My husband loooooves fall. Yeah, okay maybe a huge portion of his reasoning is football. Regardless, he loves it. When we were dating I thought he was insane. Because in my mind, obviously, summer is the best. Yet every year, he somehow finds a way to make me fall in love with the fall season more and more. We carve pumpkins, spend cozy nights by the fire, have candles lit everywhere and watch the sun gleam through the trees on crisp Saturday mornings as we drink our coffee. HEAVENLY. Now when September hits, I can't wait to start decorating and pulling out all the stops to make our house as cozy as possible.
Now when I say, "as cozy as possible", I don't mean that I pack my house full of pumpkins and fall decor. I actually take an easier and much simpler approach that I want to share with you all. It takes me roughly 45 minutes, and is worth EVERY SECOND! You will notice that my first two steps always tend to be de-cluttering and cleaning. Besides the fact that I am a professional organizer, there is actually a reason for this! When you think of the word "refresh", you think of a fresh clean start, and these two steps get you off on the right foot.
Note: I do not make any royalties on the items mentioned in this post. I have linked some of the items I mention in this post because they are products I love and swear by, and if you are interested in purchasing any of them, I want to help you find the best deal possible!
1. Clear the Clutter
Take 5 minutes to walk through your house (and sift through your fall decor!). 5 minutes is all you need, seriously. Grab a bin and toss in the items that you no longer use or enjoy, and don't second guess yourself. If your initial gut instinct is to toss it, listen! Try to refrain your emotions from talking you out of your joy. Put the items in a bag, and throw that bag in the front seat of your car! You don't need to make a special trip, but next time you are out, drop it by a local Goodwill. Otherwise, you know as well as I do that this donation bag may be hanging out in your trunk until next fall! De-cluttering your decorations will give you more room to play around with your decor in a way that is relevant to you, and will free up valuable storage space as well.
2. Do a Quick Clean Up
I don't mean spend a whole day deep cleaning your house, just taking 5-10 minutes to do the basics is all you need. Wipe down the counters, sweep or vacuum (bonus points if you let a Roomba do this for you), and dust off any surfaces that may need it (possibly the shelves you plan to add your seasonal decor to?). Boom. You're done. That easy.
Now onto the fun stuff...
3. Swap Your Linens
I love to use a down alternative duvet on all our beds (anyone else with me on this one?). It makes it so incredibly easy to swap bedding with the seasons. In the summer we use a light linen fabric, and in the fall I bring out our Pinzon flannel cover that I found for a steal on Amazon. It's truly softer than cashmere - and makes it WAY too hard to get out of bed. That's the goal right?
I also swap out our pillow covers for warmer tones and more texture that works well for the fall season! I used to have a gazillion and one throw pillows until my husband put a kibosh on that (any other ladies feel me on this one?). So instead of having a lot of pillows that are bulky to store, I narrowed it down to my best down alternative pillows and bought throw pillow covers instead! It's seriously the best! It allows for so much more flexibility all year long.
Here's a pro tip for ya: high quality 18x18 throw pillows + a variety of 16x16 covers is the winning combination. When it came time to replace our euro pillows (28x28) I found on Amazon what I am convinced is the greatest down alternative pillow brand ever. They seriously feel like giant marshmallows. Eventually when our smaller throw pillows tire out, I will be replacing them with these. If you're looking for new pillows, I highly suggest you try these Pillowflex inserts out.
4. Swap Out Some of Your Framed Photos
Although this one sounds a bit extra, it only takes 5 minutes and there is a huge reason I do this. I keep a handful of photos on hand to change out once or twice during the year in frames around the house. I'm big time sentimental and love to look back on old memories that would have otherwise been lost on my phone or computer.
I love to use Free Prints, an app that lets you print up to 85 free 4x6 prints a month straight from your phone! It's so easy, and let's me enjoy my favorite moments over and over again. I love the company so much, you would think I am sponsored by them, but I promise you I am not. Just try them out, trust me you will be happy you did! I even use them to purchase my larger prints because the quality is so fantastic.
