Most of us have spent much more time at home than usual this year and that’s not likely to change as fall begins. In fact, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to have another strict lockdown as flu season arrives and COVID-19 continues to spread. So, let’s take some time to prepare our homes for a healthy and comfortable fall and winter.
When people heated their homes with wood or coal fires and used candles and gas lights, soot ended up everywhere. Since these forms of heat are relatively inefficient compared with the methods used today, the house was kept tightly closed to keep the heat inside. That just made the soot stick closer. Despite regular weekly cleaning, by the time spring arrived, everything in the house (including clothes and people) was covered with a layer of soot and desperately needed a good cleaning. Once the weather turned, windows could be thrown open, fabrics and furniture could be taken outside, a good cleaning was possible.
Today, we have cleaner and more efficient methods of heating and lighting our homes, so we don’t need an annual scraping away of soot. But, during the summer months, we tend to spend more time outside — gardening, doing yard work, grilling, playing, and just relaxing. We also tend to track more dirt inside with us. Things get even worse in the fall when every trip outside brings the fallen leaves into the living room.
Having a tidy, well-ordered house will be a small bit of sanity in these challenging days. Next week, I’ll lay out the tasks you might wish to consider for your fall cleaning