While most people think about clearing clutter as a spring cleaning activity, it’s actually just as important to spend time doing some fall decluttering every year.
Does that sound like just too much work when you’re already busy with autumn schedules for your family members? Let’s keep it simple! We’ll go over the spaces you’ll want to focus on decluttering this autumn and I’ll share a few of my declutter tips along the way.
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What Is Fall Season Decluttering?
The change of seasons means it’s time to declutter our outdoor spaces and a few indoor areas as well.
Fall decluttering is all about making a smooth transition from a carefree outdoorsy summer to cozy, home-centered fall and winter activities. Or, for some of us, preparing larger spaces for winter outdoor gear.
First, let’s cover the 12 main things you’ll want to declutter every fall, and then I’ll discuss a few general decluttering tips that will help you get through the job quickly and easily.
Outdoor Fall Decluttering
The end of summer means it’s the time of year to start thinking about decluttering our outdoor spaces.
In colder climates, we want to have everything decluttered and/or stored away before the brutal winter cold and snow hits.
In year-round warmer climates, this is still a great time to declutter outdoors because the cooler temperatures make it easier to work.
By decluttering your outdoor spaces, you’ll be able to enjoy the cooler months without having to deal with cluttered areas. Plus, it will be much easier to transition into the winter season when you need to keep things like snow shovels, salt, and other winter gear handy.
These are the outdoorsy things I have on my list to declutter every autumn:
1. Yard and Gardening Supplies
With winter just around the corner, now is the perfect time to declutter your yard and garden tools and supplies. Not only will this make your yard or your garden shed look neater, but it will also save you time and effort in the spring when you’re trying to get everything organized.
So, what should you get rid of? Well, anything that’s broken beyond repair should be thrown away. Also, consider getting rid of any duplicate items that you don’t need, such as extra tools that you haven’t used in years.
If you have any unused chemicals or fertilizers, it is best to get rid of them as well. Not only are they a safety hazard, but they won’t fare well with winter freezes and they can also damage the environment if they are not disposed of properly. Be safe. When dealing with potentially hazardous materials, take all the necessary precautions.
Finally, make sure to clean and sharpen all your tools and prepare machinery before putting everything away for the winter. This will help them last longer and work better next season.
2. Beach and Pool Gear
As any beach-goer knows, the summer months can be tough on beach gear and pool gear. Water and sand can damage toys, umbrellas, and chairs, while chlorine can fade colors and cause fabric to deteriorate.
As a result, it’s important to declutter beach gear and pool gear at the end of the season. Not only will this make it easier to store your summer gear, but it will also be easier to know exactly what you have next year.
Get rid of too-small or worn out water shoes, flip flops, bathing suits, pool toys, beach bags, and safety gear that is no longer adequate. Tip: Set a reminder on your phone to start looking for new things VERY EARLY next spring!
When storing beach gear and pool gear for the winter, be sure to clean and dry everything thoroughly. This will help to prevent mold and mildew from forming, and it will also make it easier to set up next summer. With some extra care, you can keep your beach gear and pool gear in good condition for as long as possible.
3. Outdoor Summer Furniture and Decor
Outdoor furniture and summer decor is a great way to enjoy the warm weather and brighten up your yard or patio. However, when the seasons change and cooler weather arrives, it’s important to inspect and declutter these items before storing anything for the winter.
Outdoor furniture and decor is typically made from materials that can withstand exposure to the elements, but over time, sun and rain — and everyday use — can cause wear and tear.
If you have any items broken beyond repair, it’s best to let them go. If your furniture cushions are worn out beyond repair, it’s time for new ones. (The end of summer is a great time to hit clearance sales for new cushions.) And if you have summer decor that you never used or that you no longer love, it’s time to get rid of it.
With the falling leaves and shorter days, it’s time to get the garage in order. After a summer of barbecues and road trips, the garage can become a cluttered mess. But with a little effort, you can transform and organize your cluttered garage.
Fall is the perfect time to sort through all of those old paint cans and bottles of oil or other hazardous chemicals. Dispose of them properly according to your local regulations.
Next, make sure to winterize your summer equipment and prepare your winter equipment. Decluttering and storing the summer items out of the way will make space for all of your winter tools and supplies.
5. Camping Gear
Whether you’re done with camping at the end of the summer or sometime in the fall, it’s time to declutter and get your camping gear organized for next year. Sorting and decluttering your camping gear NOW is essential to making sure you’re prepared for your next adventure.
Decluttering will also help you save storage space now when you’re storing equipment and supplies. And it will help you save time next year. When you’re packing for that first camping trip of the season, you won’t have to search through piles of broken or duplicate gear to find what you need.
Finally, decluttering that camping equipment before you toss it all into bins will help you stay organized. With less gear to keep track of, it will be easier to label those storage bins and find everything you need when you need it – and nothing that you don’t.
Indoor Fall Decluttering
There’s nothing like a tidy home to help us relax and enjoy the cozy comforts of winter. But where should you start, especially if there’s no way you can declutter everything right now?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, think about tackling one space or category at a time. You really don’t have to declutter your entire home if you just can’t face it.
Here are a few tips to help you work on the indoor areas that make the most sense for fall decluttering:
6. Coat Closet or Mudroom
Now is a great seasonal transition time to take a close look at your coat closet or your mudroom.
