Fall Cleaning Checklist Revisited


Several years ago, we presented a Fall Cleaning Checklist. Now that the leaves are falling and cooler weather is blowing in, it is time to bring our checklist back out so you can make sure to have your home ready for the change in seasons. The Holidays will be here before you know it, and what are the holidays without a clean and organized home to celebrate in?

The Cleaning Crew Fall Cleaning Chore Checklist will help you prepare your home for the coming winter season:

Kitchen

  • Re-Organize and Clean Out Pantry – Throw away expired goods. Re-arrange as needed. Write out a pantry inventory and make a grocery list of the things you will need to stock up on. Keep in mind the fact that community food pantries are in dire need of donations during this time of year.
  • Clean Oven – Prep your oven for holiday cooking and baking. If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, The Cleaning Crew can offer some quick and easy oven-cleaning solutions.
  • Wipe Down Kitchen Cupboards – Wipe down your kitchen cupboards. Wipe the insides and the tops, if you feel ambitious!
  • Deep Clean the Refrigerator & Freezer — Throw away all expired foods. Removed and scrub shelves, drawers, and other small pieces in order to deep clean. Replace filter on ice-maker or water dispenser.

Windows

  • Wash Windows, Inside and Out – This may be your last chance to clean the exterior windows before bad weather sets in.
  • Wash Curtains – Pull down any curtains that can be washed and clean them. If you can’t wash them, take them outside to shake the dust off.
  • Wipe Blinds – Wipe down the blinds of the interior windows. This is best done with a dusting glove.

Bedrooms

  • Bring Out Winter Things for Closets – Take this opportunity to reorganize. Clean out the closets and make several organized piles. One for donating, one for keeping, one for trash, and one for seasonal clothes.
  • Prepare For Holiday Guests – Guest rooms should be not only clean, but also inviting. Try setting out flowers or other special touches to make guests feel especially welcome.
  • Clean all Bedding and Bring Out Winter Comforters – Bring out heavier bedding and winter comforters for the cold days ahead.

Other General Cleaning

  • Dust or Wash Light Fixtures – Most light fixtures are removable and unscrew so you can dust or wash them. Make sure to turn the switch off and allow bulbs to cool before you do this!
  • Vacuum Furniture – Vacuum your upholstered furniture and/or dust & wipe down any wooden furniture.
  • Vacuum and Shampoo Carpets – Be sure your carpets are clean before all the winter mud and snow!  Schedule a carpet cleaning in early autumn.
  • Dust the House from Top to Bottom – This means everything from the cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling to the baseboards. Go from room to room and dust everything! Dusting top to bottom is the most efficient way to clean.
  • Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Don’t skip this step, especially if you have any kind of wood fired heat. Just a simple push of a button is all it takes.

Brisk and breezy days are best for overcoming the deep-cleaning chores necessary for a clean, comfortable winter home and a wonderful autumn season. Happy Fall!

Fall Back In Love With Your Home


If you’ve fallen out of love with your home, let our team of talented house cleaners help rekindle the flame this fall season. Having a professionally cleaned home might be just the fresh start you need before the hectic holidays hit. Sometimes investing in your home is the best way to fall back in love with it.

4 Ways to Fall Back In Love With Your Home

  • Organizing your home will help you as the busy holiday season approaches. Whether you more space in your craft room to store and wrap gifts or an organized kitchen to cook gourmet meals for the family, The Cleaning Crew can help clean and organize to save you time. So, whether you’re into one-of-a-kind gift-wrapping or trying those recipes you found online, you’ll have more time for the things you love.

  • Decorating for fall means rich colors, warm throws and a welcoming feeling of coziness that is hard to match in other seasons. One of the simplest ways to add a touch of fall is to use lots of texture and vibrant warm colors. Clean up summer and pull out fall curtains, pillows & throws. Check out Pantone’s color report for the on trend colors for Fall 2018.

  • Fall Food is a treat for the eyes, not just the stomach. Start with a clean home, organize and put away the past season’s decor, and decorate your home inside and outside with gourds, leaves, pumpkins and nuts, place bowls of apples ready for a bite or for dipping in caramel. These fall aromas add enticing flavors to your autumn table.



  • Spices and smells are at the heart of fall. Wafts of freshly ground cinnamon, dried orange slices, sappy pine cones, and vanilla bean evoke a sense of coziness. Now that the weather is cooling down, bring some of those seasonal scents indoors. Just imagine the pure happiness you’ll experience when you’re cuddled up on the couch catching a fall flick with the fire going, inhaling those fragrant hints of pumpkin drifting through the air and clutching a mug of your favorite fall beverage.

