Decor, house cleaning, and schedule organization for serious fall vibes. Bring the fall season into your home with these ideas.
Let me tell you, it’s been a while that I’ve wanted to write this post. A. While. To me, fall is the most glorious season, about equal to winter. It’s not just because of the cool weather and photo opportunities, but the holidays, family, and sense of community that comes with it.
And now, with fresh blueberry muffins on top of the oven, cup of coffee in hand, and Harry Potter playing in the background, it’s time. Here you’ll find ideas for fall decor on a budget, a guide for embracing new autumn calendars, and my ultimate fall cleaning list.
Let’s start with the most fun one: decorating. Step one is to find them and gather them in one place. We moved last year, which means that my usual unpacking method was out of the question. Instead of pulling out my plastic bin of fall items from the guest room closet, I found myself wandering around, peeking into rooms, the garage, and the basement. After unearthing a few things in one cabinet, I fought my way through a mountain of boxes downstairs to retrieve a few more. I was tired before even beginning, but you just can’t decorate without decorations, right? So I poured another cup of coffee and carried on.
New candle lit, Hocus Pocus playing, (I have a thing about movies, okay?) I was ready. By this point, all your decorations should be out where you can see them. You did light a fall candle and start a Halloween movie, right? If not, I’ll wait.
Since you may or may not have decorations, here’s a list of simple ones that are inexpensive and go a long way towards bringing the fall season into your home.
- Wreath. ( You can buy these already made, or make your own using this awesome video by Lemon Avenue. ) It is definitely cheaper to make a wreath. I’ve seen some already made that cost upwards of $50.00 but making your own can be done for much less. The reason a wreath is essential is it sets the mood. People walking up to your door will feel the coziness and welcome the season. The entire tone of the house can be transparent with just this one item.
- Table centerpiece. This can be anything, but as a guideline, it should be large enough to be a focal point for the table, but small enough to not get in the way of dishes. I suggest a vase with fake fall flowers, a cute pumpkin, or maybe a breakfast tray with assorted autumn accessories.
- A few autumn signs. You know the stuff in the store that says “Hello Autumn” or “Thankful.” You’ll need a couple of these to hang around the walls. Replace your usual wall decor with these for the season.
- Cozy throws and pillows. Yes, pillows and blankets can be SUPER expensive. (I’ve gone into home decor stores and nearly fainted after seeing the price tags.) That’s why I suggest adding one new throw and/or fall pillow per season. You probably already have some throw blankets, and this way, you can build up your collection over time, with treasured pieces for the fall season that you really love.
- Drink station. Growing up, when the colder months came around, my mom would set a basket in the kitchen next to the teapot. It included hot chocolate packets, apple cider, marshmallows, etc. Sometimes mugs were set out on the counter, too. I think this is such an inviting thing to have in a home. It doesn’t have to be fancy, what matters is that it’s cozy. Your guests (and you) will love it.
Now that you’ve assembled all the necessary components for a festive season, set everything up. I like to make a day of this, and take my time sipping coffee while I set decorations in one spot and then another, until I find the perfect place. It’s fun to involve the family in this, too.
Autumn Deep Clean
Everyone talks about “spring cleaning”. Not sure about you, but my house needs to be deep cleaned a little more often than once a year. Before I know it, my closets are filled with random stuff that looks completely unfamiliar to me, and dust bunnies are planning a revolt in the laundry room. If you can relate, here’s a list of ideas to help you get started.
- Cupboards. Wipe down the outside of the cupboard with a damp rag, remove items inside, and wipe dust from the shelves.
- Fridge. Take everything out and clean. I usually use paper towels with warm water, and probably vinegar would work for this, too.
- Oven. Some are self-cleaning. If not, you can buy an oven cleaner that you spray on and wipe off later.
- Sweep and Mop. Scrubbing the floor never hurts. It makes the whole room feel clean.
- Couches. Wash pillows and throw blankets, plus sanitize couches using a fabric-approved spray, and vacuum under cushions.
- Baseboards. These are so easy to overlook, but oh my goodness, the difference when they’re clean! Wipe them with a damp rag and mild cleaning solution. Choosing one with a fresh scent is great because then the whole house smells lovely.
- Windowsills and Picture Frames. Dust these often neglected items. They gather dirt and grime quickly.
- Vacuum and/or Mop. Again with the floors. It’s so important!
Closets and Storage Space
- Throw Stuff Away. Yes, I highly recommend this. A lot of the stuff we hold onto is just stuff we don’t really want but can’t get rid of. Look at the items in your closets, and if it doesn’t have real value or you don’t like it, it’s okay to trash it.
- Give Stuff Away. Maybe you feel better giving things away to someone else who might get more use out of it. Goodwill takes many different items, so that’s an excellent place to start.
- Organize. Whatever is left, pack it in boxes, put similar items together, and create a system that makes sense to you.
- Dust Light Bulbs. You know the lights over the mirror? These get dusty. Here’s an extra tip: do this first, not last.
- Baseboards. Same as the other rooms in the house, these often need additional cleaning.
- Deep Clean Tub and Shower. Often, the shower walls and glass doors get overlooked, so give them extra attention.
- Toilet and Sink. This probably goes without saying, but I’ll write it here just in case. Make sure to take everything off the counters to get every bit of dust and dirt.
- Bedding. Throw sheets, pillowcases, and blankets in the washing machine. Don’t forget comforters and pillows if you have time.
- Fans and Lights. Dust these for sure. Side note: it’s easier to dust before removing bedding. You can shake the dust off of the blankets and onto the floor to be vacuumed.
- Vacuum, Baseboards, and Windows. These are just general cleaning reminders, that you probably do all the time. If not, this is the perfect opportunity.
Now that you’ve got a clean and decorated house, it’s time to move onto fall schedules. Things are probably a little different than the summer. At my home, we have a family calendar. Each month, we write work hours, weekend events, and anything extra. We each have our own color for work hours and another color for events that are out of the ordinary.
It’s probably also a good time to think about any goals you have for the fall season or family get-togethers you’d like to plan. With the holidays coming up, booking flights and making travel arrangements early is essential to save money.
I like to take time often to think about goals. These can be a lot of different things. For example, this season, I’m focusing on saving up some money for some things that are coming up in the new year. Since this goal will affect how I spend my time now, it’s important to visualize it early on and plan in advance.
Other goals might be fitness related. Say you want to try Whole 30 or get into an exercise routine. Or maybe you want to read 10 books before the year is over. Whatever your dreams, writing them down and scheduling them into your day will make them much easier to accomplish. That way, you don’t forget them.
As I write this, it’s officially September, so no one can say it’s not time for fall, right? (Okay, technically yes, it is still summer, but in my mind, autumn starts on September 1st.) I hope that this gives you the motivation to begin planning for the season, and the inspiration to get your home ready! Thanks for reading!