These people have been doing this for some two decades, THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. And you can take advantage of their knowledge, work, experiments and try-outs, and do exactly what she tells you to do.
I have been doing that too. Every time I clean the house for any feast or holiday, I go through all the rooms with a list, on which I write everything that bothers me.
I don't cross out anything, I go through the list and think what I can do right now with what I have, if I could spruce up something I have in stead of buying new things, if switching furniture around would make any difference, what I can do with soft furnishing and decorations, candles and such. (No, I don't suggest burning anything :-D)
I have also noticed that I notice more from a photo than in reality. I can see what needs to be fixed when I see a photo of my home, because for some reason I look at a photo as if it wasn't my home. Somehow I see what's under the piles of stuff, and don't see the dust and stains in real life. I can also appreciate what I have done with "before and after" photos. :-) With digital cameras and computers one doesn't even need to save "the evidence", if it's too "incriminating" :-D
I agree with Cynthia, that it's not time to start changing anything big right before a holiday. (On the other hand, with a big holiday 8 times a year, divided evenly, it's ALWAYS "right before a holiday". :-D) Write the things you want to change in the home management/decoration/renovation list, and put it in the right place in your household binder for future. :-) (It is ok to buy a new sofa right before a holiday, if you have planned it in your yearly budget, and have decided to buy it, of course. Just don't buy a new sofa, because you think it would be better right now, right here, than the old one.)
There is a thorough cleaning list at Organized Holidays, but it's only a little bit more than 4 weeks to Samhain right now, so you can't follow those lists exactly. I suggest you share the lists like this:
Week 1: October 1st - 6th - get the backbone of the home straightened, and fix the first looks
Storages (Garage, Attic, Pantry and Closets)
As you go through the storages, you'll be picking up the holiday decor and going through that. What needs to be cleaned, replaced, mended, thrown away or purchased?
Week 2: October 7th - 13th - so that it's all ready for all the holiday baking and such
Week 3: October 14th - 20th - make the parts of home the visitors see clean
Living Room, Family Room, Entertaining Room, Home Office, Hobby Room, Play Room, Dining Room
Week 4: October 21st - 27th - the rest
Master Bedroom, Kids' Rooms, Guest Room
Last 4 days:
Finish up and keep up
This photo is from Thanksgiving in Canada