You might find that your home needs a bit of care and attention now that you are spending more time in it, not to mention getting ready for the festive season (but no more about that until December, I promise!). So, here are my top tips for an Autumn Declutter.
1. The twice-yearly clothing changeover. Once you're sure you won't need your summer clothing again this year, take everything out of your wardrobe and spread it out as much as possible.
- Pull out anything you didn't wear this year and think about why. Whether it's worn, outdated, ill-fitting, the wrong colour - if you didn't wear it, it's taking up valuable space and needs to go.
- Pull out anything that needs repair, put it in a pile and do it now.
- Anything that needs dry-cleaning goes in another pile.
- Once you have done the repairs and dry-cleaning, make sure everything else is clean (never store unwashed clothes!) fold it neatly and put everything in a suitable storage box*.
- Keep a couple of items out, just in case the weather decides to gift a late warm day.
2. Bedding. Change over your summer-weight duvet for a winter one. This is a good time to change any cushions or throws you decorate the bed or bedroom with. I love getting out all my snuggly winter throws and blankets - it's like a mini-makeover! Again, wash or dry-clean anything that needs it before storing in suitable containers.
- Check your bedding and linens including towels for wear and tear.
- Pillows should be replaced regularly, so this might be a good reminder to do that.
- Turn your mattress, and tighten up any screws to minimise 'bed-squeak'!
3. The living room. This is the room that has probably accumulated 'drifts' of clutter over the summer, when we're all too busy enjoying the weather to think about tidying.
- Open every drawer, cupboard and storage container, and pull everything out.
- Put it in a pile on the floor.
- Pull out anything you haven't used in the past year or forgot you owned - they need to go.
- Make a pile of rubbish and recycling and get it gone.
- Make sure everything else is clean and in working order. This is a good time to replace the batteries in your remote - or at least make sure you know where the spares are.
- Put away everything else in its designated place. If an item doesn't have a designated place, it's going to hang around, being in the way, so make a place for it or decide if you really need it.
- If you like, you can include ornaments, wall pictures, photographs etc. I find that I appreciate my ornaments and artwork more when they are changed regularly - otherwise you're in danger of screening them out as you get used to them. You no longer 'see' them, and don't get pleasure from them.
- If you have an open fire or a log-burner, make sure they're in working order for the winter.
4. The kitchen. I find I use some of my kitchen equipment more or less according to the seasons. For example, I tend to put away the salad-spinner and get out the slow-cooker, as the seasons turn.
- Clear out the fridge and food cupboards, making sure that everything is in-date and properly stored. Use up or recycle as much as you can, taking advantage of the various council-supplied food recycling initiatives, or starting your own compose heap.
- Take a note of anything that you bought and didn't use - reducing unnecessary purchases is as much part of decluttering as clearing it out - and will save you money.
- Check crockery and glassware for chips and other damage. Many shops have sales round about now, so it might be a good time to replace broken or damaged items.
- If you are minded to, this is a good time to indulge in some jam-making or other preserving - I've blogged before about home-made Christmas presents, so this is a good time to make a start.
Whatever your routine for Autumn, I hope these tips inspire you and help to make your home more welcoming for the winter!
Thanks for reading
*Suitable in this case means something that will keep out light and damp, and moths! Also, make sure it's big enough to store all your items without crushing them. Finally, store them out of sight, in a place you won't be constantly tripping over them.
Links to some websites to buy boxes below. This list is not exhaustive - if you find others, please let me know so that I can add them to my list.