5. Bring on ALL the Texture
Pull out all the large woven blankets, sheepskin throws, and baskets you have. ALL of it. I love to layer a great throw over our couch, on the beds, and in a basket in our entry way. Although we use baskets all year round in our decor, I do it a bit differently in the fall. Rather than staging the baskets with branches or leaves I will stuff with a pillow and a blanket.
6. Swap light colors for Deep & Warm Colors anywhere you can
Pillows, blankets, table runners, rugs (We LOVE our Ruggable rugs, and they make it SO easy to swap out your rugs through the seasons! Not to mention, who doesn't love a WASHABLE rug.) I also swap out our clear vases for amber and textured vases. These small touches make a huge difference in the overall feel of your home.
7. Pull out all your Candles that spent the summer in hiding
A staple in our house is Mahogany Teakwood by White Barn from Bath and Body Works. Another personal favorite of mine is Sugared Birch by Hearth and Hand (if you haven't tried this one yet, check it out next time you're at Target. It's a winner.) Because we tend to only use our favorite scents, we are guilty of having a small back stock of our unscented candles. Fall is the PERFECT time to break these suckers out, and stage them around the house for a huge dose of cozy. If you are sensitive to candle smoke or scent, there are some awesome flameless candle brands that give you the same effects!
8. Add Natural Elements
Grab some natural ceramic vases (creams, blacks, taupe's), and add some foliage! It can be as easy as walking around your yard or neighborhood and gathering a few sticks, acorns and leaves (my personal favorite, pampas grass!). I love to layer ceramic vases at various heights and sizes, especially next to natural wood or gold pieces. It gives such a warm, timeless feel to a space. Another great way to add in a natural element to your decor is with a burlap table runner! These can be found for just a few dollars and really add a rustic touch to any decor. Try piecing with a stout gold vase overflowing with a seasonal floral arrangement, surrounded by black modern candle sticks!
9. Stack Antique Books
Years ago, I inherited a small collection of beautiful antique books from a family member. Some I have read, and others I just love to use as decor around our home. If you don't have antique books, really any books will do! Once you remove their plastic covers, they work just the same. If they have a bright binding, simply turn them so the pages are facing out instead. This creates a great neutral layering piece for your decor.
10. Layer Wood/Marble Cutting Boards against kitchen backsplash
I love that this is not only functional and effortless, but beautiful at the same time. We use cutting boards on the daily, but when guests are over, these double as beautiful charcuterie boards for serving snacks! If you are looking for some good ones and don't have a Home Goods or TJ Maxx near you, a surprisingly good place to check is Walmart!
11. Cinderella Pumpkins
Pumpkins may be an obvious one, but Cinderella pumpkins deserve a category of their own. I don't know how it took me so long to learn about these adorable little guys, but they are a perfect touch when refreshing your home for fall. They come in all shades of pastel, and have such fun shapes. They are great stacked on books, and even placed on a cake stand on a shelf or in the kitchen.
12. 4 Words.... Mrs. Meyers Cleaning Supplies
Yes, you read that right. Cleaning supplies have their own category.
I am slightly embarrassed to admit this, but I have been asked more than once what scent of soap and cleaning supplies we use. The answer is ALWAYS the same, the basil scented Mrs. Meyers products. But when the fall season comes around, I pull myself out of my little basil scented comfort zone and pick up some of the seasonal scents like Acorn Spice and Apple Cider. YUM. It may be a small thing, but it really does make an impact on your daily home life. I swear they even make doing the dishes slightly enjoyable!
13. Pull Out the Crock Pot & Simultaneously Clean Out Your Pantry and Freezer
A huge bonus here is that these meals give you the opportunity to clear out any unused items in your pantry and freezer that would have otherwise gone bad! The crock pot not only makes cooking the quickest, easiest thing on the planet (you can trust my opinion on this one, because if anyone hates to cook, its me.), but it also makes your home smell delicious all day long. During the fall season, I love to make stews, chilis, taco bowls and pot roast. As a working mama to a very active 4 month old boy, I am reliant on quick dinners and these bad boys take no more than 5 minutes to whip together in the morning.