Besides the kitchen, the family room or living room is probably the place everyone gathers the most, I LOVE a clean house but not at the expense of it being sterile feeling... I would feel horrible if someone didn't feel comfortable at our house. Getting a good cleaning in is a great start to adding all those cozy things that Fall offers! Cleaning is the chore, decorating is the reward!
I like to start at the top and work my way down.. all that dust goes to the floor.
~Ceiling Fan and lighting.. I just vacuum mine.. I dust it weekly but after the summer of it being on ALL the time, a good cleaning really helps!
~Picture Frames.. I rarely do anything but dust and swap pictures out, but having the windows open all summer, the glass, I am sure could use a good cleaning. My favorite glass cleaner ( one of the only chemical ones I use ) is Sprayway brand glass cleaner. If the same pictures have been in those frames a while swap em out for some up to date ones!
~Blinds or Curtains.. If you have blinds.. good luck, I don't have a good method for cleaning those other than a vacuum! If you have curtains give them a good cleaning (if they are machine washable). While they are off clean your windows. In case you haven't heard this little trick.. Clean your windows horizontally inside and vertically outside that way if there is a streak you won't have to guess or clean more than necessary to get it taken care of!
~Fireplace.. For us it's just turning the pilot light back on but before that I clean the inside and outside glass a day or so before so there are no fumes when the pilot is lit, and vacuum the control section underneath.
~ Electronics.. Even though I dust ours regularly the backs (which I am too short to reach) still get so dusty! I just get some help in vacuuming the backs!
~Upholstery..I spot treat ours and drag all the cushions off and vacuum the couches and under side of cushions before I put them back on. I also use a home-made fabric refresher under the cushions.
~Floor vents..Most vents have a removable grate.. I like to take it off and get Hubby to vacuum IN the vents.. I think in our eat in kitchen area there is a box or more of cheerios in the vents! Vacuum the grates off and replace!
~Rugs/carpets.. We don't have much soft floor coverings, just 1 area rug downstairs.. I haven't used anything but baking soda and a vacuum to clean it, but I have never had a major spill.. and it looks good as new! I just sprinkle the baking soda on and let it sit while I do something else, then vacuum it up!
~Hard floors.. We have hardwood and I don't do anything extra for our floors, just the usual, but I will brag about the Shark Steam mop every chance I get! It works amazingly well and has no chemicals! If there is a mark from a toy (I don't know how these toys mark on the floor but I see rainbow colors once in a while) I just use a magic eraser and it comes right up!
~Baseboards.. If you haven't done them in a while now is a great time.. I just vacuum ours.
~Walls and doors.. The best thing I have found for toddler prints (which are ALL over) is just vinegar/water mix and a clean rag or towel. I spray the prints and rub gently. If you have some noticeable spots that need touching up, paint them on a rainy day when you don't want to go outside anyway.. This little thing looks like such a useful tool if you have a lot of the walls the same color.. I would just keep it in our junk drawer... I am always finding little spots here and there that need a touch up! It's the Rubbermaid Paint Buddy. It holds a small amount of paint and has a built in mini roller!
~Clutter.. If you have some clutter in your family room (and who doesn't?) take care of it now before we start to get all the catalogs, cards and extra paperwork that sometimes ends up in the Family Room.. My problem is magazines.. I LOVE them and am quite the magazine hoarder.. But lately I have been better at going through them once and marking the pages I want to read or keep.. Packing the magazine in my purse and reading the articles while I wait for preschool pickup or if the kids fall asleep in the car.
~Candles.. This is kind of decorating and not cleaning, but some of us have those HUGE candles that are not seasonal or go with everything and they get a little dusty.. Dust them off with a pair of nylons that were headed for the trash, since the nylons don't have a lot of texture they pick up the dust without ruining the outside of the candle.
~The little things.. There are a few things that need cleaning attention but seem more like decorations to me.. Throw pillows and Blankets.. Make sure those blankets are clean (we don't keep ours out during the summer, they have been packed and need a freshening up!) Throw pillows can usually be tossed in the dryer to be fluffed up. The other little things that make the room cozy to me are those air fresheners I am addicted to from Bath and Body Works, Wallflowers, I love the fall scents but none more than Creamy Caramel (I think it was replaced this year with pumpkin patch.. I didn't see it in the store, but they could have been out) It smells amazing and warm.
Have fun if you are doing some Fall cleaning!