So, don’t waste any more time in a stale relationship with your home. Let us revive your relationship and help get you excited about making memories in the upcoming months. Call us today for no hassle cleaning or organization quote.

 

3 Steps to Getting Your Home Holiday Ready


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The holidays are a busy time for all of us. We go from fall festivals and pumpkins straight into peppermint and winter holidays. Here at The Cleaning Crew, LLC we want to help make keeping your house clean a stress-free experience even while you are balancing a busy schedule.

Here are 3 easy tips to help you prepare for the holiday rush.

1. Declutter

The less clutter you have, the easier it is to keep your house clean. As the cold weather approaches and you are stuck inside, it’s the perfect opportunity to take the time to purge. If you’ve got belongings that you’re not planning on actually getting rid of, you could look into renting a self storage facility to keep your clutter out of your home for periods of time if needed.

We pinned a helpful decluttering list recently on our Pinterest Page. You can check it out by clicking here.

Don’t forget to sort through:

  • Fridge and pantry
  • Filing cabinets
  • Storage bins
  • Junk drawers
  • Knick-knacks and décor
  • Closet

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This blog entry at A Debt Free Stress Free Life has some great tips for decluttering, but any professional organizer will tell you to start by making 3 piles.

  1. Trash is the easiest to get rid of, so start there. Get rid of broken or used items, and shred old paperwork.
  2. In the spirit of the holidays, fill up a box to donate. These can be food items from your pantry or clothing and household items to take to the nearest donation center.
  3. Decide what is valuable enough to sell. Maybe you are a collector and have things that can be sold online at auction sites, or maybe you just have a few things you want to put together for a yard sale.

Whatever system you use for decluttering your house, it is the first step to a truly clean home.

2. Deep Clean

Most of us do a typical “Spring Cleaning,” but it is a great idea to do a deep cleaning every season. With all the gatherings and meals coming up, your kitchen needs attention now, not in a few months! Plus, your gutters and windows need attention after all the fall leaves, and your guest bathroom will be used more than it has been all year.

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That’s where we come in. The Cleaning Crew, LLC would love to take care of all the cleaning duties you don’t want to think about so you can focus on what’s important during this holiday season.

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Let us come help you with things like freshening up guest rooms, deep cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, gutter and window cleaning.

3. Prepare for Overnight Guests

Once you’ve got the house decluttered and deep cleaned, it’s time to prepare for guests.

Teresa at Tiaras and Tantrums has created a fabulous checklist for those preparing for overnight guests. You can find it here. But, we’ll give you the basics.

In the bedroom, keep things like tissues and extra blankets in sight. Give guests their own space. Leave room in the closet or dressers for them to unpack their things, especially if it is an extended stay. No one likes to live out of a suitcase.

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Also, make sure there is a dedicated guest bathroom that is stocked with plenty of necessities like toilet paper and towels.

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For an extra touch of hospitality, you can consider some of these ideas:

  • Supply extra toothbrushes or specialty soap.
  • Leave non-perishable snacks and water bottles in each guest room.
  • Have plugs available for charging stations.
  • Leave fans in each room if you know your guests will need them.
  • Supply them with air freshener or cleaning wipes.
  • Share the Wi-Fi password.
  • Write a note to welcome them.

Leave the preparation to us so you can enjoy the celebration! Give us a call at 541-601-6236 today for a hassle-free quote or to give the gift of cleaning with a Cleaning Crew gift card!

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Entryway Fall Friendly


As summer draws to a close, it’s a great idea to change things up around the house with the seasons. You can start off with a seasonal deep cleaning by one of our cleaning specialists. Then, make a few changes in decor. One place that is easy to redecorate but can make a huge impact is your entryway. The curb appeal of a well kept front stoop and the warmth of a clean, welcoming entryway will be sure to wow your guests upon arrival.

 

Color

What helps you identify with a season more than color? A neutral paint color in your entry way allows the area to easily transition from season to season. Use seasonal décor to bring in the warmer fall color pallet. Plants, candles, art work, or a wreath are excellent ways to add pops of color. You can find some great unexpected fall color palettes here.

Just be careful not to decorate with too many knick-knacks. It makes it difficult to dust properly, and makes your house seem cluttered rather than clean.

wreaths

Plants

Many plants are seasonal, so they are a great way to bring in a natural element to your décor. Here is a fun idea to transition your summer plants into a fabulous fall planter. Whether inside or outside, plants can help to naturally clean the air.

