The air is crispy. Your haggard toes are ready to return to their foot coffins for the season. Somewhere in the distance, ghosts are gathering their tattered sheets and rattling chains, preparing for another month of scaring children and regular adults shitless. Fall is here—the best season—and it is time to clean.
Spring cleaning season, as touted by Marie Kondo and various advertising campaigns, is not the only time one should deep clean their house. The thinking behind “spring cleaning” is to create a fresh start of sorts, right? The trouble is, spring precedes summer, and summer’s best activities are (for the most part), spent outside the home. The cleaning you just broke your back to do is wasted because you’re spending time laying about in itchy grass and swimming or chasing after your child, who is covered in ice cream. Come summer’s end, the baseboards and the floor alike are sticky with sunscreen, lemonade, sand, and maybe cat litter. But the weather is turning cooler, and your house is now full of crusty beach towels and White Claw cans. Time to clean for fall!
Even if you do not live in the frat house I described above, a brisk fall cleaning is a lovely way to pass a Sunday afternoon when the air is dry and the sun is shining, but not in a way that makes you seek air conditioning. Fall cleaning is preparing yourself mentally and physically for months of not leaving the house due to inertia, weather, or a deadly combination of both. You are cleaning to rid your house of the weird shit you collected over the summer, but also to prepare for hibernation. The goal here is to make your house as cozy as the bear who lives in perpetual slumber on the Celestial Seasonings SleepyTime tea packaging. This is the purpose of fall cleaning: to find the sweaters and blankets and the Mallomars, and burrow into a hole from which you might not emerge until the second financial quarter of the forthcoming year.
Raise high the window sash and feel the crisp breeze on your face. Roll up those sleeves and scrub the grout. Deep breaths: Clorox and burning leaves. Happy autumn.