Managing Your Vacation Rental

Fall Cleaning and Maintenance

Written by Joan Talmadge
5/5 - (5 votes)

Whether you are closing your vacation rental home for the winter or keeping it open year round, fall is the ideal time for cleaning and home maintenance after the busy summer season. 

A thorough fall cleaning will remove lingering pollen, dust, and dirt from the summer and will also make for easier spring cleaning.   


  • Dust and vacuum all surfaces, behind and under furniture, and under seat cushions.
  • Look up! Get rid of cobwebs in corners and around light fixtures, ceiling fans, and bathroom vents.
  • Wash woodwork, doors, frames, window trim, sills, baseboards, stair risers, slider tracks.
  • Wash walls, especially in hallways and stairwells. (Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is great at getting out marks and stains on walls and other surfaces.)
  • Dry clean draperies and wash curtains.
  • Steam clean or spot clean carpets and rugs.
  • Launder all washable comforters, mattress covers, linens, pillowcase covers, blankets, and throws.  


  • Clean gutters. 
  • Rake leaves from lawn.   
  • Reseed any bare spots (fall is the best time to reseed). 
  • Prune trees and bushes. 
  • Drain and store garden hoses. 
  • Clean patio/deck/porch furniture. 
  • Drain outside shower and outside spigots. 
  • Wash out trash barrels. 
  • Clean grill. 

If you close up your home for the winter

  • Completely empty the refrigerator, turn it off, and prop the door open. 
  • Remove perishable items including sugar, flour, rice, etc. 
  • Store candles and bar soaps in a secure place to avoid  mice. 
  • Put out some ant traps. 
  • Drain the pipes. 

 If you keep your home open year round, be sure to read this blog post about Avoiding Frozen Pipes. 

 Do you have any other household chores that you consider a must in the fall? 

About the author

Joan Talmadge

Joan Talmadge - My husband Jeff and I created in 1997, shortly after buying our Cape home. My background includes teaching fifth grade for 8 years and writing and editing educational publications for 15. I get great joy from helping fellow homeowners successfully rent their homes. Jeff and I are proud to have two of our three grown children working for, truly a family-run business. For me, the Cape and Islands are magical all times of the year -- whether it's walking on Nauset Beach, playing golf, or enjoying family and friends. Email Joan


  • Depending on where your vacation rental is located, ensuring your property is properly prepared for the weekend is also a good idea. I do the air BNB thing here in Michigan, and one concern in prepping for the winter is ensuring the place is protected from water damage. You can learn a lot on this site here:

    You wouldn’t want to discover a leak or damaged foundation come spring time, so it’s essential homeowners be sure their property is safe from water damage. Even minor leaks can cause moisture, leading to an uncomfortable place to stay. Just something to consider. Great tips on a little Fall cleaning, tough. Thanks!

  • Most important they forgot to mention remove couch clue ions vacuums under them. Also open hide a beds and clean them