Mums are great fall plants that are also at the top of the list of natural air purifiers. Add some to your porch to add some color to the curbside view. Make sure to sweep your walkway several times a week to keep the falling leaves from dirtying your walkway.

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Seating

Whether you’ve got a rocking chair on the porch or a bench in the foyer, your seating solutions can easily transition from summer to fall by choosing accent pillows, throws, or seat cushions that feature warmer colors and fabrics with seasonal patterns. Solution dyed acrylics withstand harsh outdoor conditions and don’t stain easily, but are soft enough to use indoors as well.

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Storage

Entry way storage will change with the weather. As the leaves change, we will all break out our coats and jackets. These bulky articles of clothing can easily crowd and clutter your entryway.

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If you don’t have an entry closet, a traditional coat rack accompanied by an umbrella stand and shoe tray can add a storage solution with vintage flair. If you are going for a more modern look, a “drop zone” is a trendy storage solution. This Downright Simple blog entry explains how you can turn even the smallest of areas into a stylish storage solution.

Lighting

As time changes it will begin to get darker earlier. Lighting will be important both indoors and out. Inside, opt for a lower light from lamps. This will provide your guests with a sense of comfort and warmth as the weather begins to cool.

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Make sure that the outdoor area has sufficient lighting along any pathways. Better Homes & Gardens recommends motion sensitive lights for security and to cut down on electricity use.

 

Finishing Touches

We’d love to help you get started with your entryway revamp. Call us at 541-601-6236 to schedule a seasonal deep cleaning. We’d love to help your redesign shine!

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5 Tools to Remove Stress from the Holidays


flowers-983897_1920The key to a successful holiday is planning. Know what needs to get done, when it needs to be done, and how much manpower and time it’s going to take. Consider these 5 Tools to Remove Stress from the Holidays.  


1. Allergy-Free Treats For Kids (Or Adults!)

Allergy -free treatsVia Taste of Home

No matter the course, crowd or allergy concerns, these allergy-free recipe ideas will help keep your sanity and make your guests feel welcome.  —> CLICK HERE


2. 10 Chef-Approved Solutions to Common Holiday Fails

turkey-caraway-butterVia Real Simple

Real Simple addresses common problems for holiday meals: cold mashed potatoes, too sweet yams, dry turkey, and more in these 10 Chef approved solutions. —–> CLICK HERE


3. Delegate!

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Hosting the big holiday meal doesn’t have to mean you have to do everything! Consider throwing a potluck. Not only does this spread the work around, but it also allows other people to share in the culinary glory. Take them up on their offer: “What can I do to help?”  Ask your friends to bring something to share or help with set up or clean up. Best of all, other cooks can introduce you to their specialties, which might then become new traditions in your home.

4. Stress-Free Kitchen Cleaning

DSC_3279The kitchen is usually the hub of the home and with a few key quick cleaning fixes you can keep this room Stress-Free.

  • Clean range or stove top, surfaces, and grates.
  • Clean out the refrigerator before the big meal, making room for party foods.
  • Clean and shine kitchen sink.
  • Wipe down all large and small appliances.
  • Wipe down kitchen cabinets.
  • Create space in the kitchen for holiday entertaining by filling a box with kitchen items you won’t be using and moving it elsewhere. Now you have room for the holiday serving dishes, punch bowl, silver, and other items you’ll be using during the holidays.

5. Freshen Up Naturally

lavender-field-1410156Freshen your home with herbs like lavender and chamomile. Fill a spray bottle with 20 drops of lavender essential oil, 1 teaspoon vodka and water to create a linen spray. Lavender is known to reduce stress, promote calm and aide in relaxation. Mist bed linens, lamp shades, shower curtains and drapes. Grind up lavender and chamomile with baking soda in a food processor to sprinkle on rugs and carpets to remove odor. Just leave overnight and vacuum the next day.

*** Bonus Holiday Cleaning Tip:  choose essential oils in holiday scents, like peppermint or pine, to spray sofas and drapes other living spaces.

Have A Great Stress-Free Holiday Tip? Share it in the comments below!

 

Want more holiday de-stressing tips?

9 More Ways to De-Stress This Holiday Season

tea-party-1326815Via Pop Sugar

Make sure you enjoy the holidays. Follow these additional 9 tips for removing stress from your holiday experience. —> CLICK HERE

Roadmap to a Perfect Fall Party


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The Perfect Fall Party…

…is just around the corner. Being a great host can become overwhelming without a few tricks up your sleeve. Follow the steps on this roadmap, and your fall dinner party will be the one that everyone will be talking about.

