Teresa Adcock, owner, Chem-Dry of Northern Utah

Fall is a great time to do a bit of deep cleaning as a family. During the summer, people are coming and going, and tracking all kinds of dirt, animal dander and pollen throughout your home. With the kids back in school, now is the perfect time to clean and organize to create a better learning and living environment.

1. Create a cleaning checklist for each family member. Have everyone help clean the house so it’s less overwhelming for you. Start with the bedrooms. Set a box or bag in each room to help you organize. Start by organizing materials in three categories: donations, hand-me-downs and throw away. Set boxes around the rest of the house to continue uncluttering your home. It always helps to have some sort of incentive to keep everyone motivated.

2. Keep dirt out with doormats. Dirt, debris and pollen collect on floors and in upholstery during the summer. You can use door mats to keep more debris from entering your home. Another thing that can help is establishing a “no shoes” rule. Put a basket by the door for guests to put their shoes.

3. Have your floors and upholstery cleaned. Professionals recommend deep cleaning your carpets once or twice a year. Do not use a steam cleaning system. Steam units put down a lot of moisture and soap on the carpets that spread under the pad and creates mold and mildew. It also takes longer to dry, has a musty smell and only stays “clean” for a few weeks to months because of the residue left in the carpet.

4. Clean the things that don’t regularly get cleaned. Most appliances in our homes ​get a daily or weekly wipe down or cleaning, but there are some things that get neglected, like base boards (have the little ones clean those since they are already close to the ground!) light fixtures, washing machines and dishwashers. Your vehicle is another good thing to clean and get ready for the school year and changing seasons.