Clean Shades and Curtains
Take down window treatments. Dust slat blinds, and launder curtains and fabric shades: Either hand-wash and lightly steam in place, or send to a dry cleaner.

Clean Refrigerator and Freezer
Unplug refrigerator; discard any items past their prime. Store food in a cooler, then wash fridge from top to bottom with warm, sudsy water. Add baking soda to water to deodorize surfaces.

Clean Rugs, Carpets, and Floors
Vacuum rugs and carpets. Machine-wash or dry-clean area rugs (check label for manufacturer’s directions), and shampoo wall-to-wall carpeting. Wash and wax floors.

Clean Upholstered Furnishings
Take cushions outside and gently beat them by hand to remove dust. If there are stains, check the pieces for care labels. Use a vacuum’s upholstery and crevice tools to clean under seat cushions.

Dust Books and Shelves
Take everything off the shelves, and brush shelves and books with a feather duster. Use the dust-brush or a crevice tool on a vacuum to reach into tight spots. Wipe the spines of leather-bound books with a clean, soft cloth.

Dust Your Home Thoroughly
This includes hard-to-reach places, such as the tops of ceiling fans and window casings. Always work from the top of a room down, vacuuming the dust that settles on the floor. Avoid using dusting sprays.
Perform a Safety Check
Check smoke-detector batteries frequently; replace every six months. Test batteries in carbon-monoxide detectors and flashlights; inspect pressure gauges on fire extinguishers.

Renew Mattresses and Cushions
Vacuum mattresses and box springs. Rotate and flip mattresses before replacing them on the box springs. Flip sofa and chair cushions.

Replace Filters
Vacuum and clean grates, coils, and condensers on furnaces, refrigerators, stoves, and air conditioners. Remove filters in furnaces and air conditioners, and either clean or replace them.
Replace Storm Windows with Screens

Remove storm windows; replace cracked panes, recaulk windows, and repaint the frames before storing. Before installing screens, repair holes with tweezers (or replace entire screen).

Sort Through Wardrobes
Separate clothes into piles: off-season, donation, dry cleaner, tailor. Wash and mend clothing before putting back in closet or storing.

Wash Windows
Remove dust, dirt, and cobwebs with a soft brush. Wash windows inside and out with a mild dilution of either ammonia or white vinegar in water; dry with a squeegee followed by a rag.

Wipe Walls and Ceilings
Use a vacuum to remove dust. Tackle stubborn surface grime, especially prevalent in kitchens, with a solvent-free degreaser (test it first in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t mar the surface).

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