Is it cluttered with summer items that you won’t need for a few months? (Think: light jackets, flip flops, etc.) Do you have extra coats stored there that you never wear or don’t fit?
If so, now is the time to declutter and make some much-needed space. You can donate unwanted items. Plus, once all of that extra stuff is gone, it will be easier to find your favorite winter outerwear when the weather gets cold.
Don’t forget to do a little bit of organizing as well. Take an inventory of your winter gear. Make sure you have enough hats, gloves, and boots for everyone in the family. Store them in bins or cubbies where each person can keep track of their own items.
7. Summer Clothing
It’s time to say ‘goodbye for now’ to your summer wardrobe and make way for your fall favorites. But before you pack away your shorts, summer shoes, and sundresses, take some time to declutter your wardrobe.
By getting rid of the summer clothes that you no longer wear or that don’t fit, you can make room for your winter clothing and also ensure that your summer wardrobe is in good condition for next year.
8. School and Home Office Supplies
Autumn is the ideal time to declutter your school and office supplies. For one thing, the kids are back in school, so you can go through their things and get rid of anything they don’t need.
Let’s be honest, we all have way too many random pens and pencils hanging around. And how about all those half-used notebooks thrown into a pile on the closet shelf?
Donate extra supplies to schools, after-school care places, or even senior centers.
By decluttering and organizing your school and office supplies, you can streamline your workspace and make it more efficient. And who doesn’t want that?
9. Summer Seasonal Decorations
As the days grow shorter and colder, many of us find ourselves drawn to the cozy comforts of home. After a summer spent outdoors, it can be nice to nest inside with a cup of tea and your favorite blanket.
The early days of autumn are the best time to clear out your summer seasonal decor and make way for something different with cozy fall vibes — like my VERY favorite cozy blanket or perfect autumn candles.
Not only will this help you create a more inviting space for the new season, but it will also give you a chance to let go of summer decor that you just don’t love any longer.
10. Freezer Storage
It’s time to take a look inside your freezer and do some decluttering. Autumn is the perfect time to take advantage of seasonal sales to stock up on turkeys, hams, pies, and other favorites.
Or you may simply need to clear out some space so you can stock up on winter essentials like soup and chili.
By clearing out outdated or freezer-burned food and making room for new items, you can ensure you’ll always have something delicious on hand — and you won’t have to spend a fortune on last-minute groceries.
11. Baking Supplies
In a similar vein, now is the time to inventory and declutter your baking supplies. With fall and winter come extra baking and treat-making, and we all want to have the freshest ingredients on hand… not to mention have the space to stock up on the baking supplies we’ll need for the months ahead.
Toss any ingredients that have been open but unused for months. Closely examine any items that are unopened but approaching their expiration dates. Will you really use them? If not, it’s okay to let them go. Empty and wash containers and decanters before refilling them.
By decluttering your baking supplies now, you’ll be able to organize and easily find what you need when it’s time to bake those delicious homey treats during the next few months.
Come autumn, I always declutter my spices. The change in season prompts me to cook more intensely-flavored dishes… hearty stews, braised meats, and plenty of oven-roasted veggies.
Since I haven’t cooked those types of dishes in months, I always find that a few of my spices are outdated or have lost their freshness. So I take inventory of what I have and get rid of anything that’s been sitting around for too long.
This way, my spices are fresh and potent, and my dishes are wonderfully flavorful. Not to mention, my spice shelf is much easier to navigate.
So if you’re looking for one last thing to declutter this autumn, consider your spices. Your taste buds will thank you.
Simple Decluttering Tips For Fall
Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind when you’re tackling fall decluttering.
First, focus on one area at a time. Don’t try to do too much at once or you’ll quickly become overwhelmed. Begin with the easy stuff and think of this as making a fresh start.
With 12 weeks in the season, you could do one area per week and be done before hard winter hits.
Second, make sure you have a plan for where everything is going to go. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a bigger mess and more frustration.
I’m a huge fan of donating clutter because it saves time and frustration over trying to sell things that may not really have value. But after a hard summer (or several!) of use, many of the things we talked about in this post actually just need to be thrown away. Don’t feel guilty about that if it’s the best choice.
Don’t be afraid to get rid of things that you no longer need, use, or love. Sometimes that requires a huge decluttering mindset shift. It can be difficult at first, but believe me, you’ll be MUCH happier with a clutter-free home than holding on to a bunch of stuff that you don’t even really like all that much.
Finally, have fun! Decluttering can be therapeutic. Enjoy the process and savor the results of a home that’s tidy and ready for the upcoming seasons.
With these tips in mind, your fall decluttering will be a breeze.
After you’ve finished decluttering for fall, you can always do a deep fall cleaning. This is kind of like spring cleaning, but a little different — this post about fall cleaning explains exactly what I mean.
Once you’ve completed fall decluttering and cleaning, you can pretty easily maintain your hard work by implementing a few daily habits for a clean and tidy home.
Need to do more decluttering? No problem! You can keep your decluttering momentum going by sticking with a super-easy slow declutter routine.
By following these simple steps, you can keep your home clutter-free, cozy, and comfortable all season long and through the winter months.
You’ve got this!
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