Fall Home Organization and Decluttering Tips

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The change of seasons is the perfect time to reset as you transition into the new schedules and demands of the cooler months. Let’s tackle some fall home organization and decluttering with a plan! 

fall organization Decluttering Tips text on image of orange flowers and orange pillows on a grey couch

Bid Farewell to Summer

You knew it was coming, but it can be tough to say goodbye to sandals and make quick trips to the pool. However, the fall season is beaconing and organization and decluttering make this transition easier. 

Move outdoor furniture to the garage or shed if you aren’t leaving it out all winter. Do not keep broken things. You may need to shift or rotate some things in your garage. Take the time to do this to make your storage space work better for the season you are in. 

summer outdoor furniture on a deck with a view of water
Putting away our outdoor furniture is a great start!

Pack away summer sports and leisure equipment. Again, if you have shelves for this equipment, shift it around. Use the most accessible shelves for the things you will reach for most in the current season.

Empty the motorhome, trailers, coolers, suitcases, and beach bags. As you use these summer items for the last time, take the time to clean them properly. Donate anything you won’t use again or don’t want to give up valuable space to keep. Take the time to put things away properly so your storage areas stay organized.

Store summer clothing.  If you enjoy a capsule wardrobe, it may be time to rotate the clothing and put away summer clothes you won’t wear again this year. Do not store clothing that doesn’t fit, needs to be repaired or can’t be repaired. This is the time to fix, donate or trash. 

By organizing and decluttering your summer gear away, you set yourself up for an easier fall transition. You also are ready for next summer so you can start playing sooner!

Welcome to The Cozy Season of Fall!

The lazy days of summer give way to chaotic weeks of fall, but with some preparation, you can be ready for the return of more scheduled life and cooler weather.  After you rake leaves and finish the rest of the fall clean-up of your yard, it’s time to move inside.

Fall clothes a pumpkin, a cup and a candle, Organization of decor, Decluttering

Here are some things for your fall organization to-do list: 

Get out your planner and schedule some fall organization and decluttering

Part of staying organized is knowing sometimes you won’t have a lot of time for your home and being able to see those times coming. This is also a great opportunity to sit down with your big mug of tea (or pumpkin spice latte) and consider what you’ve said yes or no to for this fall. 

Furnace & air conditioner maintenance checks. Late fall is a great time to get your annual check for your furnace and air conditioner. This helps you avoid a problem in the winter months and gets your house ready if the heat comes early next spring. Change out the furnace filter and check your smoke alarm (both the battery, if it has one, and the expiry date for the unit). 

Family photos. If you plan on taking fall family photos, set that up now before your photographer of choice gets booked up and your schedule fills with family activities and other commitments. 

Add dates for any events you know about. To save your whole house some stress, find out where Thanksgiving will be and inquire who will be hosting Christmas if you don’t already know. (If you are hosting, you’ll want the extra notice that your guest room needs emptied of storage bins and other stuff stashed there “just for now”.)

a photographer asking kids to pose
My wonderful photographer friend. Angela Eaves, trying to wrangle my kids.

Keys to Fall Cleaning, Organization & Decluttering

It’s not nearly as big a task as spring cleaning – you don’t have to do a deep cleaning – but it’s a good idea to do a little bit of this work in the fall. With the cold weather coming, you and your family members will likely be spending more time inside and trying to find your daily routine again.

Clear out your drop zone. You know, that place where the students in your house come in and drop their backpacks, reusable lunch bags, jackets and shoes. Odds are good you don’t use this space quite the same in the summer. Declutter anything that will be out of season when school starts. You want easy access to hoodies and hats when the kids are still getting used to the school routine again. 

Clear out your command center. The schedule for summer swimming lessons can be recycled. Make sure your pens or dry-erase markers haven’t wandered off. Whether it’s in the corner of your kitchen or your home office, this is the best time to get ready for the inevitable flood of school paperwork, fall schedules and incoming information. If you don’t have a command center, check this out:  https://minimalisthome.ca/minimalist-family-command-center/

School supplies. If you went through the backpacks at the end of the last school year, hopefully you already know what you have and what you need to pick up. If you haven’t, go through your supplies and stock the backpacks with what the kids will need. (Many communities have groups which collect backpacks in good condition and water bottles in back-to-school drives to donate to children in need. Consider donating excess supplies.)

Junk drawer. This needs to be cleared out periodically to prevent it from getting out of control. Deal with those Slurpee straws, coupons, and small tools you were too busy to put away in the basement. Give yourself a fresh start after Labor Day! Truly, a great start to decluttering and organization in your fall home is having clear spaces ready for the mountains of permission slips and notices from school.

Autumn sweaters piked up with lights, to declutter and organize.

Fall wardrobe. Hello, my favorite sweater! As mentioned above, it is time to pull out the fall clothing and tuck away summer clothing you won’t wear until next year. If you have kids, check the size and fit before putting clothes away; what fit your older child might not fit your younger child in the same season. 

Change out seasonal items for fall decor. All of us have some decor that we only use seasonally. The light summer-weight blanket in your living room can be traded for the cozy quilt. Maybe the scented candles come back out. Again, don’t store what you won’t use again; donate the blanket no one likes anymore and trash the basket that got mangled after a summer of teenagers’ shoes. 

Change the bedding. If you have summer-weight bedding, then you may have to switch over. This is a good time to assess the condition of your bedding and consider the state of your linen closet. If your summer blankets don’t fit in the available space anymore, read this for a well-organized closet: https://minimalisthome.ca/organize-linens/

Declutter your bathroom counters and vanities. Take a little time to go through all your cosmetics and personal hygiene products. While you may not have used a lot of body lotion all summer, you might need it as the drier and colder weather comes. Check the expiry dates to see what might need replacing (some will expire in as little as 3 months) and what you are running out of, and declutter anything you don’t like. 

Review your medicine bin.  If you have kids in school, you know it doesn’t take long for classroom viruses to come home. Add the dust in the air after the furnaces are turned on again. Declutter any expired medication, note what is getting low and add any replacements to your shopping list. (Pharmacies will take expired medication for proper disposal.)

Haul away your donation pile. Start the new season by removing those unwanted items you’ve been decluttering. This is the best way to give yourself a clean slate as seasons change. It’s good to have a designated area in your home to put donations, but it’s just as important to get them out of the house! 

hands with a donation box
Going through and donating things during a season change is ideal!

Remember, you can not organize clutter! If any space is too full or crowded to put things away, you must first declutter and reduce the number of possessions. Spending five or ten minutes decluttering daily is a slight change in your living space that will help you build new habits. A clutter-free home is within reach!

Winter is on the Horizon

Not to wish away the golden days of autumn, but before you get too far into the school season, take some time to pen in your planner when you need to start any Christmas shopping and make a note on your phone calendar for any seasonal decorations you want to take to your donation spot. (I can’t be the only one who has already decluttered Christmas decorations while waiting for a donation in October.)

The hectic holiday season will be here before you know it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make time to enjoy the cozy embrace of fall. Give yourself the grace to find the new tempo of your life in this seasonal transition. Prioritize the most important things and the people who make you feel warm and comfortable in the fall.  

Tackling some organization and decluttering is such a great way to get you and your home ready for those cozy fall days with a chai tea and some pumpkin muffins!

Related Resources

Create a command center to keep everyone organized during the busy fall season!

Organize your linens since things are going to get cozy!

Are you making any of these 10 common decluttering mistakes?

Create a capsule wardrobe!

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