Never heard of ‘Autumn cleaning’? Here’s how you do it

Spring gets all the credit when it comes to cleaning - think Spring Cleaning! - but Autumn is an equally opportune time to get one’s home affairs in order. In fact, winter is a time when we typically spend more time indoors so taking the time to ensure everything is clean, cosy and uncluttered can go a long way in making the dark, cold days a bit brighter. 

Preparing your home for winter is typically associated with cleaning the gutters and checking the roof for leaks (if you’re in a winter rainfall area), which then overlooks the value of doing a metaphorical clean sweep indoors too.

 Not sure where to start? Not to worry - we asked SweepStars, the efficient domestic workers who, via the SweepSouth app, are booked to clean thousands of homes every week, for tips and advice.

 
Clear the clutter
 
Cleaning is always more of a hassle if you’re wading through clutter - a kitchen counter that literally holds everything (school bags, dishes, keys, laptops, pet toys!) and the kitchen sink, or a living room strewn with things that should actually be in the garage or - worse - a bedroom that is more storage unit than sleep sanctuary, can make cleaning a far bigger chore than it needs to be.
Clutter has a nasty way of making a space look dishevelled and dirty when the real problem is simply that things are out of place.
Start by walking through your space and removing the clutter, either by putting it on a discard or donate pile, or returning it to its original place. Apart from the benefit of a more ordered home, decluttering also has numerous mental health benefits.

Divide and conquer 
The old adage suggests that the way to eat an elephant is bit by bit. This is true of cleaning your home too. Make a plan for how you want to approach it and work from there. You may want to do the living spaces first, or perhaps you prefer the areas that typically take more strain like the kitchen and bathroom first. It doesn’t matter where you start but have an idea in mind about the extent or the depth to which you want to clean the space. Does the kitchen clean include the inside of the cupboards or is a wipe-down of the outside sufficient? Similarly, do the wall tiles in the bathroom need to be washed down or is it a case of bath-shower-toilet clean and go?


Bright lights
 
Winter can be very dim - the days are shorter, after all. But it could also feel that way because the light bulbs are dusty! A surprising amount of dust accumulates on bulbs, dimming their glow over time. Long-lasting LED bulbs may not be changed for years, which is a good thing for energy consumption, but not great for cleanliness. SweepStars recommend simply switching the lights off and dust with a soft dry cloth. And there was light - unless there is load shedding!

Letting natural light in during winter is important and while you’re opening and closing curtains and blinds you may well notice just how much dust and dirt they accumulate. Remedy this by vacuuming the curtain or even giving it a once-over with a steamer if you have one. Depending on the style and material of the blind you may need to clean each slat individually with a damp cloth but it is the kind of chore where the results make up for the effort.

 
The option of outsourcing 
And if you’re still not inspired or energised to do any of this, that’s fine too because services like SweepSouth specialise in exactly this - home cleaning when you need it. A SweepStar makes quick work of all the cleaning, and it’s super easy to book the service for a time that suits you best.

 
While ‘Autumn cleaning’ might not have the almost-cheerful ring ‘Spring cleaning’ has to it, it is worth investing the time to ensure a warmer, cosier and healthier winter. In fact, there’s research to suggest that cleaning can help to improve your mood, increase your focus and benefit your physical health.