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Fall is a busy time of year, but I love it. The color changing foliage and falling leaves reminds me of how we need to let go. To me, fall is the perfect time to start fresh and get the house decluttered and organized. The weather is cooler, the air crisper, and I love getting things together before the coming holiday season. If you’re looking for some great organizing tips to get you on the right foot this fall, you’ve come to the right place.
7 Organizing Tips for Fall
1. Make a Space for School Paperwork
Whether you homeschool like we do or send your kids to school, there is plenty of paperwork involved. From permission slips to homework and just great grades and artwork that deserve to be displayed, you need a place to keep track of it all. For us, we have a binder that we keep all of the girls important school paperwork in.
You can put them in binders that you check each morning (in case something needs signed) or put them in a paper tray that is gone through daily as well. Whichever you decide, you’ve got to make a habit of checking it. For us, the binder works and we can go through and select a new piece of artwork and an A+ to display weekly retiring the old one.
It’s nice to keep the paperwork clutter to a minimum while still being able to keep ahold of it and keep track of what needs doing and what’s already been done.
2. Create a Schedule & Routine
Our calendars seem to fill up faster in the fall than they do during the lazy days of summer. We have our own events, our children have events, and there are things that simply need done before the cold weather hits. Creating a central location and calendar for everyone’s invitations and obligations is so helpful and important.
We like to keep a calendar on the kitchen wall that we write any upcoming appointments, parties, obligations etc on. It helps us when we are deciding whether or not we can make it to a particular appointment or if something needs moved.
It’s also incredibly important to have a routine when it comes to keeping your home clean and organized. This isn’t season specific, it’s just something you should do. Of course, in the fall, you may have things in your routine that you wouldn’t have during the summer such as raking up leaves, or mulching the garden. You should have a master routine list somewhere where you can keep track of what there is to do and when it needs doing. This really helps keep your home more clean and organized inside and out as well as keep you less frazzled.
3. Declutter the Toys
A lot of people wait until right before, or after, Christmas to start the great seasonal toy declutter. But really, you should do it now, and every season, honestly. Getting the toy clutter under control well before the holidays will make the holidays less stressful and give you ideas for anything your kids might actually enjoy come Christmas time.
We like to regularly declutter our children’s toys, but fall is probably our largest declutter season. We take their toys down to pretty minimal to make room for the few gifts they will receive for Christmas. If you need help deciding what to toss or minimizing your kids toys, you should check this out.
4. Downsize the Clothes
Cooler weather means bulkier clothing. Bulkier clothing takes up more space. We also tend to buy more clothes for our kids come back to school time and didn’t necessarily go through their closets before we shopped. Kids grow out of their clothes quickly and it doesn’t take much before our closets are overflowing with stuff that either doesn’t fit, we don’t like, or we never wear.
Go through your clothes before you go shopping! If you didn’t, that’s okay. Go ahead and go through them now. Even just a part of a closet a day. Do so until you’ve got a hold on the unwanted, unneeded items. Make sure the closets aren’t overflowing with clothes that no one will ever hope to wear, either.
5. Get the Kitchen Ready for the Holidays
The cooler weather and holiday season generally means more hosting, baking, and cooking in the kitchen. Go ahead and start cleaning out your pantry now. Discard old spices and replace with fresh, make sure your canned goods are still within their “use by” dates and that you will use them.
Rotate your stock in your pantry, go through your fridge and discard the mostly empty bottles. You name it. You’ll be so glad you did this when you come home with your holiday groceries and you actually have a space to put them. Plus, you can keep track of what spices you have and which ones you need so you can get them at the store well before the holidays.
6. Menu Plan
And do so for more than just dinner! I plan out breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinner and even dessert in our family. It saves tons of money at the store, it takes the guess work out of the age old “what’s for dinner?” question, and I know exactly what I need. We tend to rotate through a months worth of meals and occasionally add in something new. The meals tend to change with the seasons (more sandwiches and salads in the summer, more soups and casseroles in the fall and winter).
So, get out a pen and pad of paper and start writing down what you plan to serve for each meal. Even if you don’t do lunch at home, write down something and get some after school snack ideas. That way your kids are fed and you’re not stressing over what to buy and wasting money.
7. Create a “Mudroom” Space
Whether it’s a couple hooks inside the entry door, or an elaborate mud room. Create a central space for everyone to kick off their mucky boots and hang their wet jackets to dry. A place to hang the kids backpacks and a place for your bag and keys. It helps keep everyone organized and no one is looking for a lost shoe or backpack at the last minute.
Since fall is generally a time of wetter, cooler weather, having a place for coats and boots just makes it easier for them to dry off! Plus, no one will be tracking the muck of the season (think wet leaves and mud) all over the house.