Move over, spring cleaning. Fall is a great time to clear clutter and make space for the life you love.
I am a fan of seasonal house cleanings. Springtime is a logical time to let fresh, clean air refresh your space. But I usually get inspired to do a clutter-clearing in the fall as well.
My theory is that it’s the “beginning of the school year” feeling that motivates me to neaten and tidy up. Also, like spring, fall is a pivotal wardrobe-changing time of year, which invites a deep dive into the closet.
Here are the three tasks I consider most essential to completing a fall cleaning that leaves me feeling relaxed and happy in my home, ready to cozy in for whatever the winter ahead might bring.
1) Closet Cleaning
When I clean my closet—I mean really clean it—I empty the whole thing, only putting back items that are still relevant to my life. Last year, I realized I had a stack of blouses that were for a career path I had stopped pursuing a decade ago—into the “donation” pile they went! Clearing the entire closet also gives me the chance to wipe down the shelves, vacuum the shoe area, and put things back in a way that is clear and organized. If you feel like a splurge, new hangers can make this process even more satisfying!
2) Food Pantry Cleaning
A hard look at my food pantry is part of my fall cleaning routine. In addition to tossing expired items, recycling their containers and pledging to be more mindful with future grocery lists, I look for canned goods and non-perishable items I have multiples of (usually cans of beans or boxes of pasta) and pull them out to donate to a local hunger organization. The process leaves my pantry less cluttered, and my spirit reminded of how fortunate I am to have an abundant food supply in the first place.
3) Bookshelf Cleaning
Books were the first love of my life, and my bookshelf is a place of joy and comfort to me. But there are some books that have lived out their time on my shelf and are ready to move along. Because I look forward in the fall to a cozy season of fireside reading, it’s a pleasing task to pull down books that can enrich someone else’s life. A fun tradition you might like to try is a “Book Swap” with friends or neighbors. Everyone bring bags of books to share, and any leftovers are donated to a local library or charitable used bookstore. At my neighborhood’s annual event, I usually bring a couple dozen books and come home with a small stack of new-to-me books that will fuel my winter reading.
What’s essential to your fall cleaning? How do you prepare your home for the colder months ahead?
Related Article: How to Declutter Your Closet in 7 Simple Steps