks in the following year, you should donate any piece of clothing that was not worn throughout the year. If you haven’t worn it in a year, you are probably not going to wear it again! This is a great way to clear out your closet every year, plus donating clothes is a great tax deduction!

3. Re-Gift Unused Items:

 First thing’s first, start with the items you know you don’t need. Work your way from the hard-decluttering tasks to the easy ones. If there are items that you know you don’t need, or simply don’t love, pass them along to someone who will truly enjoy them! This is especially true for items that you may have been gifted, or that were handed down to you by a well-meaning relative. There is no shame in re-gifting an item to someone who will genuinely enjoy it! If you are concerned that the gifter may be upset if you get rid of the item they gave you, offer it back to them first—particularly if they offered it to you after they themselves decluttered. If it wasn’t important enough to keep themselves, then you should have little guilt donating the item after you have offered it back to them.

4. Pack and Store Any Seasonal Items:

Summer linens can be swapped out for larger more cozy blankets and throws. Shorts and sundresses can be pushed to the back of the closet (or stored in totes), and fall-appropriate clothing can be brought to the forefront. If you have an entryway closet, now is the time to store those summer beach towels and toys and replace them with your umbrellas and rain boots. You can even carry this principle into the kitchen. Are there any dishes you make exclusively in the warm months? Do soups replace your salads? Bring your crockpot and warm-weather cookware to the front of your cupboard and rotate it for the summer picnicware or dishware you may not need as much.

Above all, use this swapping time to evaluate your belongings. Does anything need to be replaced? Did any items remain unused during their respective seasons? Was any item particularly useful and would you like to have more? This is an excellent time to declutter the things that don’t work for your needs, and curate a space full of items that fit your lifestyle well.

5. Get Rid of Old, Broken, or Unused Toys:

Children play better when they are not overwhelmed with options. Too many toys can result in overstimulation and distracted play, where they bounce haplessly from toy to toy. Keep things simple. Sort through broken toys or toys with missing pieces and recycle or dispose of them. You can also donate useful but unneeded toys so another child can cherish them fully.

Fall decluttering is the perfect time to address toys since the holidays will soon bring new gifts into the household. Get everything under control now so you can see the play items for which your child may genuinely benefit from when the gift-giving season arrives. You can also decide which items should be passed along to a family that needs them. Knowing what sparks their creativity now will help you make better gift choices later, and in the interim, your children will relish in the extra space to let their imaginations run wild.

6. Be Honest About Your Current Day-to-Day Lifestyle:

 Let go of items that don’t fit your life and needs anymore. For example, clothes that fit way back when, supplies for hobbies you no longer pursue, and other items from a past life may simply just be taking up needed space. Instead, devote the real estate within your home to the things that truly matter to you currently.

When practicing your fall cleaning list, it can help to remember, much of what you will declutter can be later found at your local thrift store in the future. If you find that you no longer have time to devote to a particular hobby, it may be better to donate your items now and purchase gently used ones a few years down the road. This is especially true if you are in a new career or have young children. It will be worth the small cost to have that closet space in the interim.

Similarly, donate or sell objects that you purchased for the “someday you” and just let it go.

Fall clean-up is the perfect way to make your space more comfortable and welcoming this season. The winter is cold and dark, and you will be spending a lot more time indoors. It is important to ensure that you feel truly at home within the space that you have created, and nothing is more welcoming than a space only full of items you truly enjoy.

If you are thinking of moving to the Washington D.C. area and are looking for a place to live, contact one of our property managers at Bay Property Management Group today to get started in your search.