Spring cleaning always gets all the fuss, but Fall cleaning is another must: Closets, mudroom, garage all accumulate a disarray of piles. Set aside some time to refold jeans & tees piles - even consolidate. Think about adding a few large baskets or trunks into your decor to prevent your home from a toy takeover. Adding hooks in the laundry or mudroom can help organize scarves + hats + coats later this winter. After organizing, pull together a pile for donation or even to sell at consignment. Combing through closets, nooks, corners, bins and drawers, you may even acquire enough goodies for a garage sale.
2. Plan a Garage Sale:
If you're looking for motivation for organizing your closets, garage, basement or living spaces, think of having a garage sale in the upcoming cooler months. When organizing, carve a space to stage what you can sell - even if it's utilizing the guest room. Ask neighbors if they'd like to participate - pick a date, plan an ad on Craigslist plus blog about it, tweet it and share on Facebook to ensure a successful sale (regardless of your location). Think categories, price-points, and utilizes boxes as bins (for all those pillows!). Folding tables are great to fan-display window panels (price-point sign + include measurements). Ask a local department store if you can barrow a rack for hanging clothing (easier to shop than the ground). Kids toys? Bag & bundle. Use the extra funds for Halloween costumes or upcoming holiday parties & gifts.
Clean air ducts, ceiling fans, and dust under the bed. Flip mattress and sofa cushions. Dust off doors and molding edges. Even area rugs, if not switched out or replaced, can be rotated to prevent wear from foot track pattern. Besides vacuuming & spot cleaning rugs, a small rake works wonders to re-fluff a shag rug. Wash small accent rugs, pillow covers, duvet covers, throws and blankets. In dusty states (like here in AZ) be sure to maintain switching air filters for efficiency. Along with washing home essentials, take boots to shoe repair for new heels and a good cleaning - far less expensive than buying all new. Wash and hang winter scarves and pashminas. One other area to clean (outside the house)your vehicle - from dusting door jams, to vacuuming the back seat to clearing out the trunk and door pockets - make like Nike and just do it!
Sweep stoops, corners and doorways. A leaf blower & shop vac can be useful tools to help make yard-work easier. Brush & hose down garage doors and window ledges. Paint or polish (if you have wood) front door for a welcoming Fall entry. Trim and discard plants that didn't survive summers heat (or rains depending on where you are). Stack & store extra plant containers for next Spring. Plan on adding some colorful mums later this month for Fall. Now is also good time to plan on cleaning gutters and replacing weather stripping. Some of your yard-work elements can be recycled for fireplace kindling (twigs & pinecones) or fall decor (branches).
5. Shift & Switch Decor:
To create a dramatic difference in refreshing your home for Fall, try switching out white accessories for deep & rich blacks, browns and charcoal - from pillow covers to vases. No dark vases? No problem: a quick coat of spray paint can easily refresh existing pieces and create a new setting. Switch coastal images for forest landscapes. Edit cool silver accents - switch to a warm brass mix for Fall. En-lieu of pinecones - save them for winter, and fill containers with wine corks or heavy rope. Replace summer white candles with black, brown, charcoal or Fall colors for autumn - Switch back to creamy white in winter. Even a change in lamp shades from simple white or prints can create a dramatic difference if you switch to black.
6. Stockpile Spices
With baking season just around the corner, now is the time to note what spices you'll need: cinnamon, nutmeg. ginger, all spice, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla. This also means it's time to dust off the recipe box and comb through all those pinned recipes to print & add to it. Keep an eye out for specials and coupons for holiday cooking. While in the kitchen, take the time to organize containers + lids, serve ware, and dishes. If you have open shelves, displays on display or extras stacked on an open island - now's a great time to load up the dishwasher to refresh them - even wine glasses can sparkle again with a good hot wash - towel dry to avoid spots.
An Ikea Expedit shelving unit + baskets are great to create a play area or reading nook for your child. Create a homework hotspot - a place that doesn't need to be disturbed for dinner, and incorporate bins or a calendar for assignments, field tips, conferences, and days off. Check for local activities (festivals, art or craft shows, museum exhibits) to add to the calendar for the family to do together. September is also a great time to think about, plan, or make all those costumes for Halloween.
September is a great time to start making those calls or emails for planning family get-a-ways, get-together, and guestrooms. Check your kids calendar for upcoming activities. After cleaning out all the closets, organizing your home, redecorating, you'll want to share it with family and friends. If you've used the guest room for staging your garage sale or charity donations, check what needs to be repaired, replaced or refreshed. Many stores of having end of the season sales, which is a great time to stock-up and save on fresh sheets, pillows and towels for your upcoming holiday guests!
Still need a nudge to get you started organizing?
Check out Martha Stewart's checklist: 100 Reasons To Get Rid Of It
Hope you're excited to get ready for the new Fall season! - I know I already feel relieved having gotten a jump start after the long weekend!
Thanks for stopping by,
(All photos in post sourced from the new Martha Stewart site!)