Step 1. Cleaning Tips for a Party-Ready House


When you’re making your party to-do list, add “Clean the house” near the top, but don’t think of it as a chore. Organize the tasks into easily achievable components. With a little planning, cleaning the house for a party is so simple, you’ll be tempted to use these hints for your regular cleaning routine.

  • Use household cleaner and a soft cleaning cloth to give bathroom surfaces a quick shine. Pay attention to water spots and residue on the faucet and liquid soap dispenser. Hide toiletries and countertop clutter in an out-of-the-way spot.
  • Clean bathroom mirrors. A sparkling mirror reflects the light and makes everything brighter.
  • Use a damp towel with water and vinegar to clean the kitchen and bathroom floor.
  • Apply toilet bowl cleaner, and give the toilets a quick brushing.
  • Hang fresh hand towels in the bathrooms. Put out fresh hand soap or fill the liquid soap dispensers.
  • Vacuum the carpets and use a dust mop on hard-surface floors in your living spaces.
  • Fluff sofa cushions and pillows. Straighten stacks of magazines or books. Fold or arrange throws. Make sure tabletops are clear of clutter and dust-free.
  • Polish kitchen counters, faucets, and sinks with household cleaner and a soft cleaning cloth.
  • Empty the trash from the containers throughout the house. Wipe off the outsides of your trash receptacles. Insert clean liners. This simple detail makes the kitchen and all your guest spaces feel fresher.
  • Set up your party area. Arrange fresh flowers. Light candles. Turn on music. Set up your food and beverage stations. Finish food preparation.

Step 2. The Theme

Developing a Visual Theme is the fun part of event planning. Use it as your guide for all decisions from invitations to party favors. Need some inspiration?  Click Here for Fun Fall Party Themes.


Step 3. The Centerpiece

CC-fall-centerpiece

-beautiful-compositionYou don’t have to go over-the-top to create a stunning scene. You can  enhance standard grocery store bouquets of roses or mums with a few natural elements like feathers and dried wheat. Hurricane lanterns are another great option for outdoor dinners. They add light for function, glow for ambiance, and their shape and size make them practical in windy settings. For some centerpiece inspiration Check out –> Jentatertots 19 Gorgeous Fall Centerpieces!!


 

Step 4. The Drinks

 

Pair a fun, seasonal beverage with your meal or appetizer. There’s nothing like warm, spicy apple cider to break the ice when you’re entertaining on a chilly day. It’s a timely and tasty choice! Recipe –> Hot Spiced Cider

Pumpkin-Pie-Whipped-Cream-Martini-Recipe

Spice things up with a signature cocktail. Welcome your guests with a drink that puts them in the mood for the cool, crisp days of autumn. You could try a Spiced Pear Collins, which is made with gin, pear puree, and rosemary. Find out how to make –> 7 different pumpkin martinis!


 

Step 5. The Appetizer

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via wisconsin cheese talk

Welcome guests with a snack, like a rustic cheese board. Try these three for a start: blue cheese, apricot Stilton, and pepper-crusted Brie. “I serve them with a fresh sliced baguette, dried cranberries, apricots, and cashews. I also love including an organic honey to complement the blue cheese. Look to –> The Kitchn for some new ideas for cheese platters.

fall-foodAlso Check out >>Food Networks Appetizers for Fall Parties << and start your guests off with seasonal appetizers that complement crisp weather, like cheesy small bites, crisp rosemary chips and more.

Step 6. The Perfect DIY Party Favors!

apples-popcorn-038-md109198_vertVia Martha Stewart

If you plan on giving out a party favor, we advise choosing something cheap, but useful or consumable. Martha’s go-to gift for autumn? Caramel apples. –> Recipe: Caramel Apples


Step 7. DIY Photo Booth

via Simple Booth
Create the look and fun of an old school photo booth with an iPad, fun apps and a few props. Try mounting an iPad mounted  with a photo booth app fed images directly to a printer.

 

Some apps also allow you to instantly upload and share your photo strips on Facebook and other social media platforms.

Props, such as masks and mustaches, can be downloaded online and printed at home. Just attach them to dowels or other long items. You can buy packages of props that are ready to go from many online outlets including Amazon. Etsy is a nice source for printables.

Here are a few apps to choose from:

Remember to relax and have fun. Make sure you’re having a good time at your autumn fête, and your guests will, too! 

Here’s to a chill in the air, falling leaves, and Autumn parties that delight the senses!